From Deacon’s Desk: A Veteran’s Independence

Father Joe’s Villages is committed to ending Veteran homelessness in San Diego. That’s why our services for Veterans are helping Dorothea, an Air Force Veteran living with a disability, find self-sufficiency and the opportunity for a brighter future.


Veteran Homelessness San Diego | Our Services for Veterans works to end Veteran homelessness in San Diego.

When Dorothea and her husband Carl met in the Air Force in 1974, they were ready to share a lifetime of joy, love and happiness. They never imagined that they would both struggle with disability, illness and homelessness.

After retiring from the Air Force, Dorothea was a nurse’s aide and in school to become a Licensed Vocational Nurse. Her husband Ralph was sick on and off, but she supported him faithfully in his times of illness. However, eventually, Dorothea also became ill. Diabetes and extreme back pain made it more and more painful for her to walk or stand for long periods of time.  Her diabetes progressed and she lost her left foot, confining her to a wheelchair and impacting her ability to maintain work.

“I find that some people do not want to hire disabled people. They think we should be in nursing homes. They don’t stop to think that there are [those] who want to try and turn around and get back to work.”

Losing their income and housing, the couple moved into a van. Nevertheless, Dorothea saved every penny she could and she and Carl were eventually able to move off the street and into an apartment. Just four months later, Carl passed away.

Dorothea was left alone— grieving and struggling with her disability.  Shortly thereafter, she lost her housing.

An Outreach Worker with the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs referred her to Father Joe’s Villages, where she was welcomed into one of our housing programs for Veterans.

 

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Now, Dorothea has a roof over her head, daily meals, immediate access to medical care and grief counseling and a safe space to heal.

On any given night, there are more than 1,300 veterans experiencing homelessness in San Diego—many of them living with disability and mental illness.

 

Veteran Homelessness San Diego | Dorothea's Story

 

At Father Joe’s Villages, our services ensure that our heroes are able to enjoy the freedoms they fought to preserve. Because of your support, we are able to take in Veterans like Dorothea and help them gain self-sufficiency.

“You can feel safe here. You can get yourself back to where you were before you were homeless. If you follow things through and make plans, you can get back to work,” Dorothea said.

Will you help us provide housing for a Veteran in need? This Fourth of July, support a Veteran’s journey to independence.

 

Donate Now to Father Joe's Villages

 

Thank you in advance for your incredible support of our mission to end homelessness for Veterans in San Diego.

 

Deacon Jim VargasYours in God’s Service to our Neighbors in Need,

Signature of Deacon Jim of Father Joe's Villages
P.S. If you’d like to give a tribute gift to your father as a Father’s Day gift, just let us know when you make your donation so we can honor him with a special tribute letter.