Mayor Gloria Meets with Residents of Father Joes Villages Womens Shelter
THREE WOMEN EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS SHARE THEIR STORIES ON INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 8, 2021
Mayor Todd Gloria: MayorPress@sandiego.gov
Father Joes Villages: Jerralyn Davis, Jerralyn@gomixte.com, 805-616-6971
SAN DIEGO Mayor Todd Gloria recognized International Womens Day on Monday by meeting with three residents of Father Joes Villages Bishop Maher Interim Shelter and hearing their stories of what its like to be a woman and live on the streets of San Diego.
Shelter residents Andrea, Josie and Michelle chatted with Mayor Gloria along with Deacon Jim Vargas, president and CEO of Father Joes Villages, and Ruth Bruland, chief program officer of Father Joes Villages, at the organizations Ladies Guild room at its East Village campus. The three women, whose last names have been withheld for privacy, shared stories of adversity, hope and resilience and shed light on the realities of homelessness and how services at Father Joes Villages are helping them leave homelessness behind for good.
I am grateful to Andrea, Josie and Michelle for bravely opening up to me about their experiences, Mayor Gloria said. Too often, we talk about homelessness in terms of numbers. Each number has a name and a story. It was important for me to listen to these three courageous women talk about life without a safe place to call home. This in-depth conversation has only strengthened my resolve to do everything in my power to solve homelessness in San Diego.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in December the U.S. economy lost 140,000 jobs, disproportionately affecting women across America. The COVID-19 health and economic crisis worsened unemployment, and lack of affordable housing forces many San Diego women out of their homes and onto the streets.
I am extremely grateful to the women who shared their stories and had a courageous conversation with myself and Mayor Gloria today, Deacon Vargas said. What women and people experiencing homelessness have to say matters and informs our actions and programs. Its important that we are here to listen with compassionate hearts and open minds. We cannot end the cycle of homelessness in San Diego alone. We appreciate the support and partnership from Mayor Gloria and the San Diego Housing Commission to develop community-focused solutions to help people leave homelessness behind for good.
Addressing homelessness is Mayor Glorias top long-term priority.
Let me be clear, we must change the status quo on homelessness, he said in his State of the City address on Jan. 15. Some people want quick, easy solutions to one of our most complex and pressing issues. But there are no shortcuts to end homelessness. Instead, it will take steadfast, unrelenting tenacity.
Mondays conversation underscored the reality that homelessness is as complex and varied as the people who experience it, and that theres no one-size-fits-all approach to ending it. Women face their own unique challenges, as do transition-age youth (people between 18 and 24 years old). In February, Mayor Gloria announced new funding for shelter and services for transition-age San Diegans.
Father Joes Villages in partnership with Mayor Gloria and the San Diego Housing Commission is actively working to end the cycle of homelessness in the region by providing 28 women with a safe place to stay in the Bishop Maher Interim Shelter and 40 women at the Paul Mirabile Center at Father Joes Villages East Village campus.
Residents at the shelter receive support and access to free comprehensive wraparound services to help them get back on their feet and become self-sufficient.In total, Father Joes Villages served over 1,000 women through our shelter programs in 2020.
March 8 is International Womens Day. The theme in 2021 is Choose to Challenge meant to confront and call out gender bias and inequality. People around the globe are encouraged to share photos of themselves raising their hands, using the hashtags #ChooseToChallenge and #IWD2021 and committing to help create a more inclusive world.
About Father Joes Villages:
As San Diegos largest homeless services provider, Father Joes Villages ensures that each person can rediscover hope and leave homelessness behind. To address the complex needs of people who are homeless, the organization provides housing for more than 2,100 people each night, along with primary, dental and behavioral health care, substance use disorder treatment, job training, therapeutic childcare and more. This mission is made possible only through the efforts of compassionate staff, volunteer work, car donation, and generous public and private charitable contributions. For more information, please visit: https://.my.neighbor.org/.