San Diego’s largest homeless services provider uses 17,400 shoes to frame the spectrum of homelessness in San Diego County


WHAT: There are more than 8,700 people who are homeless living on San Diego’s streets, beaches and public areas on any given night. A new project by Father Joe’s Villages will show the magnitude of that number with a one-of-a-kind awareness-raising advertising series. On Monday night, August 24, more than 50 volunteers will set up 8,700 pairs of shoes, each pair representing a different story of homelessness. On Tuesday morning, the new series of issue-focused commercials will be filmed amid the sea of shoes—from Nikes to Louboutin and Chucks to penny loafers, you never know what you will find or the story each pair will tell.


WHY: San Diego has the fifth largest population of people who are homeless in the country and the third largest of homeless veterans. Each night, Father Joe’s Villages assures that more than 1,000 of them are off the streets and on the path to sustainable independence. Recognizing that there are no one-size fits all solutions to homelessness, Father Joe’s Villages offers a comprehensive array of services tailored to the needs of each of the individuals it serves. Each day, Father Joe’s Villages prepares 3,000 meals and provides a continuum of care to nearly 1,500 individuals.



  • Father Joe’s Villages
  • Father Joe’s CEO and President, Deacon Jim Vargas
  • Volunteers



  • Setup: Monday, August 24 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (call for earlier or later)
  • Commercial shoot: Tuesday, August 25 5:45 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. (call for earlier or later)


WHERE: 16th Street & Newton Avenue, San Diego, 92113



  • A sea of shoes set up by dedicated volunteers
  • Film crew
  • Volunteers
  • Urban landscape



ABOUT FATHER JOE’S VILLAGES As San Diego’s largest homeless services provider, Father Joe’s Villages has been empowering people to achieve self-sufficiency for 65 years. What started as a small chapel serving San Diego’s impoverished has grown into a cutting-edge provider of effective housing programs and services. Father Joe’s prepares up to 3,000 meals and works with more than 1,500 individuals every day—from infants and adolescents to adults and seniors. This includes over 200 children and over 200 military veterans. As an industry thought-leader, Father Joe’s offers solutions to address the complex needs of the homeless, regardless of age, race, culture or beliefs. The organization’s primary goal is to transform lives and end the cycle of homelessness. To this end they provide housing, healthcare, food, clothing, education, job training and child development in an internationally modeled “one-stop-shop” approach. This mission is made possible only through the efforts of compassionate staff, dedicated volunteers, and generous public and private donors. For more information, please visit: