Father Joe's Villages truck
A Father Joe’s Villages truck. Courtesy of the charity

Father Joe’s Villages announced Friday its latest gala raised $900,000 to support homeless children.

More than 400 people attended the annual Children’s Charity Gala last week. Donations will fund the nonprofit’s therapeutic child care center and other services.

Father Joe’s Villages believes that every child, regardless of their circumstances, should have a bright future full of promise and possibility,” said Deacon Jim Vargas, Father Joe’s president and CEO. “It was clear that the hundreds of generous individuals who came together at that gala share this belief. The funds raised at this event are critical to providing the opportunity to thrive that these children need.”

The nonprofit provides a variety of services intended to help families and children break the cycle of homelessness. Programs include housing, meal services, medical and dental care, employment services, specialized behavioral health care and child care.

Father Joe’s also operates the city of San Diego’s 150-bed tent shelter in the East Village, which opened in January, and two-thirds of the organization’s $33 million budget comes from private donations, according to the nonprofit.

San Diego County has the fourth-largest population of homeless individuals in the country.

The San Diego County Office of Education reported in February that 23,854 county students were homeless last year: a record high and a 4.7 percent increase from the previous year. That figure includes students who at some point during the school year were living unsheltered, in transitional housing, in motels or hotels, or most frequently, doubled up in a home with another family.

For their work combating homelessness, this year’s Children’s Charity Gala honored Qualcomm co-founder Franklin Antonio and the Mulvaney family, as well as students from Cathedral Catholic and St. Augustine high schools.

— From Staff and Wire Reports

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