Thanks to everyone who came out this past Monday to serve San Diego’s homeless downtown. Once again the homeless hair cutting team amazed us by cutting over 30 people’s hair! But it wasn’t just a homeless hair cutting event this week; no, we also had our first homeless massage event too! David, a professional massage therapist brought his own chair, table, awning and other equipment to help serve San Diego’s homeless.
San Diego Homeless Event Highlights
- Over 100 homeless people in attendance
- Close to 50 Volunteers
- 99 Meals Served
- 30+ Haircuts
- 100’s of Articles of Clothing Passed out
- 100 Pair of High-End Running Shoes Distributed
- 8 Multi-Minute Massages
- 7 People committed to God deeper
As soon as he got there, David began to erect his massage therapist chair. As he did, a few homeless people watched in amazement when he offered them a professional massage. Being touched and touching someone else are fundamental modes of human interaction, and studies have shown that it’s necessary for a healthy mind and body; since this aligns with the Streets of Hope mission, we really appreciated David providing his massage services to the homeless. Right away you could see those homeless people who were being massaged have their faces changed from a tightened, stressful look to completely relaxed. The smiles when people lifted their heads from the chairs were unforgettable. One homeless lady even stated, “Now I’m ready to keep going; I’m so relaxed!”
Right beside David’s homeless massage chair, Tammy, Laura, Hannah and Jackie began cutting the hair of the homeless Again, just like the homeless massages, people’s faces, and of course their hair, transformed. (Be sure to see some of the homeless hair cutting photos below.) Every single person smiled big after having their hair cut. A few even asked for prayer after they were trimmed.
As the massages and hair cuts continued, San Diego’s homeless began to line up for the food. The homeless meal preparation team began filling up Styrofoam trays with the goods. Tonight the food we were serving the homeless included, noodles and linguine sauce, salad, bread, cookies and more.
Before we served, Jeffery played some worship music and a bunch of us and the homeless joined in. Then Dan spoke about broken promises and what to do when you are having a bad day. Many people interacted with the message.
Finally, it was time to serve the food. Over 90 trays of food where served, featuring the main dish of noodles and linguine sauce home made by Christina!
Next we organized the clothing donations. Jenn had a great idea and went around to many of the homeless and took their clothing desires and their shoe size. (Be sure to see her two page list of homeless requested items in the photos below.) She took their shoe size because Road Runner Sports generously donated 100 pairs of high quality running shoes! It was incredible to look around and see San Diego’s homeless walking around the event with new running shoes. What a blessing! What an amazing night!
There were many great stories told tonight by San Diego’s homeless. First there was Connie. She describes herself a as pagan and really needed new shoes. She’s tiny, about 4 foot, 11 inches, but one of the homeless volunteers actually found her shoe size! She was super grateful.
Todd, grateful for his hair cut also got a pair of shoes his size.
Ronald was one of the first people to have his back massaged by David. Before the end of the evening, he was blessed with his back massaged, a new button-down shirt, a new backpack and sweatshirt too.
One of our closest homeless friends, Milton, also got his hair cut. (Read more about Milton here and here.) Milton is close to getting off the street. He’s waiting to hear back from one of San Diego’s Single Resident Occupancy (SRO) building, the Alpha Project’s Alpha Square. Alpha Square is a new construction project (known as a SRO) that will include 203 studio apartments for low and very-low-income individuals in Downtown San Diego. (Read more about it here.) The Streets of Hope is his proud sponsor in helping him be accepted.
There are so many more homeless stories we heard tonight, but none of these stories could have been possible without the volunteers. So we need to give a special thanks to some of you by name:
Our Homeless Hair Cutting Team
- Jackie (check-in and cut hair sweeping)
Our Feed the Homeless Team
- Christina and Isiah for bring the main dish and side dishes!
- Karen for always bringing organically grown lettace
- Conrad for bringing almost everything else
- And of course all of you that passed out the food to the homeless
Our Homeless Massage Team
- David, our homeless massage therapist, and his wife Mary
Our Clothing Donations Team
- Jackie and Mike for bringing over 100 pairs of shoes. WOW
- Jenn for talking to each homeless person and getting their shoe size and clothing requests
- To all of you who brought clothes, blankets, toiletries and more
Our Homeless Service Team
- Jeffery for singing
- Dan for the message
Other Special Thanks
- Eric for running the night
- Nate for encouraging, organizing and leading our circle-up at the night’s end
- Joe, Lyle, Marta, Tammany and all of your for serving for to the homeless
- Ellie for taking professional photos
- Philip and Greg for helping keep the peace!
- Tammy for doing all the special event coordination
- To Road Runner Sports who donated over 100 amazing running shoes!
Special San Diego Homeless Event Photos
Click on a photo to see it larger and to start a slide show.