Become a Monthly Partner

Our homeless neighbors have everyday needs – for food, a safe place to sleep… for acceptance, dignity and love. They’re seeking a hand-up, not a hand-out.

Partner with the Rescue Mission’s monthly giving program, The Home Team, by pledging an automatic monthly gift that provides for the daily needs of local men, women and children experiencing homelessness and hunger. Your monthly gift means hundreds of meals and care over a year!

Donate now! Give your first gift as a Home Team monthly giving partner – and watch your “Auto-Generosity” every day change lives at the Rescue Mission forever.

 

 

 

Staff Spotlight: Kimberly Harris

Kimberly Harris

“Who better to minister to someone who’s homeless than someone who’s been homeless? I’m a living, breathing testimonial to the grace of God.” – Kimberly Harris, Community Life Ambassador of NVH at San Diego Rescue Mission.

Meet Kimberly Harris, Community Life Ambassador at the Nueva Vida Haven Emergency Overnight Shelter for Women and Children (NVH).Kim has been with the Mission for over 15 years and in her current role since 2011.

A native of Texas, she grew up “in a dysfunctional and abusive family.” Her home life became unbearable, she says, “really jacked up,” and convinced her that if she didn’t leave she wouldn’t live. So she boarded a train bound for Cabo San Lucas—or so she thought—to party. “But God had a different plan for me.”

The train stopped in San Diego and she found herself homeless. That was August 2002. Fortunately, she learned about the Mission and the help they provide to people experiencing homelessness in San Diego. “I didn’t know at the time but that’s exactly where God wanted me . . . when I didn’t have anyone or anywhere to turn to. It’s all God.”

Today, Kim supervises clients on the graveyard shift in NVH, where they can stay for up to 30 days. Clients arrive from 5:30pm to 7:30pm, complete the intake process, enjoy a hot dinner and then are brought to the dorm where they shower, get clothes, toiletries and other items they need. Before lights-out at 9:30pm they’ll get ready for bed and attend a devotional to hear the good news of salvation, sometimes joined by a local church group.

Kim’s critical role involves offering practical and emotional support during the night, monitoring the shelter, waking them at 5:00am and making sure they get breakfast, among other responsibilities.

But of all this, she says, “It’s really just a matter of loving them and giving them hope, letting them know we’re there for them, hear them and validate them. The Lord has a plan for them.” Like Kim, many NVH staff have been through the same Mission programs. “Who better to minister to someone who’s homeless than someone who’s been homeless?” she asks. “I’m a living, breathing testimonial to the grace of God.”

Kim and the NVH team take women straight from the streets if they have the beds. “It’s much needed, I’m sorry to say.” Once taken in, they are helped one step at a time. That first step is often the hardest. “It’s hard to put your life back together when you don’t know the resources or where to go or how to proceed,” Kim says. “If we can get them plugged into the Lord Jesus, then it’s ‘on’ from there!”

She’s witnessed a lot in her time with the Mission. Asked what memories stand out of people she’s helped, she recalls a mother with two small children who came to NVH as a client several times, struggling with the daily realities of living on the streets. “It’s hard enough to take care of yourself but my heart goes out to women with kids.” Later, Kim saw her at Rock Church and her life had changed dramatically. “I can’t go anywhere without running into former clients and it’s so rewarding to see those transformations.”

This, as with so much else, brings to mind her faith. “Jesus says He’ll put our feet upon a rock and He did that with her. She was so grateful someone took the time to care and validated her. It’s what God asks us to do—love others with our hearts, minds and bodies and in the process to share the gospel with them. We’re just loving them. They might not receive it the first time they’re here but eventually they will.” Kim observes that many people’s pain and defensiveness are so deep they don’t expect love and grace anymore. Reflecting on her own time as a client, she adds, “It took me a while to understand that God was calling me. It will for them too. But it’s so rewarding to see them receive God and all He has in store for them.”

It takes longer for some than others. Kim recalls seeing women in the shelter in 2002 whom she still sees there today, almost 17 years later. “I ask, ‘Aren’t you tired?’ And they say, ‘Yeah, I am.’ These streets will wear you out and tear you down. We’re just changing them one heart at a time.” Then she reconsiders, “Well, the Lord’s changing them.”

Others move more quickly. Some leave NVH and move into the year-long program, Haven of Hope (HOH) and then into transitional housing and “up and up and up.” Kim adds, “Just seeing them grow in God’s grace is wonderful.”

She loves serving people at the Mission, and especially serving with the team the Lord assembled there. Differences of age, background, testimony and more all contribute to her appreciation of the community. She feels especially grateful to see all the youth coming in, wanting to serve and help people.

Kim’s work background when she joined the Mission didn’t involve all the social and trauma-related aspects she’s so skilled in now. How did she learn? “It’s all been God teaching me, along with training at the Mission.” She thinks about her time here and adds, “It’s a privilege to get paid to live out your faith with people. That’s usually reserved for pastors and people who work in the church. For God to give me a job where I can live out my faith and he can guide me and teach me . . . it’s just phenomenal.”

 

Make a resolution

 

Start 2019 right! Your gift today will provide nourishing meals – and the shelter, clothing and care that changes lives.

Make a resolution TODAY to impact San Diego, one life at a time! When you start the year with a gift to help hungry and homeless people in our community, you’ll be making a real difference through the meals, shelter and care your generosity helps provide. Thank you!

 

 

The Blessings of Human Connection

Thanksgiving for Homeless

During our Thanksgiving Outreach meal, one of our long-time volunteers shared the blessing of human connection with one of our guests in need.

As we prepare for another holiday season and the busyness that comes with it, I’d like you to take a moment and think about the importance of human connection or in some cases re-connection.

As humans, our need for social connection is as strong as the need for food, water and warmth. And when we experience social pain, like feeling degraded, undeserving or unloved, the feeling is as real as physical pain.

In fact, this is one of the first things God said, “It’s not good for man to be alone.”  We were created for connection. We were created in the image of God and The Bible says God is love. And to love, you have to have somebody to love.

I come from a broken home. My parents divorced when I was in 8th grade. However, even divorced, we still got together and celebrated as family – with grandparents. I was fortunate that my family valued connection and an ability to look past differences and come together to celebrate the holidays.

This is why I’m so grateful for San Diego Rescue Mission. Our holiday meals provide an opportunity for those experiencing homelessness to feel taken care of. To feel loved. It’s a place where the lost and lonely can find connection and feel part of a family.

I saw this need for connection in the eyes of a women who joined us during this year’s Thanksgiving Outreach Meal. As she headed out the door after she’d finished eating, I saw her crying so I leaned down and asked what’s wrong? “I’m just so happy”, she said.

This feeling of human connection can extend far beyond a holiday meal. It is often the first step needed to begin the healing process.

In fact, one of our recent graduates, Nathaniel, first came to us during last year’s holiday meal. He was struggling with health issues and under great financial stress, which lead him to homelessness. When he showed up at our holiday meal, he explained:

“I’m crutching around the dining room tables, looking for a place to sit and I can’t fit down the aisles because there’s so many people. So, I find a seat at the end of the table and a man named Phil comes over to me – he was very kind – he takes my crutches and moves them for me, and then serves me like I’m at a restaurant. And when he brings my food, he asks how I’m recovering and what my story is. He was genuinely concerned so I told him my whole story.”

Christmas Dinner for Homeless

James Pope, Vice President of Evangelism & Discipleship at San Diego Rescue Mission takes time to connect + listen to a guest’s story during last year’s Christmas meal.

The connection they made that day inspired Nathaniel to join Phil’s church. Phil and other members of his church began to mentor Nathaniel and have continued to walk with him as he’s worked on his program.

Nathaniel has not only had an amazing recovery and is walking again, but this October, he graduated from our year long recovery program. Thanks to the encounter he had at our Thanksgiving Meal he’s developed an incredible support network of friends and mentors at his local church that will continue to walk with him in life.

We were created for connection. A loving, supportive relationship can literally be a matter of life and death.

By the time San Diego’s homeless men and women walk through our doors, they have exhausted all relationships and resources. They need to regain a sense of connection as much as they need a meal and safe shelter. And that sense of connection starts with Jesus.

So this holiday, and into the new year, I invite you to focus on connection. Strengthening connections to those around you, those who need you, and to Jesus.

Thank you for your continued support in helping us lovingly address the needs of those experiencing homelessness in San Diego. We wish you a grateful and joyful Holiday Season!

God Bless,

 

Donnie Dee

Christmas

 

Terry was sleeping in her car before San Diego Rescue Mission.

There are hundreds of people in San Diego County just like Terry. They come here with very basic wishes at Christmas… food to satisfy hunger… a refuge from the streets… and help getting back on their feet.

A meal at Christmas is only $2.05. Give now to bless hungry, homeless neighbors with the most wonderful Christmas gifts: food, shelter, help… and the opportunity in our care to experience God’s love that heals hurting lives.

Share your Christmas joy by sharing a generous gift now!

 

 

Giving Tuesday

Your #GivingTuesday gift is an opportunity to share the blessings of food, safe shelter and much more with men, women and children in our care here at San Diego Rescue Mission.

A hot meal for just $2.05 will feed hungry and homeless people from our community. A night of shelter is only $38.22.

Give all this and more by giving your #GivingTuesday gift now!

Give back on this special day! Make your #GivingTuesday gift and bless others right here in San Diego County… today, tomorrow and into 2019.

 

 

 

Give thanks. Give back.

38,600 meals by Thanksgiving. That’s our goal – and our community’s challenge! – this month.

As you give thanks this holiday, will you also give back? Share a gift today to help feed even more hungry people in San Diego this season!

Each $2.05 meal you provide is SO MUCH MORE than a plate of food. It’s an opportunity for people to transform their lives. To end their hunger. To put homelessness behind them.

Please help meet this huge holiday goal! Fill plates with food and lives with hope by sharing a special Thanksgiving gift today.

 

 

 

Staff Spotlight: Priscilla Tapia

Priscilla Tapia, lead teacher at San Diego Rescue Mission’s Children’s Center.

“I realized there were so many ways I could make an impact in my community. Most importantly, I could apply my skills, experience and knowledge to be a light of support and a tool to help families understand, accept and overcome obstacles and hardships.” — Priscilla Tapia, lead teacher at San Diego Rescue Mission’s Children’s Center.

Meet Priscilla Tapia, a lead teacher at San Diego Rescue Mission’s Haven of Hope, a licensed Preschool for 2-5-year-olds experiencing homelessness. Her work here began in March 2016, when a dear friend and former Rescue Mission staff member recommended her for a job opening.

Priscilla discovered her passion for working with children while studying Child and Family Development at San Diego State University. “I had an opportunity to work in different classroom settings and programs with a wide range of ages and populations. I knew I wanted to work with children in some capacity.”

Prior to the Rescue Mission, she held an internship at a Recovery Center that provided resources, support and services to children and families experiencing domestic violence, child abuse, homelessness and drug + alcohol abuse. That was the first time she saw behavioral challenges in a therapeutic setting and realized the effects of environmental stimuli on children’s development. It was an “aha” moment in her career.

“I realized there were so many ways I could make an impact in my community. Most importantly, I could apply my skills, experience and knowledge to be a light of support and a tool to help families understand, accept and overcome obstacles and hardships. This experience led me to apply, and see where God could lead me, here at the Mission.”

Her preschool classroom is a play-based and child-centered environment where the focus is on providing a safe and nurturing space for children to play, explore, learn, and connect with each other and themselves. Their social-emotional development is a top priority because many have experienced trauma. Among the ways that staff support students are mentoring, role playing, mediation, guiding words and behavior, problem solving, as well as encouraging healthy and safe emotional expression. In many cases, the preschool is the first-time children enjoy the space to rest and sleep in a peaceful environment and have the nutrition their bodies require.

“Our entire center and mission is based on our faith, admiration and love for Jesus. Seeing children praise God through songs as they sing how much Jesus loves them gives them empowerment and a sense of belonging, peace and purpose. He is the centerpiece.”

As someone who’s service-oriented and generous of spirit, Priscilla loves much about her work. Among the highlights, she reflects that the most fulfilling experience is when she can see a child smile, how far they’ve come with others and witness their overall growth.

San Diego Rescue Mission Preschool

In many cases, the preschool is the first-time children enjoy the space to rest and sleep in a peaceful environment and have the nutrition their bodies require.

“Just giving the children a safe space, and the notion that they can make decisions and discover the world with what they have to offer during this beautiful stage in their life, is an impact we’re all making every day.”

Priscilla says she is also thankful for the opportunity to grow in her faith and apply it in ways she hadn’t before—or could even imagine. “I work with the most supportive, goal-oriented, intelligent, wise, loving and professional staff and it makes coming here every day even more fun and fulfilling. I feel ready for what the day may bring. I’m being challenged daily but I’m also gaining skills and adapting to situations and responding to them.”

“These children are our future and it’s during this time that we can make the most impact while providing positive experiences, facilitating learning opportunities, forming strong and genuine relationships with them and aiding them in their attainment of significant life skills. We’re constantly posting the children’s artwork in the hallways for staff, parents and the many tours during the week—so please visit and see what the preschool’s been working on! I only hope that I’m giving as much as I’m gaining from working here at the SDRM Children’s Center. I’m proud of where I work and who I work with every day.”

 

“Best Turkey Ever” Recipe

$2.05 feeds one hungry person. Imagine all the good you can do.

No one should be left out of the Thanksgiving celebration. Your compassionate gift today will welcome hungry and homeless San Diego neighbors to our tables for a complete turkey dinner, just like mom used to make.

As a special thanks for your support, I hope you’ll enjoy a turkey prepared from our “Best Turkey Ever” recipe. Your family is sure to love it as much as our Rescue Mission family does.

Please give generously to help as many people as possible – and to bless them with a Thanksgiving celebration they won’t soon forget.