Stories

Volunteers Give Homeless Center a New Look

June 8, 2018

By Andrea Lopez-Villafaña

Local professionals from the fields of auditing, consulting, and tax services, volunteered their Friday to revamp Father Joe’s Villages’ Joan Kroc Center as part of an annual community service activity.

Close to 100 employees of Deloitte, an organization that provide tax, audit and consulting services, spent the day gardening, painting, and cleaning different areas in the center, as well as serving lunch to homeless individuals who stay at the center, during its observance of Impact Day.

The annual volunteering activity is part of a nationwide event that celebrates the organization’s commitment to communities by having employees of member firms of Deloitte spend the day volunteering.

Ruth Bruland, chief program officer of Father Joe’s Villages, said the improvements made to the campus will create a calm space for individuals at the center, which is important because life out on the street is anything but calm.

“For them to have it be calm helps set such a great starting point,” Bruland said.

The building, which has been around since 1987, has numerous staff and thousands of volunteers, however, the campus is so large that events like Friday’s allows for more success, according to Bruland.

Bruland said the size of the volunteer group from Deloitte will allow the center to checkoff spring cleaning needs at the Joan Kroc Center.

“We could not do what we do without the help of our volunteers,” Bruland said.

Volunteers were enjoying the day out of the office and while some were providing landscaping needs for the courtyard area, others were indoors working in the kitchen and painting walls.

Chris Booth, managing director for Deloitte, said Friday was his 16th time participating in the company’s Impact Day.

Booth, a native San Diegan, leads the San Diego office and the volunteer committee for the organization and he said he sees the impact that the volunteers make all around the county.

According to Booth, volunteers from Deloitte were not only at the center but also at other locations volunteering in Escondido, San Ysidro, and downtown with other organizations and schools.

“This is one of the best days of the year. We get to put our computers down and come out and really connect with the community in which we live,” Booth said.

Jonathan Herrera, senior advisor on homelessness for the City of San Diego, said life on the streets is hard, however, with events like Impact Day, there will be a lot of smiling faces from the individuals at the center.

Father Joe’s Villages provides services for homeless individuals and housing for more than 2,000 individuals every night. The organization is one of San Diego’s largest service providers for homeless individuals who need healthcare, addiction treatment, education, job training, and therapeutic childcare services.

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