Jesus Changes Lives – Blog from Donnie Dee

The Power of Perception

The more time I spend here at the Mission, the more I have realized the power of perception: especially within an issue like homelessness. The mind is an extremely powerful tool that can be used positively or negatively to shape our beliefs, and I am convinced that a shift in perception towards homelessness is when we see progress and change. By changing perception in ourselves and throughout our community, we can step up and lovingly help the most vulnerable people in San Diego.

Often times, the perception of those experiencing homelessness is that their story is unique, no one can understand their situation, and that they are unable to change.

The perceptions of many people who don’t understand this issue can be a combination of the following:

  • Homelessness is a choice
  • Homeless individuals are avoiding work
  • The Homeless have an addiction problem and are just chasing their next fix

What both groups have in common is a wrong view of the Truth.

The truth is that everyone can change and there is always hope.

The truth is that when you hear the real stories of those experiencing homelessness, you’ll discover that we are all more alike than different. What if every time you saw a homeless person, your question of “what’s wrong with you” changed to “what happened to you”? When we shift our perception and see others as God sees them—full of potential and worthy of love, hope, and healing, we have an amazing opportunity to extend a helping hand and do the work of the Lord.

The Bible tells us that God has rescued us all. Being the oldest of 4 children, growing up in a broken home and my Father being an alcoholic, God only knows how close I was to experiencing homelessness. The more I spend time with our clients, the more I realize that these individuals are no different from me; they were presented with a set of circumstances in their life in which they were without the skills, resources, or relationships necessary to navigate the many challenges we face as humans.

What is your perception of homelessness? I challenge you to explore this in your heart and spark a new perception towards the homeless in our community. Changing our perception and challenging ourselves to have a new outlook is how we can create change and make a difference TODAY in our community. Will you help us change the perception and end homelessness in San Diego? I pray you will and I thank you for your continued support that allows for change in the lives of our homeless.

“He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of the Son He loves. In Him, we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13-14

God Bless,

Donnie Dee

The Blessings of Human Connection

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 […]

Let’s Work Together to Teach the Next Generation about Community Issues

Although San Diego Rescue Mission has been hosting Sleepless San Diego for years, this will be my first experience. I am excited to see this year’s turn-out, as the concept of an event like this really resonates with me. It’s a reminder to teach our youth about community issues and show how they can make […]

One Year Later… 3 Things I Know for Sure

Since I took on the role of President and CEO of the San Diego Rescue Mission there have been a lot of changes, including my own perception of what homelessness looks like.  I used to think a homeless person was defined as someone walking the streets alone, looking a little crazy with one shoe on […]

This is the Biggest Thing We Do…

Graduation! It’s one of our most beloved and important events. It’s what we’ve been working for all year long. To move people from living on the streets to being able to live a life on their own. In my nine months as President and CEO of San Diego Rescue Mission, I have come to realize […]

Renewed and Refocused…for the Future of San Diego

Not hopeless and not helpless, just experiencing homelessness. That’s the message we have for our clients as we move into 2018. To make this happen, we are taking steps to narrow our focus and pursue more measurable, longer term results to get people off the streets.  We are focused on five critical objectives for our […]

We See You

We are seeing it more and more. Outside our local stores, in our neighborhoods, along the streets of downtown – more and more of our brothers and sisters experiencing homelessness. We recently invited our Home Team Monthly Giving Partners to a pre-screening of the film “The Same Kind of Different as Me” – a powerful […]

This is a Team I Can Win With

By Donnie Dee As a former NFL Football player, I know I’m only as strong as the team. And in my first 45 days here as CEO and President, I’ve become in awe of the team here at San Diego Rescue Mission. This staff, the volunteers, the Board… they are all here for the right […]

A New Calling Revealed

By Donnie Dee I never planned on becoming the next President and CEO of San Diego Rescue Mission. I was enjoying my work as The Director of the Tom Landry Associates for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).  It had been a fun season of watching my kids play college Basketball for USD and UCI, […]

This has never been a job. It’s always been my Mission.

It was 2003 when I first started volunteering at San Diego Rescue Mission. From the start, I knew this was a strong organization; but its impact was little known in the community. It wasn’t until San Diego Rescue Mission moved to a new building in Bankers Hill that the community took real notice. Shortly after […]

How to Inspire Giving

I didn’t grow up in a big house. But every Thanksgiving, my mother filled it with people. And when she ran out of room at the table, she would send food to those neighbors who had a little less luck that year. She made sure nobody felt deprived, and everyone felt loved. Although my mother […]

How would you feel if your child started the school year 3+ years behind everyone else?

It’s that time of year again – back to school. For most San Diego kids, it marks a time for new school clothes, shoes, backpacks, a fresh set of school supplies and a chance to reconnect with old buddies and meet some new ones. But for homeless kids, starting school comes with a whole set […]

Let’s take a “Whole Body” Approach to helping formerly Homeless Men become Better Fathers

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 […]

Vision 2020 – A Look ahead for San Diego Rescue Mission

The incredible generosity of our San Diego partners during our 60th year of saving lives helped pave the way for some exciting changes in the years ahead. You may have heard me say that San Diego Rescue Mission is much more than “3 hots and a cot”. And now, we are in a position to […]

A Humbling San Diego Tradition: 60 years of Thanksgiving Meals at the Rescue Mission

The 3,000 miles between my 5 children and 12 grandchildren (who live in Boston) feels extra distant around the holidays. We try our best to connect through Facebook photos of the grandkids dressed up in their holiday best and my wife Carol and I will Skype with our grown, married children. We all know family […]

A Blessed Evening Paves the Way to Real Change at NVH Women + Children’s Emergency Overnight Shelter.

It’s truly a work of God when you see the convergence of people with the right skills, resources, desires and needs all come together for a common goal. The purpose of our recent Casino Royal 60th Anniversary Event was to embrace our beginning, which started in a poker hall, and to share the stories and […]

A Benefit to all of San Diego: Children’s First Initiative

You’ve heard me talk about the importance of breaking the cycle of homelessness from the start. Homeless children tend to have delays in development and they suffer from anxiety, emotional distress, and toxic stress. Their unstable, under nourished and often abusive environments put them at a disadvantage right from the start, and perpetuate the cycle […]

No longer a Soup Kitchen… San Diego Rescue Mission further expands critical, life-saving Programs to San Diegans in Need.

Thank you to everyone who joined us at Le Dimora last month to kick off our 60th Anniversary year of saving lives! In case you missed it, below is a transcription of Herb Johnson’s presentation sharing news of expansion projects and how you can help further fund these critical programs. “First, I’d like to talk […]

The Importance of Taking Pause… A Time of Reflection + Awakening, as we move forward into our 60th Year of Saving Lives.

It is a challenge to find enough time to get things done. And often, when we hurry through our days, it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day tasks and forget to look at the big picture. The big picture of why we are here, and doing what we do. This has been a year […]

Providing Comfort + Joy to San Diego’s Lost, Least + Forgotten

I love the holiday season. Just ask any of my 13 grandkids, 5 adult kids, friends and neighbors. In fact, my house is the one that closely resembles the family home in Chevy Chase’s Christmas Vacation movie – almost 2,000 light bulbs, synced up and flashing to music! And in front of my home, I’ve […]

Mental Illness + San Diego’s Homeless: Let’s take their hands, and get them the help they need

Depending on whom you talk to and which reports you read, stats about mental health among the homeless range from about 40 – 68%. That means 40 – 68% of the homeless people living on the street have some sort of untreated psychiatric illnesses, from Bipolar disorder to schizophrenia to major depression to a whole […]

Breaking the Cycle of Homelessness – Right from the Start

I’m thrilled to announce the official opening of our new Children’s Center this Tuesday, September 2, 2014! Up until now, our Women and Children’s Center has been run like a co-op. That means, while one mom is getting therapy or attending educational classes, the other is babysitting children in a shared play area. Now, thanks […]

They Served our Country. Will you Help Serve Them?

My brother is a two-tour Vietnam Vet. He was not drafted, he enlisted. He spent much of his deployment on the border or in Cambodia as a Helicopter Crew Chief and a Door Gunner. During his deployment, he was shot down five times. The 5th time, they sent him home. After arriving home, he proudly […]

My Father – What Could have Been

When I see the homeless and hungry men who come through the doors of the Rescue Mission each night, their bodies and souls ravaged by the effects of alcohol, neglect and abuse, I can’t help but think of my own father. I think about how different life could have been if a 12-month recovery program […]

A Blessed San Diego Summer

Another San Diego Summer is officially upon us, and I’m feeling so blessed for all the community support we’ve recently received. May was a busy month. As most of you know, we officially opened our 4th thrift store in San Diego. San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister and former San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders […]

Here’s a few of the Ways we’re Reviving Hope to San Diego’s Homeless this Spring!

An Easter Meal, a Preschool for Homeless Children, and a Brand New Thrift Shop- Just a few of the ways we’re reviving hope to San Diego’s homeless this Spring! As we move out of last week’s dark, rainy San Diego weather, and sun begins to shine brightly down upon us again, it’s a welcomed reminder […]

Let’s “Open More Doors” to a Better Life for San Diego’s Lost, Hungry + Alone

Wow, what a year it’s been! Because of your generous support in 2013, 1,522 women and 690 children were safe in our emergency shelter instead of being out on the cold, dangerous streets last year. We served over 448,000 hot, nutritious meals and I watched 87 men and 9 women graduate from our year- long […]

The New Pastor

I read the following story during Friday’s Winter Graduation Ceremony. Since then, several people have requested that I post it to my blog. Here it is… Pastor Jeremiah Steepek The New Pastor Pastor Jeremiah Steepek (pictured right) transformed himself into a homeless person and went to his newly assigned church where he was to be […]

Photos + Stories from our Annual Holiday Meals

I love looking at old photos. The ones I’ve included in this blog post are some of our best memories from our annual holiday meals. These are truly wonderful reminders of all the great work you’ve made possible here at San Diego Rescue Mission during the past year. If you volunteer, you may find yourself […]

Holidays are a Time for Reconnection – But what about those who have no Friends or Family?

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 […]

Feed the Need or Fix the Problem?

When I think about sharing blessings, my mother and grandchildren come to mind. (I visited both on a recent trip to Boston to see our five children and their families.) As I cleaned the moss from my mother’s headstone and left some of her favorite flowers, I thought of her tremendous care and concern for […]

For Men

 

Men's Center >>

12-month residential shelter with supportive programming

Recuperative Care Unit >>

Critical care after hospital release

Therapeutic Services >>

Free, quality counseling

Transitional Housing >>

A multi phase transitional housing program designed for single adults working towards self sufficiency. 

Spiritual Training >>

Support to our program graduates

For Women

 

Emergency Shelter for Women & Children >>

Nightly drop-in, emergency shelter for women and children

 Haven of Hope - Women & Children's Center >>

12-month residential shelter with supportive programming

Haven of Hope Preschool >>

Preschool serving children at risk ages 2-5

Recuperative Care Unit >>

Critical care after hospital release

Therapeutic Services >>

Free, quality counseling

Transitional Housing >>

A multi phase transitional housing program designed for single adults working towards self sufficiency. 

Spiritual Training >>

Support to our program graduates

For Children

 

Emergency Shelter for Women & Children >>

Nightly drop-in, emergency shelter for women and children

 Haven of Hope - Women & Children's Center >>

12-month residential shelter with supportive programming

Haven of Hope Preschool >>

Preschool serving children at risk ages 2-5

Transitional Housing >>

A multi phase transitional housing program designed for single adults working towards self sufficiency. 

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