When we start to talk with people about what we do, one response we get goes something like this...

"Missions trips to San Diego?! Yeah, I think that we could get a few people together who would want to go to San Diego for a mission trip. There must be plenty of people who need Jesus at the beach, the mall, the zoo, Sea World, and maybe even at Lego Land. San Diego sounds like a great (sarcastic grin) place for a mission trip." 

We get that a lot because these are the things that most people know about San Diego.

    • San Diego is nicknamed, "America's Finest City"
    • The weather here in San Diego is amazing. Average annual temperature around 70 degrees. It never snows, and there are no hurricanes or tornadoes. 
    • San Diego is home to the some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.
    • San Diego’s tourist industry thrives and sustains the city through the recent recession. People from all over the world come here to experience the weather, beaches, shopping, a fantastic zoo, Sea World, and a rich culture.
    • We are close to Mexico and have a large Hispanic population...  almost 30%.
    • Tens of thousands of church youth group participants pass through San Diego each year on their way to build houses in nearby Tijuana, Ensenada, Rosarita, and other locations in Baja California. 
    • San Diego is a very desirable destination for a vacation, but bring your wallet.
    • The cost of living here is very high. 
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    But here are few facts about San Diego that might help you to see it from another perspective.


  • San Diego is the 8th largest city in the country and the 3rd largest in California, yet we have the third largest homeless population in the US. One of our primary ministry sites appears to be re-locating because "urban renewal" efforts seek to push the homeless further and further out of the public eye. 
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    • The fastest growing population of homeless in San Diego is composed of foster kids who have aged out and are no longer eligible to remain in the State's care. For many... the streets are just a stop on their way from social services to the criminal justice system.
    • The population of San Diego is diverse: about 59% Caucasian, almost 28% Hispanic, 7% African-American, and 6% Asian (including the largest Filipino population outside of the Philippines). Cross-cultural ministry opportunities abound.
    • 3 million people live in San Diego county, a 4200 square mile area. For our Oregon friends... this is approximately 80% of the entire population of Oregon. 
    • Our proximity to the border has made San Diego a hot bed for the trafficking of stolen vehicles, drugs, and people.
    • The fastest growing population of homeless in San Diego is composed of foster kids who have aged out and are no longer eligible to remain in the State's care. For many... the streets are just a stop on their way from social services to the criminal justice system.
    • The population of San Diego is diverse: about 59% Caucasian, almost 28% Hispanic, 7% African-American, and 6% Asian (including the largest Filipino population outside of the Philippines). Cross-cultural ministry opportunities abound.
    • 3 million people live in San Diego county, a 4200 square mile area. For our Oregon friends... this is approximately 80% of the entire population of Oregon. 
    • Our proximity to the border has made San Diego a hot bed for the trafficking of stolen vehicles, drugs, and people.
    • Within a 3-mile radius of the church, we
    • have almost a full representation of our entire county's demographics. You can cross a street and go from urban blight to suburban neighborhood. 

    • Our community has endured decades of political and corporate corruption. A former mayor was recently indicted for a BILLION dollar gambling problem funded by money laundered through the city government. 

    • Some of the best places to go and sights to see don't cost a lot, if any, to visit. Beaches, historical sights, disc golf, Balboa Park, Old Town, Liberty Station, Point Loma, La Jolla Cove, the Gas Lamp District, and more. Those things are part of our city too and we want you to enjoy them as you come to serve here. 

    Still feeling a little guilty for coming to San Diego on a mission trip? 

    Consider that there are a lot of children and young people in our urban community who don't get to the beach very often, haven't seen a lot of our beautiful city, and don't experience much of life outside their neighborhood. Your group can share some of these experiences with some of our children or young people.

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    There is no end to the needs that exist here... or anywhere else. We'd just like to show you our small part of the world. You can read more about the great needs and challenges we face here in San Diego and what urban churches have to offer the suburban church in our blog.