A teary-eyed THANK YOU~ Goodbye Sunshine House

Dear friends,
As you (hopefully) know, after 15 successful, beautiful and riotous years, we came to the momentous decision to move out of our Sunshine campus, relocate the Transformational Recovery program (called the Apprenticeship) to Sacramento and to “rest” our San Diego region for at least a year.


On October 8th we locked the door for the last time at 2404 F Street and left.


The very next day, we led a women’s circle in East County, near where we first started almost 20 years ago. Since then we have done 3 more circles around San Diego, bringing our successful work out to YOU, our community. We will do at least 15 more circles before our winter break in December.

In our time in this house, we built a HOME for tens of thousands of women who uncovered, rediscovered and reclaimed their worth, their soul and their purpose. There were weddings, community organizations met in our gardens, women raised their families here - WE raised up a strong, healthy family here. Sunshine was an epicenter for community building, and I’m incredibly proud to have been part of it.


The move was a huge endeavor, and it would not have happened without the excellent leadership & tireless work of the wonderful Janice Hsu, our San Diego Guardian. What it takes to plan and steward this kind of project:

  • finding & moving into the new TR House in Sacramento;

  • shipping and moving my office to TN;

  • finding and relocating our San Diego offices;

  • finding & moving our important items into storage and

  • leaving Sunshine better than we found it (have you ever heard the story of when I found the Sunshine house and the shape it was in? look for that story soon!)

Remember that we are a lean nonprofit, that needed to do this move without disruption to the program provided for the 8 Apprentices living at Sunshine.

Janice was INCREDIBLE -- she went above and beyond for our community, including driving two U-hauls with her fiance James to Sacramento on Wednesday and then flying back to San Diego to lead a closing ritual at Sunshine on that Friday night. Listen to Janice’s reflections on moving here.

There are some pretty unbelievable stories from the move, as you’d expect from a place as magical as Shakti Rising. Some of my favorites include:

  • Hearing that Lynn Owens, a long time & deeply loved community member bought lunch for all the moving volunteers, just because

  • Sarah Violet came to help on our final move out day and realized it was 13 years (to the day) since she moved in to start her Apprenticeship

  • Our rolling garden boxes that went to the local elementary school who we found out had literally been praying for these exact & unusual things

  • Christina leading Shakti’s national team in making over 500 calls, disbursing our gardens as gifts, and your responses

Plus, the stories of all the people coming home to say goodbye and honor Sunshine. I can’t even begin to do this justice in a short email.

This could not have happened as seamlessly if we hadn’t been helped, held and encouraged by YOU, our wonderful community. From the planning, guidance, and coaching provided by Tina McDonald (my Mom), to the physical moving done by Chris Brown, Chris Pesko, James Lee, Chris Kiesel, Teri Hedman, Ilana Queiroz, to the last minute storage space provided by Andy Hsu, to all the help that I don’t know about, THANK YOU.

Even though I can’t believe I won’t walk in those doors again, I know this was the right decision.

So many of you have reached out to share you want to make sure Shakti is still here and that full services will return. We hope you connect with us to explore HOW we can best serve San Diego, people you want us to connect & partner with, and ways you’d like to be involved. Join us at any of our very cool circles open to the community. If you'd like to host one, please email Christina

Thank you San Diego! You were not only my birthplace, but Shakti’s birthplace. You have a special place in our hearts, and we look forward to discovering who we will be next, together.


“My heart will be with Sunshine tonight, as it always has been. Even when I’ve doubted the program, or the women involved, or my place in any of it, Sunshine has always held me. She’s always made room for me. She’s always been mine and I’m grateful for all of it.”
Allison, Shakti grad, 2005



PS. I’ll be sending a video email out in about a week to our entire national community to share more about all of Shakti’s growth, accomplishments and frankly, kick ass work this fall. Stay tuned!

PPS. You’ll be pleased to know that our 10 Apprentices are happily living in our new home in Sacramento! They have settled in, started their full class and counseling services and are actively engaged in job searches. If you have connections in Sacramento that might assist them to get jobs, please contact Shannon@shaktirising.org.

~ Our new Sacramento Apprenticeship home among the city trees ~