In early May, Father Joe’s Villages debuted Shine – an animated short film about the journey to overcome homelessness. San Diego’s top homeless services provider teamed up with local integrated marketing agency i.d.e.a. and Golden Globe-nominated animation studio Reel FX to tell a story of hope intended to shift public perceptions of homelessness.

The animated film takes place in a world of minerals and gems. It portrays Nicoal, a lump of coal ignored by the others and left alone in the cold and rain. Just when all hope seems lost, compassionate neighbors from Father Joe’s Villages welcome and embrace Nicoal, compressing her with their respect and kindness. Then, Nicoal undergoes an incredible transformation to become the beautiful diamond within.

“The goal of the film is to provide a window into the struggle of those who are homeless,” Deacon Jim Vargas, president and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages tells Giving Back Magazine. “It is our hope that viewers will see what we see every day: that each person is filled with possibility and light.”

Jon Bailey, Chief Relationships Officer at i.d.e.a. shares, “When we first started working with Father Joe’s Villages, we found out they were way more than a homeless shelter. They provide resources and educational programs that help develop the skills most of their clients didn’t know they had. We had to tell this powerfully human story to show people that Father Joe’s Villages sees things differently.”

Father Joe’s Villages invites audiences to help spread Shine’s message of hope and compassion by viewing and sharing the video at Supporters can also help the organization’s efforts to make all of San Diego shine by donating household items, cars or cash at or by calling 1-800-HOMELESS. All proceeds go toward funding housing and services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness.