Little Italy Association partners with San Diego Rescue Mission

Nov 14, 2021 184

The Little Italy Association has partnered with the San Diego Rescue Mission (SDRM) to provide person-centered outreach services to those experiencing homelessness. Each person’s journey into homelessness is unique and often complex. SDRM’s approach is to lead with compassion while offering help.

Carla Vanegas, SDRM’s Outreach Coordinator, says, “It is all about trust.  They must see you consistently and get to know you. Once they see you really care and are not going anywhere, they start to open up and we can develop a plan to end their homelessness.” Carla has already been successful in helping several of our homeless neighbors get into shelters and is building relationships with those who are experiencing chronic homelessness, supporting them in taking critical steps forward. 

The Rescue Mission brings the professional knowledge to help people navigate the social service system and connect with the right resources. They also offer emergency shelter at their location for women and women with children as well as a year-long holistic program for men, women, and single parents. Their newest outreach initiative, Walk With Me, offers an opportunity for our unsheltered neighbors to build a supportive friendship with a volunteer.  This relational approach is making a difference. The Rescue Mission has seen common misperceptions about homelessness fade, new doors of hope open and lives changed on both sides.

SDRM will be out in our community seven days a week providing a consistent presence. In addition to helping people connect with shelter, they offer basic assistance such as snacks, clothing, and hygiene products. Most importantly, they are providing a compassionate response. They will be providing Little Italy Association with monthly reports and are committed to results. What does success look like? The state of homelessness in San Diego will change as fewer people call the streets their home, and when those who are experiencing homelessness know there are people who care and are willing to help them take their next step forward.

SOURCE: Little Italy Association of San Diego

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