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Transitional Housing

St. Vincent de Paul Village provides interim and transitional housing on a four-block campus in downtown San Diego's East Village neighborhood. Residential services are located on this campus at the Joan Kroc Center, the Bishop Maher Center and the Paul Mirabile Center. For more information about each of the buildings, click here. Interim housing is available for single adults or families in the Rapid Rehousing program or who are able to obtain self-sufficiency within 120 days. Transitional housing is an option for those who need more support in order to obtain self-sufficiency.

Nightly, the Village houses 851 homeless single adults and families with children. The Village CREED of Compassion, Respect, Empathy, Empowerment and Dignity is at the forefront of Residential Services. Their mission is to assist residents in regaining independence by providing a stable living environment, the guidance and support of a multidisciplinary team and access to appropriate resources that support them in reaching their self-sufficiency goals. Residential staff provides critical support 24 hours a day to residents in their living environment. The members of the transformational teams have office space in each of the residential buildings to facilitate easy interaction between staff and residents. Each facility is meticulously maintained by Facilities staff and residents participating in Shared Living Responsibilities. In addition, facilities are staffed with a security team and equipped with cameras in public areas to ensure the safety of our campus.


  • 2,565 residents and tenants were housed in 2010.
  • In 2010, 1,046 (85%) of residents served reported on a satisfaction survey that they felt informed and supported to maintain their housing

Case Management

Case Managers also utilize their expertise in motivational interviewing to support clients in developing and achieving individualized income and housing goals. Case Managers empower clients to obtain a productive and meaningful life. They work with clients to develop, monitor and support individualized case plans that focus on addressing the issues that caused each client’s homelessness. Services available through Case Management include development and monitoring of case plan goals and objectives, budgeting and monitoring of expenses, advocacy and referrals to internal and external social services, crisis intervention and support for educational, vocational, and follow-up services.


  • 94% of families and 62% of individuals leaving our program in 2010 progressed successfully to independent housing.

Addiction Treatment & Education Center (ATEC)

The Village’s Addiction Treatment & Education Center (ATEC) is a state-certified outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program.

Our Addiction Counselors use their expertise in motivational interviewing to provide individual and group recovery programs for residents in a compassionate environment. Residents in our transitional housing program live in a sober living environment and are assessed for alcohol and drug use, abuse and dependence. Those in need of treatment or assistance with sober living are assessed by certified addiction treatment counselors and referred to appropriate recovery groups. ATEC Counselors help residents develop individual treatment plans and provide support and referrals to Village services and community agencies as needed.


  • In 2010, 229 clients participated in our Discovery Group, a six-week intervention aimed to increase motivation to enter treatment. Of the participants, 43% remained drug and alcohol-free for at least four months and 62% went on to develop a treatment plan and participate in the ATEC treatment program.
  • In 2010, 64% of ATEC clients exited the program with at least four months of continuous abstinence from drugs and alcohol. (Other day treatment programs in San Diego County average a 37% success rate.)

Mental Health Services

Mental Health Services provides individual and group therapy to couples, families, single adults and children. The services are delivered by licensed therapists and masters and PhD level clinical interns who serve the program through partnerships with several universities. Additionally, Mental Health Services provides a variety of support, process and educational groups, including Anger Management, Parenting Education, Men’s Support, Co-Occurring Disorders, Baby Classes, and the Reflections Group – an innovative right-brain, trauma intervention group that uses multi-media developed at St. Vincent de Paul Village. The Mental Health Services staff also provides feedback and consultation to each multidisciplinary team and is actively involved in each client’s path to self-sufficiency.

The Mental Health Clinicians at the Village are trained professionals with expertise in treating Axis-I mental health disorders, trauma, co-occurring disorders and child development disorders. Clinicians use a variety of counseling techniques, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, motivational interviewing, and affect regulation to assist clients with their mental health recovery.


  • In 2010, Mental Health Services provided one-on-one, couples, and family therapy to more than 370 adult residents in families and single men’s and women’s programs. Over 65% demonstrated improvement in mental health symptoms.
  • 263 residents participated in Psychoeducation Groups in 2010, including Anger Management Group, Parenting Education Group, and Baby Classes designed for children ages 0-5, where parents and children participate together. After participating in these groups, 73% demonstrated an increase in knowledge.
  • In 2010, 242 residents participated in Process/Support Groups. After participating in a Process/Support Group, 65% demonstrated improvement in their mental health symptoms.
  • Mental Health Services received the 2010 Outpatient Services Program of the Year award from the County of San Diego Mental Health provider community.

Village Family Health Center

Our licensed Federally Qualified Health Center provides primary care, dental, psychiatry, prevention screenings, health education, and many other specialty services to more than 3,000 neighbors in need annually. Our physicians and health educators help patients control chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, which often lead to acute crises, thereby saving lives, improving quality of life and preventing even more emergency room visits.

Our patients have severe and complex medical and mental health conditions. Some of these clients have been homeless for years, but with our treatment they are stabilized and can obtain employment and permanent housing. Our clinic has served as the medical home for people in the Serial Inebriate Program, a program for people with severe alcohol dependence, since 1995; starting in 2011 has also been the medical home for people in Project 25, a program for homeless people with extremely high use of hospitals and emergency rooms. In addition, our restorative dentistry program also transforms our clients' lives by providing dentures for those who have had severe tooth decay. By restoring their smile we enhance their appearance and their self-esteem which makes it possible for them to find stable employment and permanent housing.

In addition, in an effort to integrate into the San Diego community and provide exceptional quality care for our clients, the health center has maintained a longstanding partnership with the University of California, San Diego, and is the primary training site for their Combined Family Medicine and Psychiatry Residency Program. These unique physicians can assess both the medical and psychiatric needs of clients "in one white coat". This is a key component in what Father Joe calls "The University of The Human Spirit" where medical students and patients learn from each other, each offering the other improved quality of life and an invaluable education. The clinic also serves as a training site for residents from UCSD Internal Medicine, Family Medicine and Psychiatry, and from Scripps Chula Vista Family Medicine training programs. Finally, many volunteers from the community also participate in this transformational relationship by donating their time and skills to provide care for our neighbors in need. Volunteers and clients alike are enriched by the experience.

You can learn more about volunteering, click here.


  • In 2010, 3,600 emergency room visits were prevented which saved tax payers over $7,000,000.
  • The cost of an average ER visit in San Diego is $762.00 according to the 100,000 Homes National Campaign Downtown San Diego Partnership Registry Week Report.
  • The average cost of an ambulance ride is $1,248 according to Dr. James Dunford, Medical Director for the San Diego County's Emergency Medical Services.
  • 56% of patients treated for diabetes and/or hypertension in 2010 saw their physical health improve.
  • 55% of patients seen by psychiatrists in 2010 experienced improvement or stabilization of psychiatric functioning or symptoms.

Career & Education Center (CEC)

The Career & Education Center provides professional skills training and job-seeking support to enable residents to secure permanent employment with local businesses. Clients on Career Track receive both education and training to compete in today’s rapidly evolving workplaces. Our Job Developer creates long-term partnerships with employers to ensure solid matches and ongoing support of the clients. If vocational training is needed the program can assist with funds for tuition, books and transportation to class. Specialized job training in our popular Culinary Arts Program (link to CAP page) is also available. A Community College instructor is on site daily at our program to teach Adult Education and GED classes. In addition CEC instructors, interns and volunteers (link to volunteer page) teach financial management classes, computer classes including Microsoft Word, internet skills, keyboarding and computer essentials and other life skills courses.

The training and education residents receive in the Career & Education Center make them valuable additions to the San Diego workforce. Employers throughout San Diego can benefit from this professional, no-fee staffing solution.

What our candidates bring to your workplace:

  • • Diverse spectrum of work skills and experiences
  • • Intense desire to succeed
  • • Polite employees with strong customer service orientation

Email to hire a client and learn more about our workforce development services.


  • In 2010 the CEC placed 57% of our job seekers in paid employment despite a local unemployment rate of 10.5%
  • In 2010, fourteen students secured their GED and 9 were in progress.
  • In 2010, 1,847 clients spent 86,469 hours in the Computer Lab, 618 clients spent 38,681 hours in the Adult Education Classroom and clients attended 146,134 sessions of job preparation and life skills instruction.
  • Of 294 adults in career track and graduated from the Village program, 97% increased their academic, work-readiness and life skills.


The Chaplaincy program is nondenominational and strives to offer a hope-filled presence and compassionate listening to all guests, both residential and non-residential. Chaplain volunteers and those in training are from all faiths and offer a variety of services, including Interfaith services, Catholic Mass, memorials, bible study, men’s and women’s support groups, retreats, meditation and spiritual counseling. All offerings are completely voluntary.


  • 576 people accessed chaplaincy services in 2010.

Village Child Development Center

The mission of our State licensed Child Development Center is to prepare homeless children for school and life success by improving their social and emotional well-being and partnering with parents to build strong, self-reliant families. By offering programs and activities that foster cognitive, social, physical and emotional growth, we aim to prevent further regression and bring children to their developmental and academic grade levels and beyond as research shows that children who are homeless are four more times as likely to have delayed development and twice as likely to repeat a grade in school.* (see footnotes below for stats)

The Village Child Development Center provides the Village’s average of 150 children per day with a safe, healthy and nurturing atmosphere while parents work to secure and maintain employment, attend classes, and keep medical, counseling and other important appointments. We also provide opportunities for parents to improve their parenting skills and foster healthy parent/child interactions through social and educational activities and our Family Literacy Program. Our services, specifically designed to address the unique needs of children and their parents residing at the Village, include infant, toddler and preschool care, after school programs, tutoring, leadership development, teen club, and an array of social groups for children of all ages.

In early 2012, the program will move into the new state-of-the-art Village Child Development Center. The new space will provide the ideal setting for our kids to engage in educational and social activities designed to address the many issues afflicting homeless children and youth. Most importantly, it will be a place where young minds will be inspired, imaginations ignited, and foundations for success later in life will be built.

*National Coalition for the Homeless, Fact Sheet #12, June 2008 and


  • In 2010, Children’s Services provided 237 children with the opportunity to explore, create, learn and grow.
  • 90% of the children who exited the Children’s Services infant-preschool program showed an increase of school readiness skills in 2010.
  • 92% of the parents who participated in the Children’s Services literacy program in 2010 showed an increase in their ability to improve their children’s literacy skills.

Assessment Center

Homeless Prevention Services staff and Social Work interns assess the housing needs of all clients prior to program entry. Once a client has entered our transitional housing program, he or she meets with the Assessment Center staff. Assessment Specialists use a combination of one-on-one interviews and standardized assessment tools to identify the client’s strengths and needs and to assist with the creation of individual and family case plans. The information gathered in the Assessment Center allows the Transformational Team to tailor case plans to individual needs and enables the Village to modify services in response to trends in the population.


  • In 2010 the Assessment Center provided assessments for 1,120 residents.

Culinary Arts Program (CAP)

The Culinary Arts Program (CAP) is an intensive, eight month-training program that consists of six months of classroom and lab work followed by a two month internship working as a Chef in the community. Within CAP’s highly structured environment, residents learn and practice professional work skills and attitudes that will serve them for a lifetime. We balance compassion and support with expectations for professional behavior that meet the demands of the workplace.

CAP follows the state-approved curriculum, students obtain ServSafe training and CPR/first aid certification; gain valuable work experience in both institutional and restaurant-style venues; and receive job preparation skills, career counseling, free uniforms and career placement.

Because CAP students work and learn in an actual production kitchen, they gain a comprehensive understanding of institutional kitchen operations. In fact, the program is a critical component of the daily food service operations at St. Vincent de Paul Village. The kitchen prepares 3,000 hot, nutritious meals every day, not only for Village residents, but for neighbors in need in the community as well. For students pursuing a career in institutional or quantity cooking, the Village kitchen – preparing over 1.1 million meals a year – provides the perfect training ground and forms the foundation for their new careers. Students also have the opportunity to prepare and serve a higher end cuisine catering at our fundraising special events to help round out their skills and make them more competitive to employers.

Read more in our Village News online!


  • In 2010, 90% of CAP graduates obtained employment.

Health & Wellness Program

The Health and Wellness program seeks to provide a broad variety of positive, life-affirming activities to our residents. With weekly classes such as yoga, tai chi, walking, hiking, music and art, we intend to replace the limitations of homelessness with the pride and energy that come from treating oneself well. Through Team St. Vinnie’s, Father Joe’s own athletic team, residents compete in community events and learn the joy of working with others toward a common goal.

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Read More in the Union Tribune article

Read the Tai Chi Story


  • The Smoking Cessation class celebrated a 60% success rate in 2010.
  • In 2010 Team St. Vinnie’s members completed a 5K, eight hikes and a Triathlon (1,000-meter swim, 18-mile bike, 10K run).
  • Featured on NBC, KUSI, FOX, Univision and in the San Diego Union-Tribune

Housing Counseling

The Housing Locators assist clients in the Village’s shelter diversion, rapid re-housing and transitional housing programs to locate permanent housing. The Housing Locators develop a housing plan with each client, matches the client with the most appropriate housing options available, helps the client complete the application process and negotiates with landlords and property management as needed. The Housing Locators also facilitate a support group for those looking for housing and provide information and guidance on shared housing opportunities.

St. Vincent de Paul Village partners with Second Chance to provide expanded housing services onsite.


  • In 2010, our Housing Locators helped place 283 clients into permanent housing.

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