Point Loma-OB Happenings: Former Midway District strip club, San Diego Foundation grants, free festival, more

Kristen Zimmermann, executive director of the Freedom Center, stands in the former Body Shop strip club.
Kristen Zimmermann, executive director of the Freedom Center, stands in the former Body Shop strip club in the Midway District.
(K.C. Alfred / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Former Midway District strip club to be replaced by center for sex-trafficking victims

Demolition began Aug. 10 on a former strip club in the Midway District that soon will be replaced by a resource center for sex-trafficking victims.

In June 2018, Point Loma-based Rock Church and several investors bought the 54-year-old Body Shop nightclub with a plan to allow the business’s adult entertainment license to lapse and then sell the property. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new plan was hatched to help repurpose the 4,000-square-foot building.

The Freedom Center, a new San Diego nonprofit, will renovate the structure and turn it into a center where sex-trafficking victims can get their initial needs served, including information on shelters, counseling, education and job opportunities that can help them permanently leave the sex trade behind, said Kristen Zimmermann, executive director of the Freedom Center.

“We hope to serve hundreds of women here,” Zimmermann said during the demolition’s ceremonial kickoff event. “Because of something called trauma bonding, it’s often very hard for these women to stay out of this industry. Our vision is to remove the barriers so women don’t feel that returning to that work is their only option.”

Aug. 10 marked the start of a campaign to raise $1.5 million for interior improvements on the Freedom Center building.

Eventually, the Freedom Center will create its own network of secure, offsite housing for clients, Zimmermann said.

For more information on the project and fundraising, visit — The San Diego Union-Tribune

San Diego Foundation grants $698,000 to outdoor-focused nonprofits

The Point Loma-based San Diego Foundation has granted $698,000 to 20 nonprofit organizations to expand access to and instill a love of the outdoors to populations in the San Diego region that have long experienced barriers to accessing the outdoors safely, including a lack of safe infrastructure in their neighborhoods and an inability to afford recreational permits.

The grants were made possible by the Opening the Outdoors Program at the foundation. Additional funding was provided by the foundation’s San Diego COVID-19 Community Response Fund, which began in March 2020 and raised more than $67 million for nonprofits working in impacted communities.

“Access to the outdoors for youth and families in San Diego provides multiple benefits in the face of increased stressors, including lockdowns, isolation and education and safety challenges,” said Christiana DeBenedict, director of the foundation’s environmental initiatives. — City News Service

Sunset Cliffs nonprofit to present free festival

The nonprofit DDR Sanctuary, headquartered in Sunset Cliffs, will present City Fest, a public festival, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, at San Diego’s Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Highway.

The free event will feature live bands, yoga classes, connection and breathwork workshops, disc jockeys, interactive art exhibits, circus performances, vendors, food trucks and more.

String quartet to perform Dvorak and Haydn in Point Loma

A string quartet concert featuring the music of Antonin Dvorak and Joseph Haydn will be performed at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8, at the Point Loma Assembly, 3035 Talbot St. The date is the 180th anniversary of Dvorak’s birth.

The quartet consists of San Diego Symphony members Jisung Yang, Yumi Cho, Andrew Hayhurst and Jason Karlyn.

Tickets are $25. For more information, visit

Emilio Nares Foundation to hold ‘Harvest for Hope’ fundraiser Sept. 12

The Point Loma-based Emilio Nares Foundation, a nonprofit that helps families with a child battling cancer, will present its 18th annual “Harvest for Hope” food and wine tasting fundraiser from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12, at Coasterra, 880 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego.

Guests will get a variety of bites and sips from restaurants, breweries and wineries.

This year’s $300,000 fundraising goal is primarily to support ENF’s flagship program, Ride with Emilio, which provides transportation to and from cancer treatments for children from low-income families.

General admission is $150. For more information, visit

Point Loma Playhouse to present ‘Glorious!’ comedy

Point Loma Playhouse will open its new season with the San Diego premiere of “Glorious!” a comedy by Peter Quilter based on the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a 1940s soprano whose pitch was far from perfect.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays Sept. 17, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26 and Oct. 1, 8 and 9 at the Point Loma Assembly, 3035 Talbot St.

Tickets are $15 to $22. For more information, visit or call (619) 800-5497.

— Compiled by Point Loma-OB Monthly staff


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