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 “deep-cleaning” our emergency shelter. Please call 619.819.1897 for other ideas or to schedule a specific date.

  • Groups of 6-8 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 in September. 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:

  • Sleepless San Diego is coming October 11-12

    Individuals and groups are needed to volunteer to help make the day a success. Whether you have volunteered in the past or not, we would welcome your help!  Set-up volunteers are needed from 2:00 PM until the gates open at 4:30 PM.  After that, we welcome your assistance in 2-3 hour shifts anytime until 10:00 PM at night Saturday with:

    • Interactive activities
    • Back stage help
    • Greeting the public
    • Volunteer check-in
    • Security
    • Breakfast set up at 5 AM Sunday morning

    To volunteer, please contact Debbie at dkrakauer@sdrescue.org or call 619-819-1897.

  • Transitional Housing

    Tutors
    Two tutors are needed to work weekly with our adults in transition. The first student needs assistance with entry level college classes and is only available for assistance on Wednesdays from 10:30 to noon. The second student needs basic level tutoring for passing the GED. Volunteer MUST have experience working with a student with a traumatic brain injury.

    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.

  • 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.

  • Children’s Center Volunteer

    Our new preschool for children ages 2-5 will be opening on September 2 . We are looking for volunteers to  help implement curriculum, play with children in the classroom and out on the playground, serve lunch and snacks, read and sing to children, help with cleaning the classroom and doing laundry on laundry day, and pat backs at naptime. Volunteers can either stay all day (7-5:30) or part of the day, but a minimum of a four hour shift.  You don’t need teaching experience but must love children and be willing to interact/play with them. Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older. You must have a TB test within the last year and sign a statement saying you are in good health and go through our orientation, application and background check process.

  • Genesis Process Discipleship Group Leader

    If you are man who loves the Lord and has a heart for discipleship then we have a great opportunity for you to serve. We are looking for men to lead a group of 1-7 Rescue Mission residents through a book called the Genesis Process. The book focuses primarily on biblical recovery with topics ranging from addiction to forgiveness and hope. You do not need to be a scholar in recovery or addiction to help lead this discipleship group. The book does a good job of explaining the topics and has questions that the residents will have to answer each week. The purpose of this is to create an environment where men can be honest about their sin and be reminded of the grace we find in Jesus. The time commitment is one night a week anytime between 5-6:30pm. There are twenty chapters so it will be a twenty week discipleship program. If you are interested or have any questions please call Deborah Krakauer at 619-819-1897 or via email at dkrakauer@sdrescue.org.