Father Joe’s Villages’ Inclement Weather Shelter in San Diego provides up to 250 people experiencing homelessness a safe, warm reprieve on cold and rainy nights. Here’s how it works.
For 5,600 San Diegans living without a roof over their heads, rain and cold means sleeplessness, chilliness and sometimes dangerous health consequences. Even a small amount of rain and cold can exacerbate illnesses like influenza.
That’s why, during inclement weather, Father Joe’s Villages springs into action.
On cold and rainy nights, Father Joe’s Villages opens up its doors to up to 250 individuals living on the streets of San Diego—in addition to the 2,000 men, women and children we house on a nightly basis.
Unlike Father Joe’s Villages’ Interim/Transitional Shelter and the Bridge Shelter (TBS), the Inclement Weather Shelter is only open overnight. People check-in for the shelter at 4 p.m. and must leave the next morning by 5 a.m. Their temporary sleeping quarters will then be remade into dining rooms serving meals to people in need.
Father Joe’s Villages’ interim/transitional and bridge shelters, on the other hand, are open 24-hours a day. Clients in these programs receive a bed in the program and keep that bed throughout their stay. These clients stay in our shelters for a limited amount of time while they get back on their feet. They use this time to search for employment and housing, utilizing Father Joe’s Villages comprehensive services during their stay. The length of time a person stays in the program depends on their goals and progress towards meeting those goals.
In partnership with the City of San Diego and the San Diego Housing Commission, Father Joe’s Villages’ Inclement Weather Shelter, however, offers emergency shelter overnight when there is a possibility for dire weather conditions.
The San Diego Housing Commission calls for Inclement Weather Shelter to open when there is a 40% chance of rain and the possibility of below 50 degree temperatures. The Housing Commission may also decide to open at other times when the weather is bad. For example, they may open the shelter when there are high winds combined with lower temperatures.
The call to open Inclement Weather Shelter is made by 2 p.m. on the day of inclement weather. This prompts Father Joe’s Villages’ staff to begin intake at 4 p.m. at the Joan Kroc Center. Staff then work to clear the Joan Kroc Center and Paul Mirabile Center dining rooms by 7:15 pm to make way for cots that will provide a safe, warm haven for neighbors escaping the wet and cold.
Upon check-in, people admitted will receive a hearty, nutritious meal and a dry place to sleep with clean linens.
Because of the unpredictability of weather, Father Joe’s Villages cannot rely on volunteer support. For these shelter preparations, our staff must work additional hours to ensure that each neighbor is warm and safe from the cold.
Last year during the winter/rainy season, Father Joe’s Villages operated the Inclement Weather Shelter 34 nights. As of March 1, 2018, we’ve opened Inclement Weather Shelter seven nights so far due to rain and cold temperatures. We’ve served over 440 people, including families and children.
It’s important to remember that our neighbors living on the streets are especially vulnerable during the Winter season. Together, we can show them that we’ll be there—rain or shine—with resources and support that will not only assist them off the streets, but to overcome homelessness once and for all.
Please, help us provide shelter to those in need. Hold a light up for your neighbors during their darkest nights. Donate today.