Volunteers at the San Diego Rescue Mission are some of the warmest, kindest, most generous people we know.

Donate Your TimeOur volunteers provide valuable services to our clients. In return they receive the satisfaction of knowing they are personally helping homeless and poor people create positive, lasting change in their lives.

Please note that we are unable at this time to work with court-mandated volunteers.

Due to insurance restrictions, volunteers must be age 16 and older. Are you part of a youth group under this age? We welcome your help with donation drives for urgently needed material items and are very happy to provide a tour of the Mission so you can find out more about our work.

Group Projects

Here are more ideas for your group

Groups (corporate, church, school and others) are always welcome to help with our meal service, assisting in the warehouse, and helping with special events. Please call 619.819.1897 for other ideas or to schedule a specific date.

  • Groups of no more than 5 are welcome to serve lunch or dinner here on site.
  • Larger groups can schedule weekday morning shifts in our warehouse.

Not able to start volunteering immediately? Host a Drive (Urgent Needs, Food, or Hygiene Kits): You can hold a drive and collect needed items at your school, church, place of employment, community center, or neighborhoods-it’s an easy and very significant way to support the Rescue Mission! Thank you for doing your part to help the men, women and children here at the Mission.

Volunteer Process for Individuals

All volunteers, with the exception of those participating in a special event or one-time group volunteer opportunity MUST attend a volunteer orientation and submit an application and go through an on-line background check process at an $18 cost to the individual. Orientations are held every-other month. For non-food service opportunities we ask a 3-6 month commitment, interview, orientation, application and background check. Please call the Volunteer Coordinator to start the process.

Due to the large interest in our volunteer program, volunteer needs and opportunities change monthly and may include:

  • Children’s Center Volunteers Needed!

    We are looking for volunteers to help implement curriculum, play with children in the classroom and on the playground, serve lunch and snacks, read and sing to the children, help with cleaning the classroom and pat backs at naptime. Minimum of a 4 hour shift weekday daytimes. You don’t need teaching experience but must love children and be willing to interact/play with them. Must be 18 or older, have a TB test within the past year and go through our application and background check requirements. Minimum of 6 month commitment preferred.

  • Groups Needed in Warehouse in City Heights

    • Volunteer hours are between 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday. We ask for a minimum 3 hour shift.
    • Maximum of 20 volunteers per day
    • Youth groups  need one adult supervisor from their organization for every 5 teenagers

    Tasks include:

    1. Sorting and hanging clothes
    2. Sorting housewares
    3. Price Tagging
    4. Folding linens and bed sheets

    So many wonderful donations are coming in at year-end and we certainly need your help getting items sorted and to our clients and our  stores  as soon as possible!

  • Nueva Vida Haven

    Assist with bed set up and handing out linens, clothing, hygiene items, 7:15PM – 8:30PM. Women only.

    Dinner service help needed between 6:30PM – 7:15PM.

  • Women & Children’s Center

    Nursery volunteers weekday mornings 8:30-11:30.

    Food service 3:30-5:00 daily.

    Teach drug and alcohol courses

    Lead groups in Most Excellent Way

    Share an interest or talent: music, gardening, a second language

  • Recuperative Care Unit

    Lunch help needed Tuesdays and Thursdays.

  • Men’s Center

    Teach Anger Management (7:45 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays) or Relapse Prevention (6:45 a.m. – 7:45 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays). Curriculum/lesson plans available.

  • Transitional Housing

    • Algebra tutor Tuesday, Thursday or Friday at 5:30PM
    • Female volunteer to go to YMCA gym with client in afternoons
  • Development Office

    Assist with telephone calls to thank donors for their support and inform of upcoming events. You ARE NOT asking for money. Weekday daytime.