Sunday Service and Meal
We serve a hot meal and offer a worship service each Sunday afternoon that is attended primarily by the urban poor and homeless. We also distribute clothing to those who need it. To find out about volunteering click here. To learn more about donating clothing click here.
Many of our guests suffer from untreated medical or psychological conditions. Every Sunday a team of doctors and nurses provide medical screening and help our guests navigate the complicated healthcare system. See Street Corner Care below.
There is a team of volunteers who sit down at the tables with our guests and write down any prayer requests they might have. These prayer requests are distributed to over one hundred prayer warriors who pray for our guests during the week. To sign up to receive prayer requests click here.
Once a month we have a case worker from Presbyterian Urban Ministries who provides IDs and counselling.
A number of church and community groups volunteer at various times throughout the year to serve at Ladle. We provide a safe environment for our volunteers to learn about and to serve the urban poor and homeless. To find out about volunteering click here.
Saturday Food Distribution
On the second Saturday of each month Ladle acts as a distribution site for the Federal Emergency Food Assistance Program in the downtown area. Individuals and families who meet the federal income requirements receive food packages once a month. Many of the attendees live in the three large low income housing units within blocks of the church. To find out about volunteering click here.
Bible Study and Meal
Every Wednesday evening, 80-100 homeless guests attend our class on Christian discipleship, geared toward the particular concerns and circumstances of street life. Many of those in attendance are long-time believers seeking to live out their faith while homeless. Many others are not believers, but attend because they are spiritually curious and interested in how the Bible might apply to their lives.
For the first four months of 2018, we worked through a series on the topic of anger: understanding its roots, healing from its effects, and dealing with it in a constructive and God-honoring way. Many of our guests told us that the anger series greatly impacted them, and that in some cases it helped them let go of resentments that had been festering for many years.
No matter what the current topic, we always teach our homeless guests about the life-changing grace of God toward sinners through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The study is from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM every Wednesday. Dinner is served after the study.
See video below.
Practices and Performances
Back in 2016, Ron Bolles of La Jolla Presbyterian Church approached us about starting a choir for the homeless at the Ladle Fellowship. We enthusiastically accepted, and now the San Diego Street Choir is a thriving aspect of our ministry. Singing together as a group is therapeutic, community-building, and spiritually inspiring. For many of our choir members, joining the choir has helped them "come out of their shell" and has given them a supportive community to turn to when difficulties and temptations inevitably arise.
The Street Choir has performed all over San Diego County, and their concerts have raised thousands of dollars for the arts & music therapy program at the Monarch School for children impacted by homelessness. The opportunity to serve others through music is a profound experience for many of our choir members
The San Diego Street Choir practices in the sanctuary from 4:45 – 6:00 PM on Wednesday.
See video below.
Every Sunday, we provide free medical screenings, consultations, and basic treatments to our homeless guests. Volunteer medical personnel lend their time to care for the health needs and concerns of those on the streets, many of whom would not otherwise receive medical care.
During the rest of the week, Ladle Fellowship staff follow up with our Street Corner Care patients, accompanying them to doctor's appointments, helping them understand their paperwork and medications, coaching them through the healthcare system, and providing invaluable relational support and encouragement. Sometimes this intervention leads to more comprehensive care, as sick or disabled individuals finally receive the support they need to navigate the complex homeless services system. Bridging the gap in this way has saved lives.
In San Diego County the number of homeless deaths has increased 91% in the last 5 years. One of the leading causes of homeless mortality is the lack of access to healthcare.
In the first year of Street Corner Care
|236||homeless patients seen|
|13||patients on average per week|
|5||individuals with serious untreated illnesses who may have died on the streets without our intervention|
|14||volunteers trained for homeless healthcare and street medicine|
This year Ladle is starting to take street-corner-care to the streets where the homeless live. We call it house-calls for the homeless. There is a CBS Channel 8 news video describing our first venture into Balboa Park. You can view it online at cbs8 video. Below are some recent pictures of our medical team ministering in the area downtown where many of the homeless live.
Through our relationships with local shelters and transitional housing programs such as PATH Connections Housing and the San Diego Rescue Mission, the Ladle Fellowship helps support individuals who are on their way out of homelessness, in addition to those who are currently on the streets. One of the most important resources needed by individuals who are trying to change their lives is positive, healthy community. On the other hand, isolation and unhealthy relationships are often the biggest risk factors for repeated homelessness.
Recognizing this, we pair individuals who are transitioning out of homelessness and seeking to rebuild their lives with volunteer mentors. Our mentors are not professionals and they do not offer monetary or material aid. Rather, they give of their time, wisdom, care, and friendship. Being paired with a mentor has helped many of our participants join a church, find a job, avoid negative influences, experience a sense of belonging, and simply make a good friend.
The Mentorship program is a cooperative effort with the Downtown Fellowship of Churches and Ministries. To find out more about the mentorship program go to Downtown Fellowship Mentoring.
See video below