Homelessness in San Diego is an ongoing, everyday passion for those of us who deal firsthand with these struggling individuals, said Herb Johnson, president and CEO of San Diego Rescue Mission. The issues are many. Where will they receive shelter during the winter? How many beds do we have in San Diego? Where do the homeless receive health care? How do we cope with the depth and severity of mental health problems, addiction and abuse? What are the long-range plans to help these individuals turn their lives around? These issues are on our agenda, but for the majority of San Diegans, the challenges and tragedy of homelessness remain relatively invisible, since many of the homeless congregate in urban centers, such as downtown San Diego.
Every day, people show up on our doorstep, and too many have to wait for the comprehensive services offered at San Diego Rescue Mission. Once space opens, we embrace and bless those in need with programs such as Nueva Vida Haven, an emergency overnight shelter for women and children; the Mission’s Women and Children's Center 12-month residential recovery program; and the Men's Center 12-month residential recovery program. San Diego Rescue Mission’s Recuperative Care Unit offers up to 28 patients a safe and supportive environment, meals, oversight of medical treatment, case management and counseling, and follow-up care. The program also helps patients establish eligibility for public benefits and works to secure them long-term housing. Our Outpatient Clinic provides therapy at no cost to individuals, families, children and couples who are homeless, at risk for homelessness or those who are unable to afford therapy. Partners for Hunger Relief bolsters food recovery efforts in San Diego and serves a broad base of agencies and people.
The need increases every day. The San Diego community has shown tremendous support during the holiday season to ensure that all people suffering on the streets of our beautiful city have the chance for a hopeful future.
With God’s grace, and the kindness and generosity of San Diegans, let us work together throughout the year to find long-term solutions to the problem of homelessness.