Since 1950, Father Joe’s Villages has been dedicated to helping those living on the streets find their way home. Through our decades of experience serving people struggling with homelessness, we have developed a model of care that respects human dignity and restores essential life skills so people in need can lead productive lives off the streets.
Essentially, at Father Joe’s Villages, we do not witness the suffering of others without moving to ACT.
What is ACT?
Father Joe’s Villages’ commitment to ACT means:
- Advocating for those who are less fortunate by urging effective change to secure a better future for San Diego’s most vulnerable population.
- Providing Compassionate Care to struggling neighbors such as accessible shelter and housing, critical health care and nutritious meals.
- Striving for a Transition to Home for unsheltered individuals by working with them to find and maintain affordable housing solutions.
Father Joe’s Villages’ pledge to ACT on account of those most vulnerable began with Father Joe Carroll, and his legacy continues to grow. In just the last 10 years, Father Joe’s Villages has served more than 60,000 people struggling with homelessness. Through our tailored services and compassionate programs, we help people in need overcome any obstacle on their journey to housing and employment.
However, we cannot end homelessness alone; it takes the support of every San Diegan to contribute to helping our neighbors off the street.
How can YOU enact positive change for people struggling with homelessness? YOU can help Father Joe’s Villages in our mission by becoming an Ally.
An Ally is someone who supports and empowers vulnerable populations within a community. By becoming an Ally, YOU can ACT for those in need and give a voice for neighbors experiencing homelessness.
How to Be an Ally
Engage in a Conversation
- Share information regarding homelessness with friends and family
People experiencing homelessness are often disregarded by society. Due to this, our neighbors experiencing homelessness can feel alone and invisible.
There are people in our neighborhoods who are struggling, who are hungry, who have no home to call their own—and they deserve help.
Being an Ally means using your voice to advocate for underprivileged people in our community. By engaging your friends and family in a dialogue around homelessness, you shed a light on an issue that may otherwise remain overlooked.
- Dispel stereotypes and stigma about people who are homeless
Many people believe that homelessness is experienced by single men—not women or families. Additionally, they consider hard luck and addiction to be the only probable causes of homelessness—the barriers of health, mental illness, job skills, housing affordability, and more are not often considered.
In fact, there are many faces of homelessness– from people overcoming substance-use disorder and those living with mental illness to veterans struggling to readjust to civilian life and families who can’t make ends meet. Eliminating stereotypes associated with homelessness helps to humanize homeless individuals and promotes effective change through empathy.
- Change how you refer to those experiencing homelessness
It’s important to attempt to destigmatize people experiencing homelessness in our everyday conversations. At Father Joe’s Villages, we don’t use the phrase “the homeless.” We refer to homelessness on an individual level, humanizing and personalizing the phrase.
Read our blog, Why We Don’t Use the Terms “the Homeless” or “Homeless People,” to learn more on how you can adjust the language you use when referring to people living on the streets or in shelters.
Advocate for affordable housing and services in your community
Become an ally by learning about and supporting initiatives that will end homelessness. From affordable housing to additional funding for homeless services providers, there are many steps that the local, state, and federal governments can take to reduce and even prevent homelessness.
Let your elected officials know that San Diego needs diverse capacity-building solutions — from basic needs services that provide sustenance and survival to more shelter beds that move people off the streets to long-term housing with affordable rents. Speak out in neighborhood meetings, talk to your community, and write and call your local leaders. It’s our job to advocate every day for each building block to bring us closer to ending homelessness in San Diego and to state definitively through our actions that each human life is worthy of compassion, respect, empowerment, empathy and dignity.
Follow and Share on Social Media
Homelessness is an ever-evolving problem. That’s why it’s important to keep up with what Father Joe’s Villages is doing to help on social media. You’ll get the latest news on homelessness, our services, volunteer opportunities, events, retail promotions, voting initiatives, and more. Share our information to your social media feeds to spread the word on ending homelessness.
You can follow us on:
Together, we can ACT
By becoming an Ally for neighbors experiencing homelessness, you can make a difference in the lives of people who need it most.
As Father Joe himself stated:
“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 peoples’ lives.”
At Father Joe’s Villages, we know from decades of experience that given the right support our homeless neighbors can thrive. With your help, we will continue to provide compassionate and empowering programs that restore dignity, renew hope and change people’s lives.
Together, we can ACT to successfully end homelessness and ensure a brighter future for all of San Diego.