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. The next orientation is on November 19. 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:

  • 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!

  • Transitional Housing

    Administrative Assistant/Meal Service Assistant
    Minimum four hour commitment (max. six hours), once per week on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.  The hours for this opportunity are between 7:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. and begin or end with meal service. Volunteers will serve breakfast (7:00 a.m.-7:45 a.m.) help with administrative details and serve lunch (12:00 p.m.-12:45 p.m.). Regular client interaction. Part of the volunteer time may also be spent helping clients with things like resumes, practicing basic computer skills, making phone calls, etc.

    Arts and Crafts Group
    Volunteer interested in conducting Arts and Crafts group on a weekly or bi weekly basis with the women

    Game Night/Cookie Decorating
    Small group to lead a game night, cookie decorating night or other activity with the women


  • 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, Friday or Saturday in particular.

  • Men’s Center

    Basic administrative daytime help needed.

  • Women & Children’s Center

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

    Food service 3:30-5:00 daily.

    Tutors weekday evenings. Would like an individual who can work with mother and child together. Children ages 4-11. Math, reading, science. Bilingual desired.