A Home of His Own
Father Joe’s Villages Secures Housing for Neighbors in Need During COVID-19

Benson Place cover

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, Father Joe’s Villages has worked tirelessly on the frontlines to meet the critical needs of those experiencing homelessness. They have continued to provide crucial shelter and housing, food, health services and COVID-19 testing to thousands of people experiencing homelessness. At the same time, Father Joe’s Villages has not lost sight of their mission to prevent and end homelessness, one life at a time. In fact, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Father Joe’s Villages has helped over 120 individuals move into permanent homes of their own.
One of these individuals is Scott.
Scott first became homeless in 2016 when he could no longer afford his housing. Soon, he came to Father Joe’s Villages for help and moved into Father Joe’s Villages’ interim shelter. There, he was connected to a Housing Navigator and an array of comprehensive services to help him end his homelessness. However, as a senior with an immobilizing disability, Scott struggled to find housing that was affordable enough to maintain in the long-term. In a region facing a 2% vacancy rate and an affordable housing crisis, it can seem impossible for low-income and senior neighbors to find a permanent home in their budget – even without the backdrop of a global health crisis.
Although finding permanent housing for Scott seemed overwhelming at times, the committed staff at Father Joe’s Villages never gave up. On May 4th, Scott moved into an affordable home of his own for the first time in four years. Upon entering his new apartment, Scott broke down in tears and fell to his knees in disbelief. “I’m trying to come to the realization that this is not just a good dream. This has actually happened,” he said.
In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, Scott is especially grateful for a home: “Moving into my own home, especially during this time, could not have been more perfect timing. In my beliefs, this is something that God put together. I am safe now. I thank Father Joe’s Villages for that.”
For 70 years, Father Joe’s Villages has tailored their services to meet the unique needs of each individual, doing whatever it takes to help neighbors end their homelessness for good. When an individual facing seemingly insurmountable challenges turns to Father Joe’s Villages for help, the organization works to find creative solutions that change people’s lives for the better.
For example, they continue to make substantial progress on their Turning the Key initiative to create 2,000 units of affordable housing in San Diego. In 2020, Father Joe’s Villages began construction on two buildings that will end the homelessness of an estimated 600 neighbors. Through these efforts, Father Joe’s Villages continues to provide both life-saving care and long-term solutions to help those experiencing homelessness.
Learn more about how you can support people most vulnerable in the community at my.neighbor.org.

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Esteban Villanueva