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There are so many ways that you can make a difference in the lives of people experiencing Homelessness in San Diego. Father Joe’s Villages offers fifteen ideas for supporting our mission to end homelessness in San Diego.

Homelessness isn’t some mysterious ill plaguing America. It’s a multifaceted problem that people already know how to solve.

It starts with recognizing the innate humanity of people experiencing homelessness. It involves taking such actions as providing free and affordable housing, offering comprehensive supportive services, eliminating systemic discrimination, and more.

Here are fifteen ways in which you can contribute to ending homelessness in San Diego and the Nation.

1. Spread the word

Referring to people who are homeless as only “homeless” strips them of their humanity.

That’s why we don’t use the terms “the homeless” or “homeless people.” These phrases have the same effect because they frame homelessness as a defining characteristic.

By utilizing a slightly different order of words, you can help homelessness be seen as something that can be changed instead of an immutable fact of life and prioritize the humanity of people who are homeless.

Some options include:

  • Women experiencing homelessness.
  • Individuals who are homeless.
  • Care for those who are homeless.

You can also say, “Hello,” to people experiencing homelessness! Acknowledging and even conversing with people experiencing homelessness helps destigmatize homelessness.

2. Daily Acts of Kindness

You can also say, “Hello,” to people experiencing homelessness! Acknowledging and even conversing with people experiencing homelessness helps destigmatize homelessness.

3. Volunteer at a Local Homeless Shelter

Every day, volunteers help serve thousands of warm, nutritious meals to our residents and community members who are homeless.

To make sure people experiencing homelessness get the care they need, it also takes volunteers who are:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Dentists
  • Hygienists
  • Social Workers
  • Teachers
  • Mentors
  • and more

However, you volunteer, your help will go a long way. And if you participate in a company matching gifts program, your support will make an even more significant difference.

Make a Difference >>

4. Attend a Charity or Fundraising Event

Fundraising events are about more than just helping people experiencing homelessness!

They can be a way to get some exercise, connect with your community, or have a night out on the town. That’s why we put together everything from athletic races to glamorous galas in our effort to fundraise for critical, life-saving services.

You can enjoy yourself while knowing the proceeds go toward programs and services dedicated to ending homelessness.

Have Some Fun >>

5. Clean Your House & Garage

Organizing and cleaning your home is about more than just keeping your life in order. It’s an opportunity to donate unused and unwanted gently-used vehicles, furniture, clothing, kitchenware, and more to Father Joe’s Villages.

Whether it’s small items or a vehicle like a car or a boat, you could receive a tax write-off and make a big difference. FJV will handle the paperwork for you and even arrange a pick up if your donation is a car.

Clean Our Your Home >>

6. Organize a Donation Drive

You don’t have to be the only one donating your items after cleaning your house and garage. You can get friends, family, or anyone else involved.

Once you collect the items, you can drop them off at any of our three donation centers or schedule a convenient pick-up.

Whether your items are used by our programs or sold in our shops, your donations benefit our programs and services dedicated to ending homelessness.

Come Together >>

7. Be Consistent

People can be forgetful. So, leave the remembering up to us!

When you become a monthly donor by setting up automatic withdrawals online, you’ll never have to worry about forgetting your resolution to help end homelessness in San Diego.

Our monthly donors are critical to our mission. They make it possible for Father Joe’s Villages to keep thousands of people off the street each night.

We couldn’t do it without you!

Make Giving a Habit >>

8. Go Shopping and Save!

We can think of at least fourteen reasons why you should shop at thrift stores.

You can find unique and quality items for amazingly low prices at outlets like Father Joe’s Villages’ Stores & Donation Centers and Online Specialty Auction.

Find gifts, antiques, collectibles, clothing, furniture, and much, much more at any of our three retail locations or online in our latest Online Specialty Auction.

Feel good about your next purchase. Stop by today!

Shop Local >>

9. Start a Fundraiser

Facebook isn’t just a great way to keep in touch with people; it’s also an opportunity to end homelessness in San Diego.

Create a Facebook fundraiser on your birthday, a holiday, when it’s relevant to the news, or just for fun! Not only is it an effective way to fundraise, but it’s also easy.

Only a few quick clicks are needed to set up the fundraiser and share it with your friends. What better way to change lives than with the ones you love?

10. Give a Little—or a Lot!

$15 may not be a lot to you, but to a person experiencing homelessness, it means a week of meals through Father Joe’s Villages’ Franklin Antonio Public Lunch Program!

A breakfast, lunch, and dinner for seven days not only provides nutrition, hope, and energy, it can also be enough to introduce a neighbor to programs and services at Father Joe’s Villages that can help them end their homelessness for good.

One meal can be what it takes to connect someone with the tools they need to overcome homelessness. So, donate! And remember that your donation means even more if your company has a matching gifts program.

Change a Life >>

11. Say “Yes, in my Backyard”

Numerous studies show that offering enough affordable housing in our neighborhoods saves money and leads to an improved quality of life for the entire community, or both.

That’s because building affordable or supportive housing:

Costs less than continual emergency services needed by people in need
Provides stability for vulnerable families and helps prevent homelessness

Sometimes permanent supportive housing is necessary, affordable, or free housing coupled with essential services to assist people experiencing chronic homelessness.

12. Prioritize Essential Services

The Bassuk Center on Homeless and Vulnerable Children and Youth reported that supportive services are life-saving for people experiencing homelessness. If one half of the equation is housing, then support services are the other half.

This includes:

  • Pediatric, dental and medical care
  • Behavioral health and psychiatric care
  • Substance-use disorder treatment
  • Transportation
  • Childcare and school supports (e.g., tutoring)
  • Supportive friendships and healthy relationships

These services allow providers to tailor their care to the individual needs of those experiencing homelessness. They help an individual overcome any barriers they have toward securing housing and income, including chronic health issues, substance-use disorder, lack of childcare or transportation, lack of education and so much more.

Support local organizations that provide these critical supportive services.

13. Support Education for At-Risk Children

There are hundreds of families experiencing homelessness on any given night in San Diego ( Children who are homeless face additional daily struggles in almost every facet of their lives.

Stress, hunger, interrupted sleep, and unsafe conditions while living on the streets interfere with children’s opportunities for success. Without a safe place to play and learn, kids are barred from crucial aspects of physical, intellectual, and social development. As a result, children experiencing homelessness…

  • Are sick four times more often than other children.
  • Are three times more likely to face emotional and behavioral problems. Homeless
  • Score lower on measures of reading, math and cognitive ability.

School and Therapeutic Childcare intervenes directly to reverse these statistics through a targeted combination of services and support tailored to the unique needs of children who have experienced the trauma that goes hand in hand with homelessness.

14. Support Initiatives That Will End Homelessness

There are many steps that the local, state, and federal governments can take to reduce and even prevent homelessness. This would also reduce and prevent other forms of suffering experienced by people experiencing homelessness.

Some initiatives include:

  • Helping people who have been incarcerated or hospitalized transition into housing.
  • Provide mental health services, including substance-use disorder. Research has shown:
    • 26% of Americans experiencing homelessness have some sort of mental illness.
    • 35% experienced substance abuse
  • End LGBTQI+ discrimination–analysis suggests that 20 to 40% of youth experiencing homelessness also experienced discrimination.
  • Reduce and eliminate systemic racism and discrimination.
    • Black people account for 40% of people experiencing homelessness but only 13% of the US population.
    • Latin people account for 22% of people experiencing homelessness but only 18% of the US population.
    • Indigenous people account for 8% of people experiencing homelessness but only 1.5% of the US population.

Some steps include:

  • Eliminating racial discrimination in homeowner associations.
  • Enforcing the elimination of redlining, which is the act of denying home loans based on race.
  • Providing funding or incentives for building affordable housing
  • Improve the quality of life and care for veterans:
    • Veterans account for roughly 11% of people experiencing homelessness. About 45% of all veterans experiencing homelessness are Black or Hispanic, even though they make up 10.4% and 3.4% of the veteran population.

15. Follow us

Homelessness is an ever-evolving problem. That’s why it’s important to keep up with what Father Joe’s Villages is doing to help on social media. You’ll get the latest news on homelessness, our services, volunteer opportunities, events, retail promotions, voting initiatives, and more.

You never know what will inspire you to take the next step toward ending homelessness in San Diego!

You can follow us on:

Bottom Line on Ending Homelessness

Homelessness is a systemic issue because it stems from the opportunities provided to people due to wealth, sexual and gender orientation, race, ability, etc.

Luckily, organizations like Father Joe’s Villages are on a mission to prevent and end homelessness, one life at a time. Additionally, you can join that mission through your donations and actions.