Letter from the President
2020 was a year unlike any other. For Father Joe’s Villages, it brought greater challenges than ever before in our efforts to protect and save the lives of people experiencing homelessness.
In mid-March, as the world became aware of this new COVID-19 threat, Father Joe’s Villages leapt into action to quickly meet the increased needs of our neighbors.
We installed barriers and hand sanitizer stations, provided masks to staff and neighbors, and adjusted our shelter beds to accommodate physical distancing. At the same time, we became one of three service providers in Operation Shelter to Home at the Convention Center and increased the total shelter beds we offered by over 140 beds. Our Village Health Center increased services by 30%, offering regular testing to residents of our shelters and those who serve them.
Our staff became frontline heroes, working overtime to provide additional meal times and locations, continued health services, distance learning support for children, and so much more.
As you read about these efforts in the pages of this annual report, I hope you will sense my pride in the monumental actions of our team. Additionally, I hope it conveys the gratitude for all of you who gave so generously to help us in continuing services that truly saved lives during this pandemic.
Now, as unemployment rates, food insecurity, and the threat of eviction reach new heights, our work together is more critical than ever.
I thank you for your support as we brave this new world and help our neighbors build a brighter future.
Yours in God’s service to our neighbors in need,
Deacon Jim Vargas, OFS
Our COVID-19 Emergency Response
“Father Joe’s Villages has always been about neighbors helping neighbors. This is a place where people from all walks of life come together as equals to change people’s lives.”
Father Joe Carroll, President Emeritus
At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Father Joe’s Villages expanded and pivoted our comprehensive services to meet the increased needs of San Diego’s most vulnerable.
The vulnerability of those we serve comes from the brutal nature of living out in the elements. Without four walls, a roof and consistent access to health care, hygiene and food, our neighbors are at the mercy of a chaotic environment, including a greater exposure to illnesses.
Additionally, people experiencing homelessness have compromised immune systems and high rates of pre-existing chronic illness, making them more susceptible to negative health outcomes.
We knew that, without the proper interventions, COVID-19 could have a devastating effect on people experiencing homelessness.
That’s why, in 2020, our staff and leadership rose to the challenge of COVID-19, protecting the lives of the people we serve.
Just as importantly, the generosity of our donors and volunteers made it possible for Father Joe’s Villages to act quickly, expand our programs, and save lives.
Our Pillars of Care
2020 | Meeting Basic Needs
neighbors were helped to move into or maintain permanent housing in 2020.
people were provided warm, nutritious meals last year.
veterans were provided critical services in 2020.
Due to COVID-19, Father Joe’s Villages faced the dual challenges of an increased demand for services while also needing to reduce our capacity to allow for physical distancing. As a result, we decreased the number of beds offered in several of our shelters to increase spacing. At the same time, we worked with public entities to create an additional safe, sanitized facility in order to move more individuals off the street overall.
At Operation Shelter to Home in the San Diego Convention Center, we provided comprehensive services to neighbors occupying 486 beds. Through these efforts, we were able to add over 140 beds to our shelters and keep COVID-19 cases to a minimum.
Additionally, starting in March 2020, finding food became more difficult for people living on the street as fewer restaurants were providing food and smaller providers closed their meal programs. During the height of the COVID-19 crisis, we expanded our food services to new locations and added new community meal times through the Franklin Antonio Public Lunch Program to meet the growing need and hunger we were seeing in San Diego.
In 2020, Father Joe’s Villages…
- Continued services such as mail service, showers and case management through the San Diego Day Center.
- Served public nutritious packaged meals 3x a day.
- Expanded meals to two additional locations in Hillcrest and Downtown.
Increased shelter beds to provide a safe place to sleep to over 2,100 people in need.
- Delivered meals and hygiene kits to people on the streets through our Outreach team.
- Delivered frozen and prepared meals to seniors and home-bound neighbors.
2020 | Making Health a Priority
COVID-19 tests were provided to neighbors in need and the staff that serve them.
patient visits were provided to patients at-risk of and experiencing homelessness.
dental visits provided by the Dental Clinic.
At Father Joe’s Villages, we are always in a heightened state of preparedness for serious health issues. People on the streets don’t have easy access to preventative hygiene practices, such as handwashing and sanitation. They also don’t have a safe place to recover if illness is contracted, and live in close and often unsanitary conditions in encampments, in canyons and on streets. Even more critically, our neighbors are at higher risk of negative health effects due to an added layer of health challenges, including compromised immune systems and pre-existing chronic illnesses.
For these reasons, in 2020, the Village Health Center worked harder than ever, providing 30% more services than in 2019. In addition to continuing to provide critical medical, dental and behavioral health services, the Village Health Center provided thousands of screenings and tests to proactively identify possible symptoms of COVID-19 and mitigate the risk of spread. We offered health care, screening and testing on-site to thousands of residents staying in the Convention Center shelter.
Additionally, Village Health Center leadership provided consultation to the City, County, HUD, and the CDC on best practices for serving people who are homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020, Father Joe’s Villages…
- Offered COVID-19 screenings in shelters, at the Village Health Center and on the streets through our Street Health program.
- Behavioral Health teams provided phone-based appointments during
the COVID-19 stay-at-home order.
- Provided COVID-19 testing at shelters and in the Village Health Center.
- Sustained on-going medical, behavioral, substance-use disorder treatment and dental services for those most in need.
2020 | Investing in Children
services were provided to infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-age children and teens.
of preschool children improved their early literacy skills.
of children ages 3-17 in Therapeutic Childcare improved their academic and/ or life skills.
Under normal circumstances, children experiencing homelessness face far greater challenges in achieving success in school and life than children who are housed. So, in 2020 when most San Diego schools began limiting classroom education, leaders at Father Joe’s Villages worried that the stay-at-home orders would even further widen the educational divide between homeless and housed children. Families overcoming homelessness face additional challenges with online learning such as the inability to access necessary resources, tumultuous work environments and inadequate academic support.
That’s why, when Therapeutic Childcare was forced to close due to State restrictions from March to May, our team of Childcare Specialists continued to provide daily safe touch points with children and families staying in our Joan Kroc Center shelter. Therapeutic Childcare delivered nearly 1,100 family activity kits during the pandemic providing meaningful educational and engagement opportunities for children. They also checked-in daily to ensure the developmental and behavioral health of the children and provide parenting support while families sheltered-in-place.
Additionally, Father Joe’s Villages created a Distance Learning Lab to support critical educational opportunities for the over 150 school-age children we serve in our shelters. Through the Lab, we offer technology tools, including Wi-Fi, devices and ear buds, supplies, and an Educational Coordinator to assist with technology and offer educational resources.
In 2020, we provided children with…
- Regular educational activity kits.
- School work check-ins.
- Developmental/behavioral health check-ins.
- Distance Learning Lab and assistance.
- Virtual Teen Club activities.
- Virtual tutoring sessions.
- Childcare for Essential Workers.
2020 | Strengthening Self-Sufficiency
people received spiritual guidance through Chaplaincy Services.
of Employment & Education Services (EES) clients demonstrated increased life skills.
neighbors in need participated in the training and education programs offered by EES.
To protect the safety of neighbors in need and adhere to state guidelines, the Employment & Education Services (EES) Resource Center and Computer Lab was closed intermittently throughout the year. However, the EES team quickly transitioned to phone- and computer-based services, connecting with clients daily to support their job search efforts.
Additionally, in light of increased unemployment rates, EES staff shifted their focus to helping neighbors secure jobs in growing industries, including security, cleaning and sanitation in the business sector, custodial and cafeteria work in hospitals, and packaging and delivery.
Our Culinary Arts Program began teaching students about commercial meal preparation and packaging in the Joan Kroc Center kitchen. The meals produced from these lessons were frozen and distributed to people living in our affordable and supportive housing programs.
Throughout the pandemic, Chaplaincy provided non-denominational services every Sunday evening and Catholic Mass every Wednesday and on the first Sunday of each month, without exception. Chaplaincy also provided a non-denominational service every Wednesday night at the Convention Center.
In 2020, Employment & Education Services…
- Helped people gain employment in industries less impacted by COVID-19.
- Transitioned to phone- and computer-based job searching and application support.
- Offered virtual classes on resume-writing and interviewing.
- Provided non-denominational and Catholic services every week.
- Distributed bibles, rosaries, prayer cards and devotionals.
2020 Corporate Partners
A.O. Reed & Co.
Bank of America Charitable Foundation
Cathay Bank Foundation
Chelsea Investment Corporation
Costco – East H St., Chula Vista
Eli Lilly and Company
Farmers & Merchants Bank
FMT Consultants, LLC
Joseph Wong Design Associates
Law Offices of Robert I. Kotob, In
Lawyers’ Mutual Insurance Company
Level 10 Construction
Marrokal Design & Remodeling
Marsh & McLennan Agency
McMahon Steel Company, Inc.
Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc.
The Richman Group
San Diego Fluid System Technologies
San Diego Gas & Electric
San Diego Union-Tribune
Stater Bros. Charities
Union Bank Foundation
Vons – Imperial Beach
WD-40 Company Foundation
Wells Fargo Foundation
Leadership & Financials
Father Joe’s Villages revenue comes from a variety of sources including private philanthropy and public grants.
82% of our funds support life-changing programs helping San Diegans overcoming homelessness.
See Father Joe’s Villages’ full list of board leaders supporting innovative solutions to homelessness in San Diego.
How to Make a Difference
Become an Ally
- Follow & share on social media.
- Let your friends know why they should care.
- Advocate for affordable housing & services in your community.
- Donate cash to fund services.
- Donate household goods and clothing.
- Donate a car, truck, motorcycle, boat or recreational vehicle.
Give Your Time
- Volunteer by serving meals to your neighbors.
- Own a business or have a special skill? Donate your services.
- Join our Ladies Guild.