Door of Hope swings open

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Ground is broken for transitional living center in San Diego.

by Suzi Woodruff Lacey –

Children break ground on the Door of Hope transitional living facility in San Diego, Calif.

Three children with toy shovels and Tonka trucks broke ground for The Salvation Army’s new apartments for homeless mothers and children at the Door of Hope campus in San Diego. The Salvation Army is building 24 new Transitional Living Center (TLC) apartments, part of a master plan for new programs and buildings to serve the many needs of foster youth.

Nearly 100 people attended the groundbreaking, hosted by anchors from three local television stations. Major Mike Dickinson, divisional secretary for business and program, offered the invocation and gave a history of the Door of Hope from its beginnings in the 1800s as a city-run home for unwed mothers—which The Salvation Army acquired in 1931—to the current campus built in 1963.

“Our waiting list for apartments for homeless moms with children has increased at least 30 percent from last year,” said Dickinson. “This economy is bringing more and more homeless moms with little ones to our doorstep.”

Capital Campaign and Metropolitan Advisory Board Chairman Jim Fitzpatrick announced that 42 percent of the $11.5 million goal has been raised.

ABC’s Carol LeBeau, SD6’s Heather Myers and Azteca America’s Paola Hernandez each introduced a homeless mom and child. The women spoke about what living in the TLC means to them and their families.

“I’m learning to manage my money, stay on track on my job, be a better parent to Malachi—things I never knew before. I’m on a path to stability and I’m so grateful Malachi and I are here,” said TLC resident Patricka.

The TV personalities presented Mother’s Day gifts to the women and hard hats, toy shovels and Tonka trucks to the children. As the kids dug their shovels into the ground and shoveled dirt into their trucks, their joy was contagious.

“I loved this ceremony because it focused on the children,” said Kim Fletcher—instrumental in building the original Door of Hope campus. “That’s exactly where the focus should be!”

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