The region’s largest homeless services provider will help women get back on their feet with comprehensive support at the new Interim Shelter. The shelter will provide safe nights of sleep to those in need and offer services that will help residents find permanent housing.

On Friday, February 5th, 2021, the San Diego Housing Commission’s Board of Commissioners approved a contract to operate a new Bishop Maher Interim Shelter at Father Joe’s Villages for the upcoming year. The Interim Shelter is slated to house and provide comprehensive services to 28 single women daily.

“Our top priorities at the City of San Diego are to keep all of us safe from the COVID-19 virus and to work toward providing everyone with a secure place to call home,” said Mayor Todd Gloria. “The Bishop Maher Interim Shelter will be an important step toward achieving our goals, and I thank Father Joe’s Villages and the San Diego Housing Commission for their partnership.”

Those residing at the shelter, located at the Bishop Maher Center at Father Joe’s Villages’ East Village campus, will have access to the service provider’s extensive programs to help them transition out of homelessness and into permanent housing, including meals, employment services, case management, health services, and more.

“At Father Joe’s Villages, we believe that all people are worthy of dignity and respect. No one deserves to live in fear or be forced to brave the elements because they have nowhere else to go,” Deacon Jim Vargas, President and Chief Executive Officer said. “I’m grateful to the City of San Diego and San Diego Housing Commission for the opportunity to continue changing the lives of people in need at the Bishop Maher Interim Shelter.

The COVID-19 health and economic crisis has increased the need to move neighbors off the street and into safe, sanitized shelter that will offer support in building self-sufficiency. The 28 beds at the Bishop Maher Interim Shelter will help the organization provide short-term shelter to 28 women, on top of the more than 2,100 people they serve each night through their housing programs and shelters.

The Bishop Maher Interim Shelter will operate as part of the City of San Diego’s Operation Shelter to Home Initiative to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on people experiencing homelessness. The additional shelter beds at the Bishop Maher Interim Shelter will support efforts to help people leave homelessness behind for good, while observing preemptive health measures to mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19 among staff, volunteers and residents.

“These shelter beds will be an important resource among an essential range of housing options necessary to address homelessness in San Diego and will provide opportunities for a pathway to permanent or longer-term housing,” SDHC President & CEO Richard C. Gentry said. “The San Diego Housing Commission is pleased to continue collaborating with the City of San Diego and Father Joe’s Villages on homelessness solutions.”