Stories

Nonprofit to Offer Shelter During Stormy Weather

January 10, 2018

By Mario A. Cortez

Father Joe’s Villages, a human services nonprofit, will be expanding their assistance to the area’s homeless by offering shelter space during harsh weather conditions, in addition to offering meals and other ongoing services.

On the night of Monday, Jan. 8, the nonprofit’s Joan Kroc Center, located on the corner of 15th Street and Imperial Avenue, opened its doors for 99 homeless individuals, mainly families with children, so that they could have a dry place to spend the night.

“Last night was the first night of the season in which we had a substantial amount of rain and we were fortunate to take in people off the street and provide some food for them,” said Deacon Jim Vargas, president and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages, during a press briefing on the morning of Tuesday, Jan. 9.

During this briefing, Vargas explained that the inclement weather shelters will operate when forecasted temperatures are expected to be beneath 50 degrees and when the probability of rain exceeds 40 percent.

“Last night it didn’t fall under 50 degrees, thank God, but there was a substantial amount of rain so the facility was made available,” Vargas stated.

When the forecasted conditions call for it, Father Joe’s Villages staff and volunteers will convert two dining spaces into spaces which will accommodate about 100 people each, in addition to an extra area which can host 50 more people overnight.

Individuals looking to spend the night out of the elements can arrive at the Joan Kroc Center and register during dinner service.

The process to transform the dining are into a shelter will take place after dinner services, at about 6:30 p.m., and will take about an hour to fully transition. Those staying overnight will have to vacate the Joan Kroc Center’s premises at 5 a.m., as the shelter space will revert back to a dining area for breakfast service.

Father Joe’s Villages will be relying on word of mouth from the area’s homeless population and the 211 hotline.

The City of San Diego Housing Commision will be reimbursing Father Joe’s Villages on a per capita basis depending on how many people they take in each night they operate this shelter.

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