San Diego Charger funds Door of Hope Chest

L-R: Trish Mathews, Tyler Elizabeth Bailey, Ryan Mathews and Helen Bailey on their shopping spree Photo by Suzi Woodruff-Lacey

Mother and son establish a fund to help moms set up their new apartments.

By Suzi Woodruff-Lacey

San Diego Chargers wide receiver Ryan Mathews and his mother, Trish, have partnered with The Salvation Army’s Door of Hope in San Diego—a transitional living center—to establish a grant that enables program graduates to furnish the new homes, easing the transition to independent living.

Trish Mathews was drawn to the Door of Hope not only because she likes its work, but also because she identifies with the emotions of being homeless and alone. When Ryan Mathews was a baby, the two lived in Trish’s Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme in a church parking lot. Through hard work—she often held three jobs at a time—and determination, she was able to build a solid life for her son.

Understanding the cost involved with setting up a new apartment, Trish Mathews came up with an idea to provide Door of Hope graduates an opportunity to shop for household items within a fixed but generous budget.

“I just want them to know that somebody cares,” she said. “It’s hard in this world when you feel all alone and no one cares.”

Mother and son launched the program by accompanying Helen Bailey and her daughter, Tyler Elizabeth, on what turned out to be a two-hour shopping spree.

“I know my mom would have really appreciated something like this,” Ryan Mathews said.

The Salvation Army Door of Hope serves homeless mothers with children by offering a home for up to 18 months and classes in parenting, job counseling and budgeting. During their time at the facility, residents save enough money to move into their own apartments. The center currently has 12 units; plans are in the works to build 12 additional ones.


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