Watch the video to get the lastest info on Impact events at CRB!
CRB is taking on the cause of fighting Human Trafficking in our community. Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery. It involves controlling a person through force, fraud, or coercion to exploit the victim for forced labor, sexual exploitation, or both.
Last Sunday the newly formed Human Trafficking Ministry held an Awareness Forum to help educate and raise awareness of what human trafficking is and how it is affecting our community. District Deputy Attorney Wendy Patrick from the Sex Crimes and Stalking Division spoke about Human Trafficking in Our Backyard. She discussed how traffickers recruit at our middle school and high school campuses for the purposes of sexually exploiting them. f
San Diego has been identified by the FBI as the 8th largest population of human trafficking crimes in the US, superseding Las Vegas and New York because it is a tourist location, has nice weather and is close to an international border. Most of the victims identified in San Diego are not from other countries but from within our own country’s borders, the majority are runaway youths from broken families the average age between 12 to 17 years of age. Unfortunately, there are not enough services available to help rescue and rehabilitate victims of this crime in San Diego.
To learn more about Human Trafficking and how you can help fight it alongside CRB, come to an awareness event. Email us at email@example.com to join the mailing list so that we can keep you informed of upcoming events and outreaches.
The Hands of Hope Ministry ministers to the homeless of downtown San Diego twice a month to hand out care kits, food, clothing and other items. Every trip we visit with a true inspiration. Her name is Wanda and she has given me permission to write this article and to share the picture that I took of her Christmas Eve.
Wanda’s current home is a small piece of the sidewalk next to her tree. We always find her there and we all look forward to our evening chat with her. Her attitude is surprisingly cheerful and amazingly positive no matter what her daily life has handed to her.
Wanda has dealt with breast cancer and treatment, and she has defeated it! During one chat, she shared her experience of the Cancer Walk that she had just completed and she proudly modeled the pink t-shirt that she adorned during the walk.
As you can see in this picture, Wanda decorated her home for Christmas. The display was done in time for our arrival Christmas Eve. Beautiful holiday decorations were intertwined on the tree trunk and at the base of the tree. She was decked out in a Santa hat and red and black attire. Wanda is a homeless woman living on the street but yet she wanted to show us her holiday spirit and share in her passion for living. She has endured ridicule, theft, hatred and demeaning remarks throughout her time on the street. She is able to turn those experiences around because she knows that she is a daughter of God and she also knows that deep down her homelessness cannot break her will to be happy and live a fulfilling life.
Believe me, we all look forward to seeing Wanda and soon her current home will be vacant. She has been awarded one of the 73 apartments that are being set up downtown for the homeless. We wish her well but I know that I will feel a little selfish and will miss seeing her smile and hearing her voice and listening to her stories. I feel that she has helped me with my own spirit by showing me that you can make it through all of life’s hardships. Wanda is my inspiration and I know that she will live a long, happy life. God Bless. I am truly happy that Wanda will have a new home that will give her the needed shelter, privacy, and protection that she deserves. I know that it will always be decorated for the holidays and much joy will be there.
Shoe and glove donations proved to be a huge blessing for thousands of homeless in San Diego with over three thousand pairs of shoes and two thousand pairs gloves being collected! We surpassed our goal of shoes and feel so very blessed to share with others in need. Thanks to all who donated and to the awesome CRB volunteers. Without the donations and the 15 to 20 volunteers per service, this would not have been possible.
On December 24th CRB’s Hands of Hope outreach ministry distributed the much-needed shoes and gloves to the homeless in downtown San Diego. The remainder of shoes and gloves were provided for the San Diego Rescue Mission, Community Interfaith and the Salvation Army.
Over the course of all the Christmas Services, 150 people took up Pastor Jeanette’s challenge to donate the shoes from their feet and to leave the church shoeless. How awesome was it to see the bare feet walking out of the church.
Thank you to all who donated shoes and took time this Christmas to help others.
Saturday, December 8th CRB hosted its third Alabastar Jar Event. This outreach is meant to connect with women who are in safe homes and saved from the streets of San Diego. Our evening was to serve dinner and provide a relaxing spa night to seven beautiful women (ages 17 and up) from Generate Hope home. These women are coming from the horrible and unthinkable world of sex trafficking.
I attended this outreach knowing it was going to be hard, but rewarding to help these women. However, to my surprise I left confused and unsure of what happened. These women came into the dinner with somber faces and looking a bit confused as to what the evening would entail. The dinner was served with the best china and women dressed in tux shirts looking professional. The servers hosted with class and made each woman there feel like a princess.
After dinner the women were led to the spa area. Each volunteer was assigned a person to tend to. My job was to assist the spa attendant who was hands on with our woman (I will give her the name Katie) handling the facial, hand and foot scrubs and massage. I was a bit nervous because Katie was young and in the home for less than one week. She had a black eye and was very reserved, showing no emotions. As the night progressed, Katie was able to relax, lower her guard and start to open with a smile on occasion.
Throughout the evening, Susan Johnson (Alabaster leader) discussed Gods love and shared stories from the Bible. She talked about how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and how we are honored to be washing their feet. As the night came to a close, we showered the girls with gifts and I observed Katie go through her gift bags. To my surprise Katie was happy but not ecstatic over the gifts! When saying goodbye I got a hug from her but felt distance was there.
Going home I thought I would have a good cry and feel better but this did not happen because I did not feel that “warm and fuzzy” feeling you feel when you help to serve. I was confused and wondering if she enjoyed her time at the Alabaster Jar event. Were the seeds planted for her to understand that there is good in this world and beyond? The feeling was selfish on my part because I did not think an impact was made on her life. Hello…welcome to reality! One night of being pampered is not going to take away the years of abuse!!
After contemplating over this evening in my head over and over for three days, I realized that Katie blessed me and taught me an important lesson. Jesus was here on this earth doing so many good deeds and did he get blessed with “thank you”? NO he was rejected, persecuted and put to death on the cross. Why should I expect to get that warm and fuzzy feeling every time I serve? Is that just to make ME feel better about myself? For Jesus it is about genuinely caring for others, putting others first even to the point of suffering for them. It is about selfless service. The important lesson I have learned is now to serve selflessly and put all my service into the hands of our Father.
Katie has been treated horrible for so long how she can even fathom being excited over a night of pampering, bags of gifts and learn to trust others. This will take time for Katie and my prayers are with all these women with the hope that these seeds planted on that Saturday evening will eventually carry into trusting others and a relationship with our Heavenly Father.
Our friends on the street can’t say that this year and who knows how many years it’s been for some of them to be able to make this statement!
My husband and I have been serving through the Hands of Hope Downtown Homeless Outreach for some time now. Last night while in this capacity, I learned of unexpected hardships that are faced by our homeless neighbors while dealing with the streets and all that comes with it.
There are two very strong women that we visit with on each trip downtown. I learn something from one of them during each experience with them. I knew that they have to deal with the changing weather, wondering where their next meal will come from, having their belongings stolen, sleeping on a cold or damp street, and comments from strangers that don’t understand their circumstances. But last night my lesson was to understand that there are other hardships that I never would have thought of, cruel and demeaning actions by others.
Many women on the streets are approached from men, strangers, asking if they want to earn some money, because surely if you are on the street you are a prostitute or you’re desperate enough to make some money however you can. Luckily these women are strong enough to handle the situation and take care of themselves, but think of those women that are cold, alone, starving, and desperately needing attention.
Drug addicts visit the areas that the homeless call home and leave their paraphernalia around or in the homeless belongings. Many homeless are not drug addicts or users. It’s despicable that they have to check their belongings for any dirty needles or used items. One woman placed her baggie of drugs in one of the bags belonging to our homeless friend, because she didn’t want to get caught with it or maybe wanted to set her up, who knows the exact reason.
Life can be hard. Think of how hard it would be to learn to deal with all of these issues. God is watching over our sisters and everyone on the streets and we let them know that they are not forgotten!