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Staff Spotlight: Cara Mears

Meet Cara Mears, Corporate Partnerships Officer at the Rescue Mission.

Cara pictured with her sister Shannon (far left), siblings and parents.

Cara joined the San Diego Rescue Mission last September as the Corporate Partnerships Officer to sustainably transform the lives of those experiencing homelessness and food insecurity.  She creates opportunities for businesses in our community to support the life-changing work here through giving, serving and employment services for Rescue Mission program participants.

Cara graduated from the University of Texas with a Journalism degree and then she spent 18 years doing corporate IT and medical device sales.  In 2018, she began her nonprofit career in 2018 working at the YMCA.

Raised in Texas the youngest of 4, she is very close with her siblings and credits them for her passion to help others.  The fate of her middle sister, Shannon, changed the course of her life.  After Shannon lost her two kids to child protective services, she overdosed on drugs and tragically died alone on the streets.

“Looking back, I wish I had done more to help her before it was too late.”

Because of that heart-breaking experience, she now dedicates her time to helping the vulnerable men, women and children of San Diego.

Over the holidays, many businesses demonstrated their generosity towards those in our care at the Rescue Mission. Cara enjoys the relationships she’s building with local businesses, whether large corporations or mom and pop enterprises. She loves seeing the community get involved to make an impact in the lives of those experiencing homelessness. “It’s so fulfilling to see the smiles on the faces of our residents and guests when one of our partners blesses them with special meals, necessities and gifts.”

Since working at the Rescue Mission, Cara has had the opportunity to serve the women and children coming into our emergency shelter.

It was here that Cara met a former nun who was needing a safe place to rest. Cara spent a couple of hours ministering and getting to know her, as she desperately wanted to get off the streets and asked for Cara’s help. Cara was able to connect this woman with the our VP of Programs to start the process of getting off the streets permanently and into the Rescue Mission’s 12-month Mission Academy residential recovery program. One month later, Cara ran into her new friend at the morning devotion at Mission Academy.

“I was so excited to see my friend in the program! We wanted to run up and hug each other! But, instead, we talked and made plans to pray together. To see this process at work and to know that my new friend is in good hands means everything. The Rescue Mission not only provides meals and a place to rest, it provides safety, love and hope.”

Cara lives in La Jolla with her husband Robert and her two kids, Courtlyn age 12 and Cason age 7.  On weekends, you can find Cara at her kids’ sporting events, watching Texas football, playing with her pets or reading.

Does your business or employer want to be a part of the solution to end homelessness and hunger in San Diego?

There are a handful of ways to get involved — volunteering, in-kind donations, customized classes or services for our program participants (such as job preparation, events, and financial donations).

It’s easy! Just reach out to Cara Mears, cmears@sdrescue.org or 619-819-1887. We can be creative about ways for your company and employees to engage while observing COVID-19 restrictions.

Cara’s Message to you:

“I found out about the San Diego Rescue Mission and knew that I wanted to be a part of the solution to help businesses transform the lives of those experiencing homelessness, abuse, poverty and addiction. My vision is for San Diego to be a national leader in changing the state of homelessness.”

Ending homelessness is a community effort. Together, we can help men, women and children encounter God, experience recovery and find a place to call home in San Diego … one life at a time.