This weekend, five formerly homeless men will be participating in the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. They are working hard to overcome difficult life circumstances, from addiction to abuse to extreme poverty. Not long ago, these men were so close to giving up all hope, when they found their way to San Diego Rescue Mission. It will be such an incredible accomplishment to see them cross the finish line on Sunday!
Over the past 60 years, San Diego Rescue Mission has grown into so much more than a “soup kitchen” or “homeless shelter”. We believe in a true whole body approach to healing and transformation –and to do that right, it takes building stronger relationships with the community and organizations that can lend additional expertise and experience.
In addition to building closer ties with Up and Running Again (the organization helping to train our clients for the upcoming half marathon), we’re also building closer ties to Family Health Center, now located directly inside the expanded San Diego Rescue Mission. Together, we are starting to provide critical health services with fewer boundaries between the two organizations. This means more screenings for homeless and poor men who would otherwise have no access to such services. Services include screenings for cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure, TB testing, more complete dental care and more.
And as most of you know, I’m a firm believer that spiritual health goes hand in hand with physical health. That’s why I look forward to our annual Samaritan’s Feet event – a powerful and restorative time of service and prayer. I invite you to come and serve our brothers and sisters at San Diego Rescue Mission by washing feet, praying over them and fitting them with a new pair of shoes and clean socks on June 2 from 5:30-9PM and June 3 from 6:30-11:00AM. You can learn more about the event, and watch a powerful video about how this service impacts the men at https://www.sdrescue.org/samaritans-feet/
When the body and soul feel strong and healthy, a person can start to really grow. That’s why I’m so excited about the continuing adult education classes to be offered at San Diego Rescue Mission. Last month, we moved our administrative staff into a new building to provide additional space for more programs in GED training, PC 1000, tutoring courses by junior colleges, parenting classes, and a new computer lab to help students get the training they need to find jobs in today’s market.
Building a person back up from ground zero goes beyond a hot meal and shelter. Many men experiencing homelessness need to be shown how to live in a healthy way. They need to learn how to break habits that may have been passed down from their own fathers.
Teaching ways men can nourish their bodies and minds in a long-term way is the path to a more wholesome man. And a more wholesome man makes a much better parent, father, brother, son – and we all benefit from that.