Anonymous donor to match gifts up to $100,000 at Father Joe’s Villages


File – Father Joe Carroll, the “Hustler Priest” known for his expansive work providing for San Diego’s homeless population, appears in an undated photo provided by his organization.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Donations to aid the homeless and provide mental health and substance abuse treatment at Father Joe’s Villages will be matched up to $100,000 this week thanks to an anonymous donor, officials said Monday.

The nonprofit said COVID-19 has exacerbated substance-use disorder and mental health needs throughout the San Diego area, with many service providers limited in capacity to meet regional demand. Newly donated funds will support psychiatric care, behavioral health programs, substance use disorder treatment including medication-assisted treatment services, therapeutic child care development services, and trauma-informed support.

“When individuals decide to overcome their substance use issues or access support for their mental health, it is critical to make sure that treatment and support options are available immediately,” said Deacon Jim Vargas, president and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages. “Yet San Diegans experiencing homelessness almost universally lack equal access to the services they need, including housing, substance use care, wellness programs, and behavioral health care. We are encouraged by the support shown by the community in addressing homelessness and substance use disorder in our community.”

All donations will be matched 100% through Sept. 3.

Last week, Father Joe’s Villages recorded an increase of COVID-19 cases at San Diego’s Golden Hall and Paul Mirabile Center shelters.

As of Friday afternoon, the number of infections detected during regular testing procedures stood at a combined 97 at the two interim housing and care facilities, with the increases likely related to the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus Delta variant.

Father Joe Carroll, a San Diego icon of charitable services whose decades of work for the homeless made him a noted figure nationally and a beloved civic fixture in his adopted hometown, died July 10 at 80 following a battle with diabetes.

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