By Deacon Jim F. Vargas, President & Chief Executive Officer, Father Joe's Villages (2018 Annual Report)
Whether it’s for a hot meal, safe shelter, to polish their resume, or any of the hundreds of other services we provide—each person who comes through the doors of Father Joe’s Villages receives dignified and empathetic care matched to their unique needs.
After all, serving our neighbors in need is not only our duty, it is our calling.
Each of Father Joe’s Villages’ staff members, volunteers, business partners and donors carries forward the legacy of compassion our President Emeritus, Father Joe Carroll, established decades ago.
The impact of this compassion is exemplified through some of the amazing outcomes we accomplished in 2018:
At 15 years old, Sienna’s normal teenage life changed forever when her parents divorced. Sienna and her mother found themselves living on a friend’s couch until they secured a room in Father Joe’s Villages’ Emergency Shelter for Families.
Adolescence is already a tumultuous time for a girl— homelessness made it even harder. “At first, I was ashamed that that’s how life took us. It made it difficult socializing,” Sienna shared.
However, our specialized services were there to help. Shortly after moving in, Sienna attended her first Father Joe’s Villages’ Teen Club meeting.
“It felt like the best day of my life at the time. [Teen Club] felt like home. We ate, we laughed, we cooked…”
The Teen Club meets weekly to offer teens experiencing homelessness an escape from the daily pressures of school and family life. By engaging with peers who were also homeless, connecting with role models and simply having fun, Sienna gained a sense of comradery and normalcy.