harnessing the power of photography for good

San Diego Rescue Mission

San Diego Rescue Mission’s Sleepless San Diego

Sleepless San Diego is coming up, September 21-22 at Liberty Station.  We are excited to be part of this great event to help raise awareness and money for the SD Rescue Mission as they work to help the homeless in San Diego.

If you are in San Diego and want to help support the Rescue Mission, or you want to sleep-out under the stars for the homeless, you can go to the following link the learn more> http://goo.gl/BdDS8s

San Diego Rescue Mission :: Graduation at First Presbyterian Church San Diego

Was blessed to photograph the San Diego Rescue Mission’s latest Graduating class tonite.  It was held at one of the oldest churches in San Diego, First Presbyterian.  I love the pipes!  There is something to be said for the old school charm and beauty of these old churches!  More photos from Graduation soon….

Sleepless San Diego :: Face of Homelessness

I first started photographing for the San Diego Rescue Mission in 2003, at their Annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner.  It has been a true honor to see up close, through the lens, the work that the Mission is doing for the homeless population in San Diego.

At this years Sleepless San Diego, the had a photo exhibit called “Face of Homelessness.”

Inside this tent were photos of the homeless in San Diego.  Linda, who put the exhibit together asked if I would contribute some photos, since she heard I had been helping photograph at the Mission.  I said it would be an honor and I gladly gave her a few photos to pick from.  These are a few of the photos that they used…

This was taken in the morning before the Annual Thanksgiving Dinner.  Groups go into downtown inviting the homeless to dinner…I was following a group that wandered down to Seaport Village Embarcadero Park.

I think this photo was taken at Easter Dinner.  One of the great things the Mission does is after the dinner, they give everyone a “goodie” bag of essentials.  They have 3 Community Dinners a year: Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.  If you want to be blessed, volunteer for one of these events.
This was taken at a homeless outreach in Balboa Park.  They meet on Saturday mornings for Church Without Walls.  They invite the homeless to come, rest and attend church.  Afterwards they feed them lunch, hand out Bibles and just talk with them.

The next 2 were also taken at Church Without Walls at Christmas time.

After the service, they gave out Christmas presents to everyone along with backpacks full of toiletries, socks and other assorted essential items.  This young boy came with his dad, and I think he was blessed as much as the man receiving the present.  It was certainly a humbling moment.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you,and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

(Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

I am truly thankful for the opportunity to share some of these photos.  Hopefully, through these images folks can see that homelessness isn’t constrained by age or gender.  

These volunteers were walking around Sleepless with these signs…1 in 4 homeless are young adults ages 18-30!   The signs speak for themselves, even the ones upside down!

The SD Rescue Mission created this great video about 5 ways we can help the homeless.  Please take a look

Sleepless San Diego 2012

Sleepless San Diego 2012 was another great success!  Thanks to everyone who slept out to help raise awareness

of the homeless population in San Diego.  To learn more about Sleepless and the San Diego Rescue Mission please go HERE.

To see a few photos from the event, please check out our Facebook page HERE…don’t forget to”Like” us 🙂

More photos soon…

San Diego Rescue Mission :: Sleepless San Diego

Tonite, a whole bunch of folks will be sleeping out under the stars at Liberty Station to raise awareness and money for the homeless in San Diego.  This will be the 6th Annual Sleepless event that the SD Rescue Mission has done.

MISSION focused has been part of this great event since it began.  If you would like more information about the SD Rescue Mission you can go HERE.  If you live in San Diego and want to do something fun to help the homeless in San Diego…come down to Liberty Station.


Thanksgiving at the San Diego Rescue Mission

The San Diego Rescue Mission held their annual Thanksgiving Dinner for the homeless on Saturday.  It’s always a blessing to serve at the mission.  Unfortunately there were lots of folks who came this year…thankfully the rescue mission is there on the front lines helping those in need.  You can see more photos from this year along with past photos HERE.


This is the first time I have been to The Rescue Mission’s SLEEPLESS event. The name comes from the fact that for homeless people there is not much sleep on the streets. This event brings the community of San Diego together to learn more about ways to help out the homeless.

There was a Kids Area Adventure Quiz and a Homeless Ed Scavenger Hunt that was a fun way to learn more about the plight of the homeless and how the Rescue Mission is helping. You had to match the numbers on the volunteers signs with the questions in the booklet.

The pro skateboard deck company seven6fifty had a skate demo going on throughout the day, gave away tons of decks to very excited kids, and had this fun photo op area.

SLEEPLESS began in 2007 to increases the awareness and funding in order to address homelessness in San Diego. This little boy has a bag from 2009.

SLEEPLESS took place on Saturday 9/24 from 3:00 PM to Sunday 9/25 at 6:30 AM

To see more photos please go to our SmugMug gallery HERE

sleepless san diego:: its that time again…

we have had the honor of partnering with the san diego rescue mission for almost a decade now…and weve been part of sleepless san diego since it began several years ago.

if your interested in participating…please visit the sleepless san diego site HERE

horton plaza christmas, take 2

 i was talking with my mom about what i saw at horton plaza on christmas day.  she commented that it seems like alot of groups come out in force during the christmas season, but who is helping the homeless the rest of the year. i mentioned that the san diego rescue mission has programs that help the homeless all year long, they also provide hot meals for other organizations that help the homeless.  but it was a valid question, with the salvation army hosting their annual christmas dinner that same day, and other groups doing similar acts of kindness around san diego.  

as i thought about the why, its a fairly uncomplicated answer.  this time of year brings the saints out of all of us, and a chance to help those less fortunate during the christmas season, isnt that hard to do.  as pastor miles says, even those who normally dont go to church during the year, will go or at least be open to going during the christmas and easter season.  and i think that carries over to folks being more willing to give of their time and money.  unfortunately, the homeless situation is a year round thang, and folks like the sd rescue mission are serving in season and out.

so does that mean we should be rolling out meals every weekend for the homeless?  maybe.  i know that God likes when we serve in areas He has gifted us in.  kind of like putting the square block in the square hole, easy.  ive been know to say ” the need isnt the call.”  Gods Word is clear, that the workers are few, theres always a need.  but i think that sometimes we can get “guilted”  or pressured into serving, because of the need.  but  i think that sometimes, we fail to do anything.  citing that God hasnt called me to do that, or i wasnt gifted in that area.  is it easier to serve where we are best suited to minister…without a doubt.  can God use us if we serve where we arent gifted to serve? certainly.  the important thing is we do something.   to do something that you love and are gifted in would be best.  but doing nothing would be worse.

do something big for His Glory!

Christmas at Horton Plaza

my family celebrated christmas together on christmas eve… which we have done off and on over the years, to allow my brothers to spend time with their wives families.  ive never really liked it, seems anti-climatic…come christmas day, all the presents are open, food is chillin in the fridge, what to do?

i talked with some friends who are part of the homelss outreach at the rock, they were gonna be downtown serving breakfast for some of the homeless, and they invited me to come down.  when i got to where they were gonna be, it looked like they had cleaned up and left.  there were bags of trash and a few folks relaxing, but no rock peeps.

so i prayed and headed towards horton plaza, its about 930am or so.  the joint was quiet, a few mall rent a cops, and some homeless folks, no mice that i could see.  then, around 10am a few cars rolled up, and a few more, then an rv.  folks started setting up tables, bringin out food and clothes…and the homeless started lining up.  as i wathced, i couldnt tell if they were with a church or homeless ministry of some sort.  after watching for awhile, it didnt look like a church group, but they were merry and joyful regardless.  they had lots of food, they were serving up christmas dinner.  looked like turkey, mash potatoes w gravy, rolls, some sort of soup, and cookies.  they were handing out socks and clothes as well.

i got to talkin with a young man named kenneth, who was living downtown, and was trying to get into the sd rescue missions program.  he told me he came to saving knowledge of Christ 6 months ago, and how everything just seemed to make sense now.  he told me how he asked God for a Bible and someone gave him one the next day, the exact Bible he wanted, a life recovery Bible. he quoted a few  verses to me with a big smile…

Matthew 6:25-34

25“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart  and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

as he held up the food he just received, he said “look, God provided a hot meal for me.”  i smiled back at him and wish him a merry christmas, and told him i hoped to see him at the rescue mission.   i am truly thankful for the blessings God has given me, and what i witnessed this morning, was a simple reminder of folks looking to bless others as they had been blessed.  as is the case more often than not lately, i ran into someone i knew who was part of the group blessing the homeless at horton plaza.  he told me it was a group of 5 families and friends who decided to do something nice for those less fortunate, on christmas day…this is their 5th year theyve done this.

thank you Jesus.

giving thanks

im thankful for the television…(sort of)

i tend to watch too much tv as it is, but after thanksgiving dinner, a very yummy meal that lasted all day long.   we watched some football and then the remote got lost for a few hours with the tv stuck on a home alone marathon.  so we must have watched the movie  3 times all together.  i had forgotten how funny that movie is.

there was a house marathon as well on another channel.  so i watched a few episodes of that too.

as i processed all the stuff i had seen, it all seemed to blend together into several themes that went well with this time of year.

family, gratitude, self-sacrifice, and service.

i had fogotten most of the story line behind home alone, but as i watched it over and over again, you realize that behind the sillyness of it all, theres a great story of family unity (or disunity) and being thankful for your family, not taking it for granted, as kevin did.  not till near the end did he realize what a jerk he was to his family and how much he did love and want his family.  the message to me…we cant choose the family were born into, but we can be the best son, daughter, brother or aunt we can be to our family members.  i believe God created the family as a picture of God,  in how the family is made up of many components, but as a whole, the family is 1 unit.  we may not be perfect like God, but we can love one another as Christ loves the church, and seek to be the example for others to follow.

one of the house episodes, dealt with 2 brothers who were dying, and house wanted the parents to make the choice of “sacrificing ” 1 son to save the life of the other.  they couldnt make that choice.  so as house often does, he goes around the parents and talks to the brother who had a lesser chance of surviving, to get him to make the choice of saving his brothers life.

i pray im never in that situation…of the parents or brothers, but i know without a doubt that i would give my life for my parents, brothers and sisters in law, and my nephew & nieces. (and as i think about it, my friends as well)

reflecting on the day, and after looking at some of the pics from the thanksgiving dinner at the rescue mission the previous saturday…it just reminded me that theres more work to be done.  the race is far from finished, and until God tells me im finished or calls me home, i need to continue to love on my family.  show in pictures the God is alive and well and still working in His people…and look to be the servant and not be served. 

for this and a bit of tv, im thankful and blessed.

SD Rescue Mission: Thanksgiving Dinner

“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins?  And not one of them is forgotten before God.  “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” -Luke 12:6-7

Witnessing the compassion, praise, and prayers from people that were serving at the San Diego Rescue Mission was incredible.  Everybody serving was definately working unto the Lord and doing it with gladness.  Both young and old came to this event and were enjoying themselves with good food and music.  What captivated me the most were the children as young as infants having fun with the festivities of this event.  It never crossed my mind how many children here in San Diego were homeless.  Yet, they hold so much appreciation about life if you give them a chance to speak to you about it.  Ironic is how many homeless hold so much more appreciation about life than ones who have too many.  God has never forgotten them.  They truly are more valuable than the sparrows in the world, and witnessing the joy filled in that room is evidence that they, too, believe.


SD Rescue Mission: Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving Dinner at SD Rescue Mission this Saturday

the rock is partnering once again with the san diego rescue mission for their 53rd annual congregate thanksgiving meal this saturday, nov 21st.  the rock has been part of this for the last 8 years or so, i dont recall exactly, but its always a blessing.  if your interested in helping serve this saturday, you can sign up on the rock website or just show up with a heart to serve and im sure they will put you to work.

the san diego rescue mission is on 120 elm street, downtown san diego (92101).  they start up at the mission at 8am, with teams going out to the streets to invite guests to dinner. help share the love of Christ this thanksgiving holiday, come join us at the sd rescue missiion this saturday.

sleepless san diego

sleepless san diego is this weekend.  this will be the 3rd year they have done this.  the san diego rescue mission started sleepless san diego as a way to draw attention to the homeless situation in san diego, and by raising awareness and money they hope to get the homeless off the streets and in shelters.  this years event will be at liberty station once again.

sleepers raise money to participate, then come out and sleep under the stars overnite, to get a small glimpse of what its like to sleep on the streets.  yes, there is 24 hr security and portable bathrooms close by, so no worries.  its a great way to support the work of the san diego resuce mission.  if your interested, go to the their website, its not too late.dscn00531pic from last years event at liberty station, early sunday morning

for info go to  san diego resuce mission’s sleepless san diego