SAN DIEGO–Father Joe’s Villages takes you on a trip to Cuba for its 2016 Children’s Charity Gala: A Night in Old Havana presented by Witt Lincoln. The island getaway will take place on Saturday, May 21 at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe and raise money for Father Joe’s Villages’ youth support programs, including therapeutic childcare services for children ages zero to 12 and Toussaint Academy for homeless teens and at-risk youth.
“Children who are homeless are four times as likely to have developmental delays and twice as apt to repeat a grade in school. Over half will not finish high school,” says Deacon Jim Vargas, president and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages. “By offering programs like those through our therapeutic childcare and Toussaint Academy, we provide young people the tools they need to help prevent homelessness in their adult lives.”
Proceeds from the gala help these youth obtain the tools they need to break the cycle of homelessness, including safe housing, medical and dental services, mental health support, nutritious meals, solid guidance toward life and scholastic goals and opportunities for their parents to work toward self-sufficiency.
The evening will begin with a VIP reception at 5 p.m., followed by a 6 p.m. social hour and silent auction, with hosted bar and cigar lounge. Honorary chairs Kimberly Hunt and Billy Ray Smith will preside over an exquisite dinner and program, including a live auction and dancing to San Diego’s favorite band, Atomic Groove.
At the event, Father Joe’s Villages will also make two special award presentations. Jerome’s Furniture and the Navarra family will be honored with the Pierre Toussaint Award. Danny Martinez, a UFC champion, will be presented with the Father Joe’s Villages Award, which recognizes the honorees’ contributions to Father Joe’s mission to end homelessness, one life at a time.
An estimated 1.6 million kids in America are homeless, and the number is growing. The National Alliance to End Homelessness estimates that there are 550,0000 unaccompanied youth up to age 24 and 380,000 of those are under the age of 18, 2,000 of them in San Diego. Most come from families in poverty where stable housing was already in jeopardy, are fleeing abuse-physical, sexual, emotional, domestic violence, or neglect, are leaving child welfare services or juvenile justice system or are dealing with homophobia within family of origin.
Tickets and sponsorships are available by calling 1-800-HOMELESS.