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We’ve all been there.

You lean forward in your office chair, razor focused on your laptop. Three hours easily pass as you try to finish an important project.

Completely ignoring your body’s pleas to be nourished and hydrated, you start to feel lightheaded. You’re low on glucose and high on irritation.

Then it happens.

Someone gently taps you on the shoulder to ask a question. You spring from your chair with ire. “You startled me!” you snap. “What do you want?” They recoil. You quickly regret your harsh reaction, take a deep breath, and apologize.

Congratulations, you’re “hangry.”

You satiate the hunger by finally eating a proper meal, and you’re back on track. At the end of the day, you go home and all is well.

But ask yourself this: What if you couldn’t get back on track? What if you didn’t have the money to buy food today or for the next several days?

And what if you didn’t have a home to go back to? Or a dignified place to shower or go to the bathroom? Or a bed? What if you had to sleep on a gritty sidewalk beneath a piece of cardboard hoping your backpack, containing every material item you possess, won’t be gone in the morning?

How would you feel physically and emotionally? Something more intense than “hanger”?

Whatever your answer, understand that thousands of our neighbors—children, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, grandparents, cousins, and friends—experience deep hunger, indignity, and homelessness every day. And the numbers are growing.

The Numbers

In San Diego alone, at least 10,264 people are homeless. Around half of them are unsheltered, and half are in emergency shelters or transitional housing.

Considering these estimates are 22% higher than last year’s figures, many more of our neighbors could be homeless tomorrow. Even you.

Yes, you. According to Prosperity Now , 40% of Americans are only one missed paycheck or medical emergency away from experiencing homelessness.

The Mission

To tackle this beast of a problem, Father Joe’s Villages has been working tirelessly for decades. Established in 1950 as St. Vincent de Paul Village and expanded significantly by Father Joe Carroll (1941–2021), the organization’s namesake, Father Joe’s Villages has one overriding mission:

To prevent and end homelessness in San Diego one life at a time.

It hasn’t been easy, but Father Joe’s has literally changed the lives of many of our neighbors in need and continues to move toward achieving its mission. Through our pillars of care , we provide people experiencing homelessness with short- and long-term housing, food, healthcare, employment services, vocational training, and more.

Specifically, we:

  • Meet the basic needs of those who are homeless by housing more than 2,500 people each night, feeding at least 9,000 neighbors yearly, and providing more than 21,000 showers every year
  • Prepare children for success through therapeutic childcare and family services
  • Prioritize healthcare by providing 18,000 patient services, 5,000 behavioral health services, and more than 500 patients with critical dental care each year
  • Strengthen self-sufficiency through employment and educational services, Skills and Training Enhancement Programs (STEPs), and spiritual services and support
  • Address the connection between housing and homelessness through our Turning the Key initiative, which will open 2,000 new affordable apartments throughout San Diego

The Future

Although Father Joe’s Villages is confident it will achieve its mission, it takes lots of money and good people like you to provide these life-changing services and to sustain the organization over the long haul. With your donations—money, goods, vehicles, purchases, or volunteer time—you’ll not only make a tangible difference, but you’ll feel good, too! Remember, you’re the most important part , and we need to work together as a community to end homelessness.