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Caring for our neighbors in need

A brief look at the services of Father Joe’s Villages

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Father Joe’s Villages offers homeless children, families and adults the opportunity to rehabilitate their lives through its nationally recognized Continuum of Care. This model provides a comprehensive response to meeting the multiple needs of our clients at its four member villages in San Diego and Indio.

The continuum begins at St. Vincent de Paul Village with services such as meals for our neighbors in need, showers and public restrooms, local phone calls, and fax and copy machines — all at no charge.

Homeless families and individuals living at any of Father Joe’s Villages are eligible for a progressive range of residential and social services leading to independence and self-sufficiency.

The following are some common scenarios of resident experiences in programs in the Villages’ Continuum of Care.

Recovery Services

You may know someone like Kevin.

He came back from Vietnam addicted to painkillers after his leg was shot up. Kevin couldn’t hold a job, he suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome and eventually he became estranged from his family. Getting his next fix became his life.

Stories like his are common among the hundreds of veterans in the recovery programs at St. Vincent de Paul Village. They have successfully turned their lives around as a result of the Village’s Continuum of Care, which offers housing and rehabilitation services all in one place. Residents who strive to be clean and sober benefit from:

• Case managers

• Free medical care and medications

• 20-week bilingual program for substance addictions, codependency and eating disorders

• Daily 12-step meetings

• Job training

• Job search assistance

Career & Education Center

You remember Ted.

He bussed tables at the restaurant where you take your kids for breakfast every Saturday. Ted always had a smile for everyone, even as he fought through a divorce, lost his kids in a drawn-out custody battle and swiftly sank into depression.

Now, Ted hasn’t been at the restaurant in several months, and according to gossip he’s out on the street, homeless and unemployed.

But gossip never tells the whole story. After weeks on the street, Ted came to stay at St. Vincent de Paul Village and is currently enrolled in the Culinary Arts Program at the Career & Education Center (CEC).

He’s studying for his GED and working in the kitchen at the Village. He hopes to secure a job as a chef and have his own apartment within six months.

The Career & Education Center offers an array of services to your neighbors like Ted:

• Adult education and GED classes

• Career counseling and job leads

• Resource center — free local telephone calls, faxes, copies, message service and Internet access

• Certification in property management, basic office systems and typing skills

• Culinary Arts Program — training and internships in food service and hospitality industries

• “Challenge to Change” program — enhances self-esteem, increases motivation and helps residents set realistic goals

Village Family Health Center

Sonia’s 4-year-old daughter showed signs of an asthma attack.

She knew what to do — calm her down and get her an inhaler. Except, there was no inhaler. Sonia was homeless and couldn’t afford medication.

Fortunately, Sonia and her family were able to move into St. Vincent de Paul Village where residents — more than 900 children, families and adults — have access to multiple medical services on site.

Eliminating the obstacle of scattered health resources, the Village Family Health Center offers at no charge:

• Family medicine

• Internal medicine

• Prenatal care and gynecology

• Pediatric medicine

• Psychiatry

• Dentistry

• Dermatology

• Gastroenterology

• Ophthalmology and optometry

• Rheumatology

• Laboratory services

• Dispensary for medications

• Full range of clinical mental health services

Children’s Services

You know the Medina family.

Every day you’d wave to your neighbors, fourth-grader Mari Medina and her three younger brothers, as they played in front of their apartment building near your home.

Then Mari’s papa injured his back, lost his custodian job and couldn’t afford the rent.

Last you heard, Mari and her parents and siblings were living out of their car.

The family was referred to St. Vincent de Paul Village by a teacher at Mari’s school.

Now, Mari’s family lives together at St. Vincent’s; her parents have found jobs and they’re both taking adult education classes. Through Children’s Services, Mari and her brothers attend Harbor Elementary, the on-site school, and the four of them have fun at the Village’s daycare in the afternoons. Mari thanks God every night for the Village, although she still looks forward to a day when she can have her own room!

Through Children’s Services, kids like Mari can take advantage of a multitude of services:

• On-site county school

• After-school program

• Licensed daycare

• Tutoring

• Family literacy

• Children’s therapy

• Medical services

• Foster grandparent program

• Family unity nights

• Teen and pre-teen clubs

• Project SAFECHILD, an early identification and intervention program

Toussaint Academy of the Arts and Sciences

Chandra was your friend.

She sat next to you in high school art class. You remember the things she used to say, how her stepfather hit her, how she’d been in and out of foster homes, never staying anywhere for long. Her last foster family had four other foster kids, and she had fights with her foster mom nearly every day. Chandra told you she was thinking of running away.

As it turned out, Chandra didn’t have to run away from her foster home. Her county social worker referred her to Toussaint Academy of the Arts and Sciences, an innovative residential program of Father Joe’s Villages for homeless and foster youth that combines compassion and education with science and expressive arts. Chandra moved into Toussaint Academy and met teens who’ve been through similar experiences, and who, like her, want to succeed and be independent.

At Toussaint Academy, teens like Chandra take advantage of diverse programs:

• On-site county high school enhanced by tutoring and homework assistance

• Residential dormitories with counselor supervision, life skills coaching and mentoring

• Weekly meetings with case managers

• Medical, dental and mental health services through St. Vincent de Paul Village

• Life skills education

• Employment services

• Enrichment options include music, fine arts, photography, drama, filmmaking, dance and more

• Post-graduation academic and scholarship assistance

• Alumni assistance for housing and job placement

International AIDS Foundation/Josue Homes

Lorne was 19 when he went to prison.

After four years in Calipatria, he was released and referred to Josue Homes in San Diego, where people living with HIV/AIDS — like him — could find a temporary home while putting their lives back together.

“When I arrived, I was prison tough, trusted no one,” he said. “Slowly I realized people were not judging me — just trying to help me rebuild my life.”

Like hundreds of HIV/AIDS men and women before him, Lorne took advantage of the Continuum of Care offered at Josue Homes, a member of Father Joe’s Villages.

Up to 26 residents live at one of three Josue Homes and experience a supportive environment that includes:

• Comfortable, home-like setting

• Residency for up to 18 months

• Assistance with obtaining financial and medical benefits

• Social services from St. Vincent de Paul Village, such as

— Health and dental care

— Recovery programs

— Career & Education courses and job training

— Homeless Court

• Access to permanent, supportive housing through Father Joe’s Villages

— Villa Harvey Mandel

— Village Place

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