October 17, 2022

Homelessness is a Heart Issue

Savannah and her daughter, Izzy escaped an abusive relationship, but with nowhere to go, turned to living in their car. When it broke down, they landed on the streets of San Diego. The San Diego Rescue Mission emergency shelter offered safety, and Savannah enrolled in the 12-month residential program. But they needed so much more than a roof over their heads. Savannah received her GED, job training, and therapy while Izzy attended preschool. After graduating, they’re now living on their own, with Savannah in a good job and Izzy in kindergarten. For the first time in her life, Izzy feels safe and secure.

With San Diego third in the nation for its homeless population, the number of moms and kids like Savannah and Izzy struggling with homelessness has reached record numbers. In September, the San Diego Board of Supervisors declared homelessness a public health emergency. The Regional Task Force on Homelessness said that more than 9,000 affordable housing units and about 1,000 new shelter beds throughout the County are needed in order to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness by 50 percent within the next three years. 

“Homelessness is a heart issue. The local church is the single best resource to address it in San Diego,” Donnie Dee, CEO, San Diego Rescue Mission

However, it’s clear year after year that housing and shelters alone won’t solve the issue of homeless in San Diego. Donnie Dee, the CEO of the San Diego Rescue Mission says that “homelessness is a heart issue,” and the local church is the single best resource to address it in San Diego. Government solutions are not enough. That’s why Hope for San Diego partners with the Rescue Mission and Solutions for Change to go beyond housing and address the root causes of homelessness. 

In 2022, Hope for San Diego awarded $90,000 to the San Diego Rescue Mission to help it expand and pursue innovative solutions to get more people off the streets permanently. In January 2023, the Rescue Mission will open a Navigation Center in Oceanside, creating a pipeline for its one-year residential program downtown. Our prayer is that this investment will help more moms like Savannah overcome the cycle of homelessness for good.

Volunteer with Walk with Me through the San Diego Rescue Mission and be a friend to someone experiencing homelessness.