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 will be held on January 20, March 16, May 18, July 20, September 21, and November 16. All sessions are from 5:00-6:30PM and space MUST be reserved ahead of time. 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:

  • Christmas Meal Outreach

    Join us for outreach for our Christmas holiday meal on Saturday, December 17. We have more than enough servers, but are in need of outreach volunteers! To sign up please fill out the volunteer signup form.

  • Thanksgiving Meal Outreach

    Join us for outreach for our early Thanksgiving holiday meal on Saturday, November 19. To sign up please fill out this form.

  • Thrift Store Volunteers

    Thrift store volunteers! We are now accepting volunteers in our four locations. Minimum age 18. We ask for a commitment of once a week for 6 months. Volunteers are needed to sort, organize, price and display donations alongside Thrift Store staff members. Selling new and gently used items to the community helps fund life – changing programs at San Diego Rescue Mission.

  • Spanish Teacher

    Experienced Spanish teacher desired to teach basic Spanish to small group of adult women in transitional housing. Must be available Tuesday after 6:00PM or on Saturdays.

  • Groups Needed in Warehouse in City Heights

      • Volunteer hours are between 8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Tuesdays/Thursdays. We ask for a minimum 3 hour shift.
      • Maximum of 15 volunteers per day
      • Youth groups  need one adult supervisor from their organization for every 5 teenagers

    Tasks include:

      • Sorting and hanging clothes
      • Sorting housewares
      • Price Tagging
      • Folding linens and bed sheets

    So many wonderful donations are coming in 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.

    Breakfast help 5:45-6:45AM.

  • Recuperative Care Unit

    Dinner help weekdays at 4PM.

  • Women’s Transitional Housing

    Help with dinner service daily 4:45-5:45

  • Men’s Center

    Administrative help in the medication room in the Men’s Center weekday/daytime.

  • Children’s Center

    Administrative help in the Children’s Center: prepare materials, answer phone calls, organizing files. Weekday/daytime.

  • Transitional Housing

    Breakfast help 5:45-7:30AM