For seventy years, Father Joe’s Villages has led the way in providing lifesaving housing and supportive services to individuals experiencing homelessness in San Diego. With record-breaking rent prices and one of the nation’s lowest rental vacancy rates, affordable housing is the largest barrier to solving homelessness in our community. Father Joe’s Villages believes affordable housing combined with supportive services are critical to preventing and ending homelessness.
Father Joe’s Villages’ efforts to help those in need could not be achieved without the support of generous, dedicated donors like Terrence and Barbara Caster, founders of the Caster Properties/A1 Self Storage. Deeply committed to his Catholic faith, Mr. Caster was moved by the plight of his neighbors in need. He was especially intrigued by Father Joe’s Villages “Turning the Key” initiative, a long-term plan that is helping address the housing crisis by bringing 2,000 affordable units to San Diego. Mr. Caster decided to support the initiative with a landmark $10 million donation, allowing Father Joe’s Villages to begin construction on its second “Turning the Key” building, Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa, on January 21st, 2020. This 14-story building will provide 407 affordable apartments and will offer access to an array of wraparound services to ensure residents maintain housing stability.
Terrence and his late wife, Barbara Caster, who established A-1 Self Storage and are major developers of a multitude of residential and commercial office buildings and industrial parks, have been a part of the Father Joe’s Villages’ mission since the organization’s beginning. Through their charitable giving, Mr. and Mrs. Caster have greatly supported Father Joe’s Villages’ programs, including the Therapeutic Childcare Program and the Franklin Antonio Public Lunch Program.
Now, through his substantial donation to Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa, Mr. Caster will help provide permanent homes for more than 500 people experiencing homelessness. “I hope that many families and people living on the streets are touched by this project,” Mr. Caster shared with GB Magazine. “The marvelous Father Joe’s Villages’ team are on fire for the Lord and for people in need and we know we will see a great return on our investment.”
Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa will pair affordable rent with supportive services including integrated physical and mental health care, employment and education services, substance use disorder treatment and more. Through these wraparound services, people struggling with homelessness will receive the support they need to gain lasting independence.
Father Joe’s Villages’ data shows that 97% of people who enter the organization’s supportive housing programs remain permanently housed. “We are renewing the whole person not just a piece of them,” Mr. Caster explained. “These services address the aspects that individuals need to become self-sufficient again.”
In combination with its comprehensive services, Father Joe’s Villages’ short- and long-term housing programs have already helped over 11,000 people move into permanent homes of their own in the last 10 years. With his support of the “Turning the Key” initiative, Mr. Caster is continuing in the organization’s efforts to help homeless individuals off the streets permanently.
He hopes his donation will motivate others to help those in need. “Homelessness is not just increasing in San Diego, but across the country. I think anyone who is conscious of this should take the opportunity to step up and do something to help,” he urged. “I can think of many people I know who can help with this issue, and I hope my donation inspires them to do so.”