When he first ended up on the streets, Francisco was scared and alone. Then, he came to Father Joe’s Villages. Read Francisco’s story to find out what happened next.
Homeless at 61
Francisco loved his mother. During her final years, he moved in with her so that he could take care of her. She eventually passed away, leaving Francisco homeless at 61 years old.
Disabled and unable to work, he had applied for Supplemental Security Income and was denied. Francisco stayed with friends here and there for a while but didn’t want to be a burden to them. He eventually came to Father Joe’s Villages.
Francisco spent months on the street before he moved into the Paul Mirabile Center. When asked what the hardest thing about being on the street was, he responded, “Not knowing where you were going to spend the next night. You are not always welcome; you might be welcome one night and then the next day you are not.”
When he first moved to the Paul Mirabile Center, Francisco said that one of the best things was “Having a place where I could get my thoughts together, so I could regain my mental drive to continue.”
Getting Help, Finding a Home
Francisco’s multidisciplinary team knew they needed to help him get an income so he could pay for housing. Father Joe’s Villages is a leader in San Diego in implementing the Homeless Outreach Program for Entitlements (HOPE). This program helps people who are homeless and living with disabilities to complete and expedite applications for federal income benefits. The program, a partnership with the Social Security Administration and others, reduces the application time for benefits from two years to three months.
Francisco and his Father Joe’s Villages team had to do a lot of legwork to get the medical records needed to document his disability. He worked with doctors in the Village Family Health Center to diagnose his illness and get needed treatment.
Francisco also spent time in individual and group therapy through Mental Health Services and participated in health and wellness groups. Francisco says through therapy and group meetings with other residents, “I got to talk to people. I learned that I wasn’t alone.
We helped each other pull through, together.”
Francisco moved out in December 2016. He is paying his own rent now and is happy to be in a place of his own again. When asked what he would tell others about Father Joe’s Villages, he says:
“Father Joe’s Villages is a great program. I found people who believed in me when I stopped believing in myself. When I thought I couldn’t go on, there were people behind me who said, ‘Yes you can; you are worth it.’”