The Salvation Army in San Diego, CA Receives $50 Million Boost for Homeless Ministry

The Salvation Army in San Diego, California, will be able to make an even greater difference in the lives of homeless people thanks to the incredible donation of $50 million by philanthropists Ernest and Evelyn Rady. The gift will support the construction of a new 32-unit Rady Residence at the Door of Hope campus. This will enable The Salvation Army to help two-parent families for the first time, in addition to the single mothers, children, single women and women in recovery who currently live and participate in programmes at the Door of Hope. A second facility, the Rady Center for single men, will be built downtown after The Salvation Army raises the additional $30 million to complete the capital campaign.

Civic and business leaders joined Salvation Army staff and volunteers at the project site to hear the Radys’ good news and join in the celebration.

‘We are happy to put our resources in The Salvation Army’s hands, and we look forward to a successful conclusion,’ said Ernest Rady, 80, who founded real estate development company American Assets and insurance company ICW Group Holdings. Evelyn Rady has made a career as a ‘professional do-gooder’, according to her husband of 58 years, working as a social worker, probation officer and for Jewish Family Service of San Diego, among other roles.

The Radys’ donation to The Salvation Army followed a $20 million commitment to Jewish Family Service of San Diego the week before. When asked about their long history of charitable giving, Ernest Rady replied: ‘What else am I gonna do? I can’t take it with me, so I might as well do something with it while I’m here.’

Their donation to The Salvation Army goes on record as one of the largest charitable gifts ever given to support homelessness and the third-largest donation in The Salvation Army’s 153-year history. The only bigger donations were from McDonald’s heiress Joan Kroc in 2004, and a 2013 bequest from Jack MacDonald (a lawyer at the Seattle office of the US Department of Veterans Affairs).

USA Western Territorial Commander Commissioner Kenneth G. Hodder addressed the Radys, acknowledging their partnership with The Salvation Army as he recited lines from the ‘I’ll Fight’ speech that is attributed to the movement’s Founder, William Booth.

‘We are deeply humbled by the trust [the Radys] have put in us,’ he said. ‘They believe, as we do, that men should not be sleeping underneath freeway overpasses in our communities. And they believe, as we do, that no woman should have to endure the scourge of domestic violence … God bless you on behalf of those The Salvation Army serves.’

San Diego County is currently home to the fourth-largest homeless population in the USA, with 62 per cent of homeless people currently unsheltered. The Salvation Army in San Diego County’s programmes help more than 267,000 people in the community each year, and its current downtown programme for homeless people boasts a 78 per cent success rate in returning participants to permanent housing.

‘The Salvation Army is deeply moved and inspired by Mr and Mrs Rady’s generosity and caring,’ said Major George Baker, Sierra del Mar Divisional Commander. ‘Our vision for helping the homeless to better their lives and find homes will now become a reality for our community. The centres will serve as a new standard for effective programmes and housing for homeless across the United States.’

From a report published by ‘New Frontier Chronicle’ |