The Salvation Army in San Diego has announced a $50 million gift from Ernest and Evelyn Rady for construction of new facilities for the homeless.
The third-largest donation in the Salvation Army's 153-year history will help fund an $80 million project to build and endow two facilities in downtown San Diego — the Rady Residence for families and children at the organization's Door of Hope Rady Campus and the Rady Center for single men at its Centre City Campus.
San Diego County had the fourth-largest homeless population in the nation in 2017 — more than 9,110 people, 5,621 of them unsheltered — for which the Salvation Army provided 73,347 nights of shelter. In addition to shelter, the organization provides a holistic, faith-based approach to human services, including food assistance, educational support, counseling services, rehabilitation programs, and vocational direction.
"The Salvation Army is deeply moved and inspired by Mr. and Mrs. Rady's generosity and caring. Our vision for helping the homeless better their lives and find homes will now become a reality for our community," said Major George Baker, Salvation Army divisional commander. "The center will serve as a new standard for effective programs and housing for homeless across the United States."
"We have great confidence in this organization, so we are happy to put our resources in their hands, and we look forward to a successful conclusion," said Ernest Rady. "I'm really proud of what we're doing."