As we plan for our annual Candlelight Vigil, my thoughts turn to the homeless men, women and even children, who die alone on the streets each year here in San Diego. The lonely souls who, for whatever reason, lost touch with friends and family, and were not able to find a way to make a better life or survive in this world on their own.
This November, we expect to serve 1600 – 1800 Thanksgiving dinners to San Diego’s homeless and hungry. But our Thanksgiving meal here at the Mission is about more than just a warm meal. It’s about bringing a bit of companionship, joy, hope and smiles to those who have nowhere else to go. We play joyful music, encourage guests to share stories and provide a sense of reconnection.
One of the primary advantages for homeless men and women, who make the commitment to participate in our 12 month recovery program, is the ability to channel that positive energy into reconnecting broken relationships.
Last week, I received a letter from the family of a man who recently stayed with us here at the Mission. My heart sank when I learned the man had passed away. Even at the young age of twenty-two, his body was too worn down from the abuse of living on the streets.
Even just one meal, and chance to connect with others in a safe environment, can bring hope to someone living alone on the streets of San Diego.
However, his family thanked us for rehabilitating him enough to give him the positive energy and strength to reconnect with them. They were so thankful to be reunited in his last days. The family enclosed a donation for $22, in honor of each year of his life. Every donation is important, no matter the size!
This holiday season, as you make time to share a Thanksgiving feast, laugh and reconnect with family and old friends, please take a moment to remember those who don’t have a warm bed, meal, or even a friend to sit beside. Your continued support of the San Diego Rescue Mission helps provide a place for those lonely soles to rest their weary heads, enjoy a warm meal and even share a smile.