Looking to make a difference in your community as a volunteer? Volunteering with Father Joe’s Villages is an opportunity to help give our neighbors a new start!

A Father Joe's Villages volunteer preps food trays for lunch.

A Father Joe’s Villages volunteer preps food trays for lunch.

Together, we can end homelessness in San Diego

In 2018, Father Joe’s Villages helped over 14,500 people experiencing homelessness, providing 1.1 million hot meals, 29,000 showers and over 218,800 nights of short-term shelter in the process. This work is only possible because of the over 10,000 hard-working volunteers that give their time each year to help Father Joe’s Villages serve San Diegans who are homeless.

“Our success can’t happen without our army of volunteers. Did you know that we need 72 volunteers every day just to serve meals?” said Laura Kojima, Father Joe’s Villages Volunteer Services Program Manager. “They really are an essential component of day-to-day life here.”

How does volunteering help end homelessness?

When you volunteer at Father Joe’s Villages, you are helping us in our mission to end homelessness in San Diego one life at a time. We could not do this without our wonderful volunteers! Volunteers are involved in many of the essential programs Father Joe’s Villages offers to people in need. Helpful community members prep and serve meals in our dining rooms, teach classes in our Employment and Education Center, mentor and tutor children in the Therapeutic Childcare Center, and offer other services through our many programs.

“Our mentor volunteers have love and compassion and want to see these children succeed. Where else can a child find an adult who is completely unrelated to them and is not their teacher, yet has chosen to give up their own personal time to show a child they are important to the world?” said Jennifer Ryan, Therapeutic Childcare Program Manager, about the mentorship program.

Through the far-reaching effects of their diverse work, it is estimated that volunteers save the organization hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

What do volunteers do?

There are so many different ways to volunteer at Father Joe’s Villages. Aside from serving food and mentoring, volunteers with specialized experience can often find

Father Joe's Villages volunteer have fun in the kitchen.

Father Joe’s Villages volunteers have fun in the kitchen.

opportunities to utilize their skills to help their neighbors in need. For instance, licensed cosmetologists can cut hair in Village Clips, a hair salon that recently opened on Father Joe’s Villages East Village campus.

Other volunteers, like the La Jolla Windansea Surf Club and Danny Martinez, offer meaningful experiences to people living at Father Joe’s Villages. The WindanSea Surf Club has hosted an annual educational surf event for over 30 years to giving children experiencing homelessness a day of relaxation and fun.

“The whole day is dedicated to letting kids be kids. And these kids don’t have the opportunity to be kids, like most kids do,” said Club President, Bill Fitzmaurice.

Danny Martinez, on the other hand, funds and gathers volunteers to host an annual Thanksgiving turkey dinner for hungry neighbors in need each year. Last year during the event, he donated more than 1,000 pounds of turkey and personally served food to 600 people with his crew of volunteers.

Who can volunteer at Father Joe’s Villages?

Father Joe’s Villages accepts all types of volunteers and volunteer groups, such as (but not limited to):

      1. Individuals.
      2. Families.
      3. Children over the age of 10 years old.
      4. Religious and community organizations.
      5. Military groups.
      6. Corporations and local businesses.

Support Father Joe’s Villages’ efforts to help our neighbors get back on their feet and volunteer today! Make sure to fill out our online interest form. With only a few hours of your time, you can improve the lives of thousands of people who are homeless in San Diego.