Season 1 Episode 3: Making Health a Priority Part I – Physical Health

On our inaugural Neighbors Helping Neighbors podcast from Father Joe’s Villages, we discuss the state of and solutions for homelessness. Please subscribe and follow our mission of preventing and ending homelessness, one life at a time. Guests: Deacon Jim, President & CEO, Dr. Megan Partch, Chief Health Officer, and Dr. Melissa Bishop, Medical Director from Father Joe’s Villages.

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Podcast Transcript - Making Health a Priority Part I - Physical Health

Hello everyone, and welcome back.

I’m Maggie Durocher, your host of Neighbors Helping Neighbors, the podcast from Father Joe’s Villages.

In this series, we talk about homelessness, its causes, and solutions to the issue.

Our guests include experts and leaders in the space, as well as folks with lived experience and unique perspectives on homelessness.


If you’d like to learn more about our mission, visit us at or follow us on social media at Father Joe’s Villages.

We have a great show in store for you.

Today, we’re continuing the conversation on our pillars of care.

Today, we will explore the making health a priority pillar.


Of course, health includes both physical and mental health, and we’re going to focus on the physical aspects.

I have 3 great guests for you today.

We have Doctor Megan Parch, our Chief Health Officer.

Doctor Melissa Bishop, our health director, Rather, our medical director.


And you already know I’m Deacon Jim, president and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages, San Diego’s oldest and largest homeless service provider.

Thank you so much for.

Being here.

Oh, thank you.

It’s it’s a pleasure.

Can we start by having you introduce yourselves and telling us what you do at Father Joe?


‘S certainly.

OK, I am Melissa Bishop.

I am a family physician and I am rather new to Father Jose.

I started this summer and I’m the medical director of our Villages Health Center.

I oversee the delivery of medical, behavioral, health and dental services.


Yeah, we’re so lucky to have Doctor Bishop recently join our team, Elena, that she can be here with us to talk about this today.

So my name is Megan Parch, I’m the Chief Health Officer at Father Joe’s Villages Health Center.

I’ve been with Father Joe’s Villages a little over 8 years now in a few different capacities and love the work that we do within the Village Health Center.


So elated to be here to talk with you about our service delivery.

And Deacon Jim and I’ve been with Father Joe’s Villages now almost nine years.

Can’t believe it’s been that long.

It’s been a great nine years.

And we have our Village Health Center.

So very, very keen we’re going to talk about why that is.


In addition to Village Health Health, we also serve our kids right.

We the kids who come to us who are delayed in various ways.

So through our therapeutic childcare center, we we provide services for them.

We have a shelter system.

We have in fact more shelter beds than any other services provider out there.


And of course all the providers are doing a great great job and and aggregate.

We make it work right as best we can.

We don’t have enough shelter beds of course, and we need more of those.

But those that who are able to occupy those beds receive the comprehensive services that they need.

That’s what it’s all about, to help them into into self-sufficiency.


So that’s an important aspect.

And Speaking of that, employment, employment is extremely important to all of us, right, including those who we serve.

So we have our vocational training in order for them to be able to have the marketable skills to go out and have an income.

And be able to support themselves and their families as well.


So that it’s that aspect.

And then very excitedly is the affordable housing that we that we build.

At the end of the day, the housing is what breaks that cycle of homelessness and I know I repeat that over and over again.

So we’re blessed to be able to basically deploy, deploy homes and units through our development.


Right now we have 3 that we on which we plan to break ground next year, second-half of next year one is.

Well, two I should say it’s in on the East Village area, basically Island is 16th and commercial 17th and then we have one up in Oceanside.


So outside of city limits, Oceanside also needs support as well and each of them are part of what we call the Turning the Key initiative where whereby we’ll be deploying about 2000 units homes and that’s what really breaks that cycle of homelessness that coupled with the comprehensive services.


So that’s that’s who we are into what towards the end of the segment, I’m sure Maggie, as she usually does, she’ll ask us about how people can help and then I’ll talk about briefly about our retail side of the business, right, because that’s where people can be, the public can come and join forces and make a difference in, in, in helping us basically.


So that’s a quick overview, but we’re going to focus today on, on the Village Health.

I’d like to kind of set the stage talking about how health services might look different for unsheltered individuals, or what unique challenges they might face.

Yeah, it’s a great question.


So within our Health Center, we’re acknowledging that there’s a number of barriers for people to be able to cross the threshold to get into care services.

Some of those things include language barriers, transportation barriers, issues with child care.

Who’s going to take care of my belongings or my pets?


Things that many of us are lucky enough to not have to worry about.

I know that many of us silenced our phones as we came in here today.

We have notifications that tell us where we need to go and what we need to do, and that’s maybe not the norm for the individuals in the community that we serve.


We also have the benefit of transportation friends and family members who care about us, who say, hey, you really should have that looked at so that those are some of the things that get in the way for many of our community members.

We are probably one of the only places where service is rendered where there’s a crate for animals.


You know, I know that when I go to my care provider, they don’t say, hey, you know, do you need to bring an animal with you?

Do you need a crate?

So that is a unique way that we kind of paved the way for many of our community members to receive services with us.

We’re able to have amnesty boxes, so if people have things that would be unsafe in the community, they can check those things in.


We’re lucky enough to be able to support individuals and their family members.

So if child care is an issue, people often come in sometimes and the whole family can be served all at once.

And when people come into our space, we’re saying, OK, what else can we do for you while you’re here?


And so acknowledging that it is so difficult for community members to get to us, we’re saying, OK, while you’re here, let’s have your labs drawn.

While you’re here, let’s talk about getting you into dental.


You know, introduce you to a mental health therapist trying to liaise people to all of those different services and supports, acknowledging that it may be a significant amount of time before they can make it back to us.


And additionally, we say things like, when’s the last time that you ate, Can we grab you a lunch?

It looks like you need nail Clippers or shoes.

And so it’s a really unique care experience that we’re able to acknowledge the whole person and all of those needs that are presenting, including.


The trauma that people have experienced with service providers and the stigma and the shame that they experience in our community.

So there’s so much that is standing in the way of their being able to connect with us.

And so breaking down those barriers that are unique to each patient and being able to create a really therapeutic and engaging and welcoming environment for every unique person that crosses the threshold takes a lot of very special people.


In a very special environment to make that possible.

So that’s that’s some of the the barriers that our patients experience that make it difficult to get to us.

And then additionally, they have a lot of care needs that have been possibly put to the side or or not adequately or consistently managed for significant periods of time.


And that’s really where you are most expert my friend.

You know a lot more about that space.

So much of what you said resonated with me in terms of.

Describing the condition, but then me just having multiple faces pop into my mind that that perfectly depict the situation that you’re describing.


I am still new to Father Joe, so I’m seeing everything with fresh eyes and coming from the perspective of I’ve always worked in community health, I’ve always worked with vulnerable populations.

I recognize that for every individual, regardless of your background, it’s hard to take care of your health.


I mean, there’s a whole health and industry where people spend, you know, billions trying to make themselves health.

And we know it’s it’s important and it’s hard to stay healthy.

But when you confront the types of challenges that our patients are confronting it, you have to you just have to look at it through a different lens.


So when a patient comes to Father Joe’s.

I’m not going to say immediately oh your blood pressure’s high like and we’re just going to make tweak this medication today and here’s a 90 day supply you know go be well I look at them and I think you know you don’t have you just have a couple of teeth.


Have you ever been to the dentist like we have a dental we have a dental program you could actually get dentures here and your blood pressure’s high.

We’re going to try this medicine, but let’s just give you.

You know, a 30 day supply, ’cause we don’t know if your medicine’s gonna be stolen in a few days and you know, this could go on forever.


We they might have diabetes and whereas.

With a patient who has secure housing and food supply, we might put them on insulin.

A patient who doesn’t know where their next meal is going to come from, it would be at terribly high risk taking insulin because they can become hypoglycemic, which is immediately more dangerous than having an elevated blood sugar.


So all of those things come into play.

Trauma informed care, knowing that people are coming from a background where inevitably bad bad things have happened and approaching them with.

You know, trying to meet them or they’re out and as you enter the room, just asking for for permission.


Do you want the door open or closed?

Is it OK if I touch you do you mind if I examine you How would you feel about doing a pap smear today talking to them about lab draws like we often you know our routine is just we do an exam and then we gather blood work.


It’s just kind of it’s, it’s the pattern that we’re used to but with these patients we have to think more carefully about OK if we.

If you agree and would like to have your blood drawn, what are we going to do with the result?

Like how am I going to respond if I get some a result that requires emergency action and I don’t know how to reach you?


Your phone.

You know this is your third phone this month because they keep getting lost or broken or stolen and you don’t know the phone number and so.

So there’s there are unique challenges, but there’s also unique resources.

The fact that we can say look at this wall of smiles, look at these patients before and after they get their dentures.


Like look at how that transforms their life, improves their self esteem, allows them to go out and start engaging more with society and look for work.

We can.

If you come in with like a patient that I saw this week who had like a vaginal discharge, but she also has a problem with fentanyl and to be able to say if you’re ready to stop, we can start you on medically assisted therapy for your opioid use disorder today.


You know we don’t need to make an appointment.

You don’t need to come back.

We are ready to help you when you are ready to accept that type of health help if you want it.

So, so for me, you know, it has been challenging but also mind broadening to realize the different ways that we can help people in the ways that they would like to be helped.


Doctor Bisher, you just mentioned something and I’m so proud of this and and is that the Arch has mentioned this numerous times and that said, when first of all, our appointments are typically at least 30 minutes, right?

So when when we go to to to our health clinic clinician, it’s yeah you’re in and out and and you know and I have to say a lot of times the the clinicians on on his or her computer, right and makes makes some eye contact but not much of that, right.


So this is different and it has to be because of what you just mentioned right.

You have to build that relationship in that report, otherwise it’s not going to work.

Otherwise they may not return as an example, right?


So and and that’s why things fester with them and and it gets worse and they stay out on on in the streets and so that’s an important element #1, the amount of time that we’re willing you’re willing to spend there with them and also the fact that you do really interact and and and and develop that relationship a lot of times when again when we go.


You’re there to be seen for one, for one thing, one condition, right.

And if you bring up a second, well, we’ll make an appointment for you, right.

That’s not the case here.

Here you’re evaluating them.

I mean you’re and you’re and you’re seeing things in them and you’re commenting on it and you’re and you’re inviting them to take care of it right then and there, especially with medication assisted treatment where you know the availability is so important, right.


So because she may take you up on it today.

But tomorrow, you know, if you waited until the following day, that may no longer be the case.

So these are such important elements, which is why I think what you do at the Village Health Center, you and your teams are, it’s just absolutely so critical.


And the way the population moves around a lot, you don’t know when this person, like you said, will be back if there’s going to be a lapse in their care.

And that really shows how homelessness can make pre-existing conditions even worse.


I think one of the things that.

Maybe it’s harder for us to conceptualize in our experiences.


And our experience of care is when you don’t have your basic needs met.

When you don’t know where you can lay your head down tonight safely, where you don’t know where your next meal will come from, where you don’t know how to care for your children and your pets and your belongings.

It’s really difficult to focus on what ends up being higher level needs, you know?


How could you address your substance use disorder?

How could you manage your diabetes?

How could you worry about hypertension?


The the things that matter most to you.

Safety, security, food, water, access to a restroom.


Things that those things are so difficult for a population that is constantly being moved around our community and so beginning to acknowledge just how hard that existence might be and how attending to those needs really becomes the most critical priority for our community members.


It’s such an honor when they trust us to serve them.

When they are able to make it to us, that means that they’ve overcome so many different challenges that we see or maybe even those that we don’t see, so that we can render care.

And so we do honor them with longer appointments.


And that’s needed because there’s just so many care needs that can be addressed and and must be addressed.

Must be addressed.

That’s correct.

Tell me why making health a priority is a pillar of care at Father Joe’s?

What are you seeing in the homeless stats around health?

I’ll leave it with you on that one.


You’re certainly expert.

I mean, so a priority is to stay alive, right?

And we know that homeless homeless individuals have a Dieter rate that is 3.5 times the general population if they’re in, if they’re sheltered, and 10 times the rate of their peers.


If they’re unsheltered, so our goal is to help people stay alive so they can get their lives back on track.

And and the way to do that is to confront the the things that are the greatest risk to their pose, the greatest threat to their health.


And those things are drug overdoses, cardiovascular disease, cancer, accidents, car accidents in particular, vehicle versus pedestrian and infections.

And so we try and address all of those in the context of our care both in the clinic and on the street.


I mean we’re not even talking about getting to a point of thriving, stabilizing and and then towards thriving.

We’re talking about individuals who are housed versus people who are unhoused and that excess mortality like you said, it’s really striking.

So 10 times more likely to die younger than their house peers.


Age for age they the average life expectancy for someone on the street is. 47 to 50 years old.

So they they lose 20 to 30 years off the average American lifespan.

I mean today I was on the street and seeing a patient who was they asked me to come see him when when we arrived, our outreach worker Michelle said, oh, doctor Bishop, you need to see this patient.


He says he wants to die and and he he was in terrible shape and he said I’m in pain.

I need a shower.

They stole all my medicine.

And I can’t walk.

My legs hurt.

My knees hurt.

My feet hurt.

And and he was he was frail.

He he he looked incapable of walking.


In the end it looked like he had some corns on his feet that hopefully we helped him with a little bit.

But you know, I was, I spent maybe you know, 20-30 minutes with him before I looked at his age and I realized that we’re the same age like you.

I I don’t know how.

I look today, but but I don’t look near.


I mean this this person looked like he really didn’t have long to live.

And it’s the weathering they, they call it weathering.

It’s the weathering that occurs when people are living on the streets.

Not just the exposure to the elements, but just the constant toxic stress, the danger that they faced, the struggles that they the effort that they have to put in just to get basic needs met.


Food, water, shelter, security and and it takes a toll on the body.

And the and the feeling that they want, they want to die, I mean because what else is there, right.

So and then you mentioned you saw him on the street, right.

And that’s that’s an important element.

It’s not as if you and your team waits for people to come to the brick and mortar to your clinic.


Of course we have those who do, but about 30% of those who are on the street won’t access medicine in a traditional way coming into the clinic, right.

So that’s where your your street health team, that’s where your street health team is.

So very, very critical and we instituted that.

Back in 2019, remember that conversation, Doctor Nagle and you and I and you and I talked.


You approached me on this and I just fell in love with the concept because there’s so many people dying in the streets and I’m convinced that we make a difference in this regard and just being out there.

And now we have psychiatric clinicians as well who are out there and are deployed five days a week.

We’re out there, right?

Making a difference.


Talk about that.

I mean, I because I get it really excited about the street health and and the work that you do there.

Well, you’re correct.

So in 2019 we decided to build the program and when we stood it up, we knew that we had that really expert and passionate team and we had all of the medical supplies and we had kind of a can do spirit and we said let’s get out there and we loaded up plastic bags.


I mean, it was.

We were a riff raff looking team loaded down with water bottles and granola bars and wound care supplies and deploying out to the community on foot and engaging folks.

And I remember at the time, one of the selling points was we talked about this woman who was actually on the side of our building.


And so our storefront faces one way, and she was over on the side of the building.

And she couldn’t have been more than, I don’t know, 100 feet away.

She was so close to the entry point of the Health Center.

And each day that I drove to work, I saw her out there alone.


No belongings, usually in various states of undress, never prepared for the kind of weather, no shoes, talking to herself so unwell, so vulnerable.

And we knew that she could never make it into the Health Center.

And it was devastating day in and day out to know the great work that was happening within the Health Center and to see her there alone.


And so we said it, it can’t be this way if any one of us would benefit from care services in our home or care services that came to us or called upon us or engaged us because we’re insured, because we have you know those benefits and those supports that many individuals in our community that we serve do not said that’s not just that’s that’s not fair.


And so we said, how?

How do we get services to her?

We can’t leave her out there alone.

And so she was really one of the the most kind of compelling reasons in the very beginning when we were talking about how to build this program and what we needed to bring together and what what different, you know, funding sources and things that we could leverage and resources internal and external that we could you know leverage to begin to approach someone like her and and what would it take and how many points of engagement and what sorts of materials you know.


Certainly she needed water.

She needed food.

How could we endear ourselves to her so that she might begin to have trust in us to either walk her to the entry to the Health Center or to render a service for her right there in that moment?

And so that was kind of where much of it was born and where it began.


And now you know.

What does it look like now?

What is St.


I can describe.

My experience, because again, I’m new to the team, but I’ve spent time with the team, I’ve been out with the team and and I can tell you what it’s based on is relationships.


So there’s the difference with street medicine is that you are reaching out to a population that doesn’t, for whatever reason, does not have the ability.

To seek help within the walls of the clinic.

And so at baseline it’s a totally different dynamic and you’re also kind of inviting yourself into somebody else’s home because you’re an uninvited guest.


It is their home, the street.

And so the pirate power dynamic is shifted.

So the team goes kind of beseechingly and saying, you know it’s Father Joe’s street team, anybody needs some healthcare and they and they just kind of, it’s just kind of the town choir, they just walk down.


The sidewalk where people are residing and and offer services and people understandably are they don’t jump out and line up.

I mean, people are reluctant and oh me, trust me.


So and so people are reluctant and then it takes just being reliable, just knowing that they’re always going to come back.


So the team always goes back and they realize and they don’t push.

They they offer, they’ll give them snacks, they’ll give them some water.

Just say you know what’s going on, on your ankle there.

It looks.

It looks.

It’s like, is is that hurting?

Like, would you like the doctor to take a look at that for you?

But they they meet, they meet the the unhoused people on the street where they’re at and and then try to meet the needs that are expressed.


So they don’t make assumptions about what it is that that person needs.

They let that person tell them.

I mean, what I see when I go out on the team is just like, it is like because I’m seeing the team already in a mature state and when I go out with them, I mean, it’s really heartwarming, mean everyone.


It’s like a festival of hugs, like the the outreach workers get hugs, the nurse practitioner gets hugs.

You know, she’ll be like, you know, trimming her toenails and carving off calluses.

And in the end, it’s big hugs.

And then strangers show up and like, she’s not even sure she remembers them, but they’re all hugging her.

And you know, so it’s so it.


It gives you faith in humanity and just like how much goodness and and relationship and compassion is is out there and and trust the fact that the hugs represent a certain level of trust that the that the recipients of these services have for for the service deliverers I will say I talked to so Kristen Horny is one of the.


One of the original nurse practitioners who started this and I and I reached out to her last night because she’s since moved away and just asked her to like kind of share any experiences that she thinks kind of depict the nature of the relationship.

And and this one’s a little bit more complex, but I think it’s an important point to make is.


She she talked about a patient that that they saw frequently it was down by the the kissing statue like down by the midway and and and he and this patient was always there.

He was about 60.

She said he was a Katrina refugee, but she but she saw him and he had an opioid addiction.


He was resistant to treatment, resistant to engaging, but they just always went back and she said like multiple times she had to like lift him up out of his own urine and feces.

And they overtime, you know, they had a 4 1/2 year relationship.

Overtime they like encouraged him to try.


Matt Suboxone, he did a couple of tries of like residential rehab, but it just didn’t work for him.

He couldn’t make it stick.

So in the end, he was never able to become sheltered.

He was never able to overcome his addiction because often we look at that as the sign of success.

But really, if we look at the measure of success as the ability to accompany people, to show them, to respect their dignity as human beings.


To engage with them as equals like that was a six to six story with this patient.

She said that for a couple of months they lost him, they didn’t know where he was and then they got a call from his brother.

He was in Hospice.

So it turns out he had he had cancer, he had advanced cancer, was in Hospice care.


Re established his relationship with the long lost brother and what he asked the brother to do was to reach out to the street health team because he was about to die and he he that was the connection that he wanted to.

Those were the goodbyes that he wanted to say was to the street health team.


So not only health services, they’re providing help to the folks.

We see you.

We care.

We’re coming back next.

Week our The people living on the street, I I think it’s fair to say that they are the most marginalized.

Segment of our society.


I think that we when we see them we feel fear because the suffering is it makes us.

I think it’s our lizard brains like like we don’t want to see suffering because we ourselves don’t want to suffer.

So in our response with fear, we also we we lack compassion.


So I.

And and then they are the recipients of that all day long of all of this fear based reaction that is lacking in compassion.

And then when the street team goes out and and hugs them, you know, happily and and even and even if they’re pushing them away, just keeps coming back and just, you know, approaching gingerly.


But offering services, offering accompaniment, it, it’s just something that.

That is so needed especially in this time of so many people being without shelter and being in the situation where they feel forgotten by society, well seen and valued and cared for.


I mean to feel touch even.

That’s a great story and and you you pointed to success right it’s you know we we sometimes the society values success in in such.

Ways that are should not be applying it to this population is unrealistic, just unrealistic.


So how we measure success is dependent upon the situation and and that’s it’s that’s a great story that points just to that, right.

And so through building these relationships, this human connection, are you seeing folks then access other services like the village Health Center or the shelters or are you building that trust and connecting them further?


In many cases, yes.

I think one of the most recent experiences that we had, we have a team that goes out and does harm reduction outreach.

And so we have individuals who are alcohol and other drug counselors and outreach workers who go into the community and give out sharps boxes and engage people in discussions about how to test their substances, how to know what’s in our drug supply, helping people to hopefully avoid loss of life, talking with people about naloxone, how to administer Narcan.


And when they went out, people thanked them.

People were grateful for the education and the support.

And in many circumstances people came back in.

So people who were, it’s just it’s amazing when you reach that hand out there and when you truly see and value people they they show up.


And so just by us going out and saying hey, we see you, we care, here are some resources, would any of these benefit you?

Just kind of giving that buffet, letting people know that.

When you’re ready.

When you’re ready.


We’re ready too.


And so from that initial experience where they went out, I think they said that they reached about 30 or more people.


They had to go back restock their backpacks because people were so interested and engaged in their outreach.

And three of those individuals came in within the next week and asked to go to residential substance use disorder treatment.

The return on investment there of three people coming in within one or two weeks time and receiving a higher level of care than they would have had otherwise is pretty remarkable.


So I think it just goes to show like you said, that compassion, seeing people being with them and changing that power differential human to human connection, it really is, is life changing.

Tell us more about the services at the health clinic.


So we are lucky enough to provide a number of integrated services.

We have primary care as you’ve mentioned, We have dental services, psychiatry services, We have behavioral health services as well.

So mental health services and outpatient substance use disorder services on site.

We have a lab that’s on site.


So we’re able to, as you mentioned, we we want to do blood draws.

We want to know what’s going on with folks and collect specimens.

So we have a lab that’s on site as well.

We have a team that does referrals to specialty care.

We have folks who do insurance enrollment.

We have nurse triage that assists individuals who walk in for same day services and so I mean the the team is is vast in their expertise and certainly I’ve never met a group of individuals who are harder working.


It’s really amazing to see what they’re able to do and the way that we’re able to connect people with one trusted service provider who then is able to kind of say, hey come over this way, you know, let me introduce you to so that we can get people engaged in that whole person.


Care to your point, someone comes in because of a wound on their leg and you’re then saying, tell me about your teeth.

Do they cause you any pain?

Let me introduce you to have you ever considered full or partial dentures?

And so being able to open up kind of this whole new world of services that people can engage in and we have our street health team in recuperative care as well.


Recuperative care.

That’s right.

You know, we’ve been talking about all these rape programs and one that is prominent in my mind is the recuperative care.

I wanted to hear about that because we know that individuals who have a hospital stay, it gets to the point where the hospital wants them out, right?

But they can’t be on the streets.


They need some level of care still.

And we’re providing that at Father Joe’s Villages, specifically, your team is on.

There’s also the residential team that helps in this regard.

Tell us about that.

Yes, it is a collaborative model.

So we at Father Joe’s Villages, as you know, always find those kind of Gray areas where people are falling through the cracks of the continuum.


Medication assisted treatment is one of those spaces where people were falling through.


Health is a space where people were falling through and we’re kind of filling the gaps in.

Recuperative care is no different.

And so it was taking our shelter beds on our campus, our case management services that we render and then adding those healthcare services to it as well, so that individuals have a safe place to rehabilitate.


And as you were articulating Dr. Bishop, it is very difficult for people to tend to basic needs as way as well as rehabilitation while they’re out in the community, taking medications on time, cleaning wounds and so forth.

It just makes it very, very difficult for people to remain well.


And what we commonly see is that there’s recidivism back into the emergency room and back into hospital beds over and over for many of our community members.

And so the recuperative care program is meant to help further stabilize individuals where they’re no longer at that hospitalized level of care.


But they also don’t have a safe place in the community.

They don’t have a home where they can fully rehabilitate.

We’ve had some amazing success stories of folks come out of that program where they go from being unhoused to in the hospital to in our recuperative care program.

Stabilizing, rehabilitating, getting engaged and getting an ID card, meeting goals.


You know, looking at all of these different things that are available to them now that they have case management and stabilizing services at their disposal, education, employment, all of these things in this kind of one stop shop at Father Joe’s villages.

And so being able to stabilize their health but then also the remainder of their life in many ways and we’ve in fact had some individuals move into longer term housing from this program.


It’s exemplary to think that before their hospital stay they were unhoused and now having come through a recuperative care program they they benefit from longer term housing.

So it’s a blessing to see the way that that’s worked out for many of our residents.

And it’s a benefit for the community as a whole.


It’s expensive.

A hospital stay is expensive for insurance companies and the hospitals and so forth.

So this is a benefit actually that we’re we’re offering not only to those who we’re serving, but there’s a community as a as a whole, right.

That’s important.


Yeah, that’s really.


And another example of how you’re meeting folks where they are, you called them Gray areas, but whether they’re on the sidewalks, whether they are needing to recover from an illness, you’re coming to them in their situation and seeing how you can help exactly.


This has been so wonderful.

Thank you so much for being here.

I really appreciate your time and everything you’re doing for the community.

Thank you.

Thank you for having us.

And huge thank you to our listeners.

By now you can see how vital these programs are and how making health a priority is a key factor in preventing and ending homelessness.


Our next episode of Neighbors Helping Neighbors Podcast will air in two weeks.

This will be the part two of our discussion about making health a priority.

We’ll focus on behavioral health, substance use disorder, and harm reduction.

Don’t forget about our Thanksgiving 5K.

It’s Thanksgiving morning in Balboa Park, and it’s honestly fun for the whole family.


Bring the strollers.

Bring your dogs and cats.

I will be there.

It’s a wonderful time.

Sign up at

Also coming up is Giving Tuesday, a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities.


I invite you to put your compassion into action.

Visit and volunteer or donate.

We are all neighbors helping neighbors, and together we can do better.

How do we know we’re good neighbors?

Is it simply living side by side, or is it something more?


Homelessness is a healthcare crisis.

A shelter is not a home and access to food is not a privilege.

At Father Joe’s Villages, we believe everyone deserves safe housing, hot meals, healthcare, and so much more.


Our neighbors need help and we can do better.

Donate today at