SAN DIEGO–For many children who are homeless in San Diego, Father Joe’s Villages’ therapeutic childcare program provides a vital beacon of hope.
On May 13, Father Joe’s Villages will welcome guests to its 2017 Children’s Charity Gala: Pioneering the Future presented by Witt Lincoln. The event will take place at the U.S. Grant Hotel and will raise funds for Father Joe’s Villages’ therapeutic childcare program for children under 12, and will honor three community leaders in the fight to end homelessness.
“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, we provide young people the tools they need to help prevent homelessness in their adult lives.”
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. Father Joe’s Villages works with over 150 children every day to help them succeed in school and life.
In addition to fundraising to help children break the cycle of homelessness, Father Joe’s Villages will honor three community leaders who have ‘pioneered the future’ of San Diego. The awards will recognize the honorees’ contributions to Father Joe’s Villages’ mission to end homelessness. The awardees include:
- Father Joe’s Villages Award: Steve Boudreau
- For the Boudreau family, giving back to Father Joe’s Villages is a tradition. Each year, Steve Boudreau honors his family’s legacy by hosting the Red Boudreau Trial Lawyers Dinner. All proceeds from the event benefit programs at Father Joe’s Villages.
- Bishop Maher Award: Father Gilbert Gentile
- This award is presented to honorees who, like the late San Diego Bishop Leo T. Maher, put the needs of the poor first. “Father Gil” is famous for his years of hosting home-cooked dinners for homeless neighbors.
- Pierre Toussaint Award: Michael Eyer, Merrill Lynch
- This award recognizes those that show by example, as did Pierre Toussaint, that good business and good works are not only compatible, but integral. Since 1995, Eyer has lent his financial expertise to Father Joe’s Villages and hosts the annual children’s Christmas party for more than 100 children who are homeless.
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 entertainment.
Emcee Bill Griffith will preside over the dinner and program, including a live auction and dancing to San Diego band Atomic Groove.
Tickets and sponsorships are available at www.fjvgala.com, or by calling 1-800-HOMELESS.