Father Joe’s Villages President Applauds $80M Commitment to Reduce San Diego Homelessness

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Jim Vargas, president and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages in San Diego. Image via Father Joe’s Villages

The San Diego Housing Commission and area elected officials Wednesday kicked off a three-year, $80 million program to provide more housing for the area’s burgeoning homeless population.

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The new phase of the commission’s Housing First-San Diego plan involves six initiatives, which include giving incentives to landlords to rent to the homeless, providing more than 700 housing vouchers, constructing more voucher-eligible housing units, and assisting 600 more families that become homeless because of a sudden change like loss of a job.

In January’s annual tally of the area’s transient population, 5,619 homeless individuals were counted in the city of San Diego, a 10.3 percent increase from last year. Of those, 3,231 were living on the streets.

In response to Wednesday’s kick-off, Father Joe’s Villages President and CEO, Deacon Jim Vargas stated that the city’s financial commitment aligns with his organization’s goals.
“We thank Mayor Faulconer, the City of San Diego and the San Diego Housing Commission for putting forth this plan and taking an important step toward creating the housing supply that our region desperately needs. At its core, San Diego’s homelessness crisis is a housing crisis. We are especially pleased that the city’s plan includes awarding up to $30 million to create 300 new units of permanent supportive housing. Creating more housing is key to ensuring we can more quickly put an end to homelessness.”

As San Diego’s largest homeless services provider, Father Joe’s Villages provides services such as housing, rental assistance, healthcare and education.

The funding commitment from the city “aligns closely with Father Joe’s Villages’ plan to provide approximately 2,000 additional affordable homes, including motels transformed into apartments, that will help Father Joe’s Villages and other providers help more people stay off the streets for good,” Vargas continued.
“As we applaud the city’s commitment to addressing homelessness, we acknowledge that there is more work to be done to meet the needs of individuals who are homeless across San Diego, including over 1,000 people sleeping on the streets of downtown on any given night,” he added. “We continue look to our region’s leaders and our community at large to join us in forging bold solutions to address San Diego’s homelessness crisis.”
–Staff, wire reports
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