Ensuring freedom for our Veterans


Did you know?

San Diego has the second largest population of veterans experiencing homelessness in the country.


A Story of Victory

Alan's Accomplishment


Alan is a 72-year-old Army Veteran who served on active duty and spent 27 years in the Reserves. Alan has a Bachelor of Arts degree and spent 30 years working as an Administrative Specialist at UCLA. After his retirement, he struggled to maintain consistent affordable housing, spending more than five years living in a van and experiencing homelessness on the streets.

I used to live in a van. It’s very difficult—it might be okay for the younger set. But when you’re older, it has a lot of wear and tear on you... It was very uncomfortable.

With the help of the local office of U.S. Veteran’s Affairs, Alan found Father Joe’s Villages in March 2017. As a Veteran, he received priority entry into our program where he received housing, case management, hot meals, counseling, classes and regular support.

[When you’re homeless] you’re always looking behind your back, looking for a place to stay and or to roost. That’s why a place like Father Joe’s Villages is a godsend.

Alan says, “I think what helped me most was the staff of Father Joe’s. I had a very good case manager. But then you have counselors, too. They send you to classes for various resources. They’re very hot on budgeting, on housing and credit reports.  They have people that you can talk to at Employment and Education Services. I use the computer facilities there and the staff for resources.”

Alan met the qualifications for our Rapid Rehousing program for Veterans. The Rapid Rehousing team helps people locate affordable housing that meets their needs. Once appropriate housing is located, the program provides short-term rental assistance and in-home supportive services to help people achieve lasting housing stability. Alan worked directly with our Housing Locator to find an apartment in downtown San Diego.

They had me go look at [the apartment] several times. Before I knew it, they helped me move my stuff. They brought things for me, rugs, toiletries—they helped me diligently in terms of making me happy in where I’m staying.

Now, as an alumnus, Alan comes back to our East Village campus each week to attend the weekly Veterans Lunch. It gives him a chance to see friends and share in the comradery that the military brought to his life throughout the years. 

“Being in the military…It made me proud to be an American. We’re here because of the military. Anytime I see someone in uniform, I’m grateful for our military.”

San Diego is home to the largest Veteran population in the nation and it also has one of the largest homeless Veteran populations as well. At Father Joe’s Villages, we work to protect the health and well-being of our Veterans, so they can enjoy the freedoms they helped to preserve. Our programs give Veterans the opportunity to benefit from support catered to their specific experiences and to connect with other service men and women. In this way, Father Joe’s Villages gives hope to our heroes that they won’t be left behind.

The people that work with Father Joe’s are devoted people. To help homeless people find a place, find a job and to make them happier. That’s worth its weight in gold.