With more than 7,600 San Diegans experiencing homelessness on any given night, innovative solutions are more necessary than ever,” says Deacon Jim Vargas, OFS, President and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages. Shelters are critically important to ending homelessness, but Vargas stresses “they are not a home.”
Father Joe’s Villages’ Turning the Key initiative is a pledge to create 2,000 units of affordable housing dedicated to people overcoming homelessness by transforming underused lots and overlooked buildings into apartments. Located in the East Village, Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa will be the centerpiece of that initiative, and with the project nearing completion, Father Joe’s Villages is now providing meaningful naming opportunities through its Hope Lives Here Campaign, chaired by longtime donors and volunteers Ed and Ann Witt.
When opened, Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa will be more than just a building. It will be home to some 500 people in a community of hope, boldly proclaiming that no man, woman, veteran, senior, or family should have to sleep on the street, and that with the right resources, people can and do change their lives.
Situated adjacent to the Father Joe’s Villages campus, residents will have easy access to comprehensive, life-changing services to help them maintain housing long-term, including employment assistance, integrated behavioral and physical health care, and life skills training.
Using an innovative funding model, Father Joe’s Villages assembled a combination of state, county, and city sources, commercial lending, and private philanthropy to build Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa. Once open, it will generate enough rental revenue to cover all expenses related to ongoing building operations and provide supportive services for the residents.
For that reason, funds raised through the recognition opportunities of the Hope Lives Here Campaign will be used for three critical needs at Father Joe’s Villages: Repairing and upgrading aging facilities and buildings, strengthening essential client programs and services, and expanding a legacy endowment to support services.
“We’ve seen firsthand how the compassionate and effective strategies at Father Joe’s Villages have made a difference by moving hundreds of neighbors off the streets and into homes of their own,” says Ed.
Over the past ten years, combining evidence-based housing models with the services and support people need to get off the streets for good, Father Joe’s Villages’ programs have helped more than 11,000 people move into permanent housing.
To learn more about Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa, the Hope Lives Here Campaign, and what you can do to help, visit my.neighbor.org.