Just a short drive from downtown San Diego, there is a humanitarian crisis taking place at the U.S.-Mexico border.

More than 6,000 Central Americans from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua are seeking asylum and safety in the U.S. due to life-threating violence and poverty in their home countries. Thousands are currently living in temporary shelters waiting to be processed through the asylum system.

The situation has been complicated by the federal government’s elimination of the “Safe Release” program that provided basic assistance, communication and guidance to asylum-seeking migrant families. The result is an influx of hundreds of migrants being released each week on the streets of San Diego without the previous support provided to immigrants entering the U.S.

The images are both heartbreaking and hopeful.

Thankfully, San Diego philanthropists and the local nonprofit community have stepped in. But additional support is needed as the situation grows more challenging.

Growing Need for Philanthropy

Philanthropists with The San Diego Foundation Carl Crider and Carol Clause are two San Diego donors who are taking action after witnessing the humanitarian crisis unfold at the border.

“Our country was built through the hard work and dedication of immigrants, and San Diegans in particular know firsthand the value that diversity brings to our economy and our culture,” shared Carl. “For years, Carol and I have had the opportunity to work directly with refugee families in San Diego and we know how much it means to them to become citizens of this country.”

[pullquote]It is our responsibility as citizens of the world to treat [migrants] with the compassion that every human deserves.[/pullquote]

Recently, Carl and Carol granted money through their donor-advised fund at The San Diego Foundation to Jewish Family Service through the San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN).

SDRRN is a coalition of human rights and service organizations, attorneys and community leaders dedicated to aiding immigrants and their families in the San Diego border region. The coalition was activated to respond to the current crisis.

As Carol explained, “Dozens of migrants are arriving in San Diego every day after traveling unthinkable distances to escape violence and suffering, all in search of a safer home for their families. It is our responsibility as citizens of the world to treat them with the compassion that every human deserves.”

Local partners have setup temporary shelters and are directing charitable resources to support a variety of needs, including food, healthcare, clothing, blankets and legal assistance. But with the number of migrants increasing every day, the need for philanthropic support grows.

“The challenge these migrant families face is formidable,” shared Carl after visiting one of the temporary shelters. “This all happened overnight and as a result, many San Diego organizations don’t have enough funds available to effectively address the humanitarian crisis.”

“That’s why philanthropy is more important than ever,” Carl emphasized.

Donors can provide responsive and unrestricted grants to trusted organizations with the expertise and experience on the ground.

SDRRN is a lead organization accepting donations, and The San Diego Foundation team of experts is also available to help donors who want to ensure their charitable dollars make the most impact.

Help Central American Refugees