One of the biggest barriers to helping those experiencing homelessness off the streets is the lack of affordable housing in San Diego. That is why, for years, Father Joe’s Villages has fostered strong partnerships with compassionate landlords around our great city. Landlords like Betty and Gary Becker, who dedicate their time to helping end homelessness in our community.
Meet Betty & Gary Becker
Betty and Gary Becker first learned about the City of San Diego and Father Joe’s Villages’ targeted efforts to house people experiencing homelessness from an article they read in the San Diego Union-Tribune. At the time, Betty and Gary were in the process of fixing up two units in a property they own. They immediately called us to get more information on the program and were connected with Jessica Johnson, our Director of Tenant Services.
Landlord Incentives & Assistance
In the past two years, both the city and county of San Diego have initiated landlord incentive programs aimed at encouraging property owners to rent to our community’s most vulnerable. The San Diego Housing commission leads the City of San Diego’s effort called the Landlord Engagement and Assistance Program (LEAP), while the County’s program is called the Landlord Incentive Program. Both programs provide landlords with multiple incentives for renting housing units to those in need. They provide landlords with a cash incentive for renting to a person who is homeless and can pay for damages to property if needed.
Father Joe’s Villages participates in both of these programs working closely with the San Diego Housing Commission and the County to qualify individuals and landlords for the programs.
In addition to helping landlords qualify for incentives, our Tenant Services team also provides landlords with the assurance that tenants will be taken care of. The team provides tenants with on-going case management services to ensure that tenants in Rapid Rehousing and Permanent Supportive Housing remain stable and successful in their new homes.
Betty and Gary decided that working with Father Joe’s Villages would be the perfect fit for them.
“Our desire was to help with the homeless population in San Diego, to provide a safe haven for people,” said Betty.
They have been partnering with Father Joe’s Villages in their mission to end homelessness for almost a year now and have five tenants renting with them through LEAP. They plan on continuing to rent any units that become available to Father Joe’s Villages clients and urge other landlords to do the same.
“We have been extremely happy with our relationship with Father Joe’s. The tenants sent to us have been very good. We hope that our place will be a stepping stone for them on their road to becoming self-supporting.”
The Impact of Landlords Who Give Back
Father Joe’s Villages does not downplay the importance of landlord participation in the fight to end homelessness in San Diego. At its root, the city’s homelessness crisis is a housing crisis. With such a low vacancy rate, it can seem hopelessly difficult to find affordable housing. By providing even one unit to one of our clients, landlords help the community to prevent and end homelessness. That’s why, each year, we honor landlords for their work with Father Joe’s Villages through our annual Landlord Appreciation Dinner. In 2018, the Beckers were presented with a certificate of appreciation for their work.
“We appreciate the Becker’s because they care, they enjoy working without housing specialists and making a difference in someone’s life,” says Krystal Andersen, Supervisor of Housing Coordination.
Other Incredible Landlord Partners
Additionally, there are many other landlords that work with Father Joe’s Villages to create a brighter future. For example, Island Village Apartments in East Village has been partnering with us for over two years. Angelica Santiago, Assistant Community Manager and Leasing Manager says that over that time she has “witnessed many levels of hardship, compassion and true desire to house San Diego’s homeless population.”
“It has been a fulfilling experience in supporting Father Joe’s Villages. The Case Management and Housing Specialist teams I’ve worked with have been of great support to our staff and clients. We look forward to working with Father Joe’s Villages for many more years housing our San Diegans in need of permanent housing.”
AV Rentals has also developed a partnership with Father Joe’s Villages. Management, Maria Matsumoto and Aimee Baren wrote a letter explaining the impact of their participation in the program:
“The process of working with Sherry, [a Housing Specialist from Father Joe’s Villages,] made [housing a neighbor in need] almost effortless and the rewards are heartwarming. AV Rentals now has two new tenants that are responsible, gracious and perfect additions to their community. All they needed was a chance. We are honored to have been able to provide them with that.”
Landlords like AV Rentals, Island Village Apartments and the Beckers are truly helping Father Joe’s Villages end homelessness, one life at a time.
“Without landlords, our clients would still be on the streets. With the landlords taking a chance and helping our programs succeed, our clients get a second lease on life,” explains Krystal.
Partner with Father Joe’s Villages
If you’re interested in partnering with Father Joe’s Villages to house neighbors in need, please contact FJVHousingPrograms@neighbor.org.