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 the 3rd Wednesday of the month.  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:

  • Immediate Need

    • Bilingual volunteer(s) needed to assist with Spanish/English translation during intake for NVH between 5:30-7:30PM one evening a week (Monday – Thursday)
    • Bilingual volunteer(s) needed to assist with Spanish/English translation during case management sessions with the women one afternoon a week (Monday – Thursday) after 2PM.

    We currently have several Spanish speaking only clients and no bilingual staff members able to help. If interested, please contact Debbie. We will work with your schedule.

  • Food Services

    Do you like to do data entry? Can you help us on a weekly basis track all the food donations we receive? This is vital to helping us compile reports and keep track of all the wonderful food donations given to us. This would involve input into a spread sheet type of program. Weekday/daytime at our Elm Street location.

  • New opportunities working with children

    • Volunteer needed Tuesday nights to help in our children’s store from 7-8:30PM. Assist children in our overnight shelter as they “shop” for clothing, shoes and other items. Personal shoppers must have a positive attitude and loving heart ready to serve the children of the Rescue Mission. Application, orientation, background check and TB clearance required.
    • Enrichment Opportunity Leader – Tuesday nights from 6-7PM. Come and share a talent with the children of the mission. Dance, acting, singing, music, sports, art, drama. Minimum 6 week commitment. Must be outgoing and able to implement well planned, organized and beneficial activities. Application, orientation, background check and TB clearance required
  • 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.

  • 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

  • Transitional Housing

    Breakfast help 5:45-7:30AM