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Oceanside’s Bread of Life Rescue Mission permanently closes after 20 years serving city’s homeless

The Bread of Life rescue mission in Oceanside served its last meal to the homeless on Wednesday as the nonprofit closed its dining room, closet, grocery store and offices after 17 years at its Apple Street location.

The closure of the mission had been planned for months and in view of the operation of an Oceanside navigation center that will provide shelter and various services for 50 people. Both are led by the San Diego Rescue Mission.

The schedule, however, is not ideal because the navigation center is not expected to open for three or four months.

“We hoped that the transition would be smooth from the installation of Bread of Life in the Oceanside Navigation Center, but there were delays in construction and contracts, so there will be a small gap between the services in Bread of Life and the services and programs in the Navigation Center. Said Donnie Dee, president and chief executive officer of the San Diego Rescue Mission.

Although the gap is not expected to affect large numbers of people, Dee acknowledged it was worrying.

“We are concerned about that,” he said. “But at the end of the day, we just realized that we were not going to sign another lease term and it was not practical for us to continue our services and programs on this site. “We decided to focus on what we had in this navigation center and try to open this thing up and serve people as soon as possible.”

Bread of Life works with the San Diego Rescue Mission in 2020, a move intended at the time to help financially stabilize the nonprofit Oceanside. After the San Diego rescue mission received the contract to operate the new Oceanside City Shelter last November, however, Dee said it was not economically viable for both to operate.

“We can not afford to operate two properties,” he said. “We fund the operations of the Oceanside Navigation Center, and this is a $ 900,000 project a year. We could not afford to make a $ 900,000 operating budget on Oceanside and a $ 400,000 budget on Bread of Life. We knew that as soon as we found beds, we would transfer our activities there “.

Bread of Life director Tim Yzaguirre will take over as navigation center director.

Even when the center is open, some of the services offered in Bread of Life will not be repeated. Bread of Life served 20 or 30 dinners six days a week and the navigation center will only serve guests staying at the shelter.

Jem McAdams, a volunteer who runs the mobile shower program at Bread of Life, said people who came for dinner were not surprised because they were told weeks earlier that the mission was closing in late May.

On Thursday afternoon, the day after the mission ended, Pamela Jean “PJ” Mittag was the only homeless person on a sidewalk on Apple Street near the mission parking lot. Her belongings occupied several feet from the sidewalk and Mitag, who uses a wheelchair, said she had no means of moving it.

Mittag said she was a little surprised by the closure, but did not rely on the expedition’s dinner meals and sometimes could not reach the dining room because her wheelchair was broken. On the ground next to her was a plastic container with fresh fruit, and she said that people often bring her food so that she does not go hungry.

Brother Benno’s, which also provides services for the homeless, is located about 2.5 miles north and serves about 100 breakfasts Monday through Friday and brunch on Saturday, but does not offer evening meals.

Kathleen Diehlmann, co-director of the Brother Bennos Foundation, said the nonprofit had not seen any impact since the mission closed, but also noted that it was too early.

“Brother Benno’s is ready to help any homeless person or working poor who need our help,” he said.

Diehlmann said the Brother Benno Foundation was disappointed to learn of the closure of Bread of Life, but expects the new shelter will help many people in the community in need.

“Working with Tim Yzaguirre and Bread of Life has been beneficial for Brother Benno and the people we serve,” he said. “It’s a loss for our community and we look forward to working with the San Diego Rescue Mission in the future.”

The closure also marks the end of the bread shop of life and the mobile shower program, which will run in the Apple Street car park until June 23.

Other mobile showers operate at Brother Benno’s and Calvary Chapel, about 3.5 miles east.

Di said the San Diego rescue mission decided to close all of its stores in October because they were not generating enough revenue to be worth the effort. In addition to being the most closed store in Oceanside, it once had retail stores in City Heights, Midway, National City and North Park.

Bread of Life started as a community group that shared food in a park 20 years ago and moved to the Apple Street site 17 years ago. It operated a winter shelter on site for several years, but never a shelter all year round.

“What Bread of Life has done for 20 years is absolutely spectacular, impressive and important,” Dee said. “Many lives have changed. But we must have beds. And if we do not have beds and case management, then in the end we do not change anything. We are just comfortable. “We want to put people to bed, assess their condition and understand what long-term plan they will follow.”

Dee said that in the future the navigation center may continue the food distribution program offered by Bread of Life. The now closed Oceanside rescue mission will somehow be remembered in the navigation center, perhaps naming the dining room from Bread of Life, Dee said.

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Oceanside’s Bread of Life Rescue Mission permanently closes after 20 years serving city’s homeless Source link Oceanside’s Bread of Life Rescue Mission permanently closes after 20 years serving city’s homeless

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