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10News Exclusive: Father Joe discusses homelessness in San Diego

Posted at 11:23 PM, Oct 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-28 20:28:46-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - 10News sat down exclusively with Father Joe Carroll to talk about his legacy and fight against homelessness.

He got involved with the homeless in San Diego in 1982. "The bishop called me in his office told me, the next day he's going to appoint me head of St. Vincent de Paul and my job was to build a shelter."

Immediately assigned as the guy to find a solution to the problem, "When I first started, I'd be writing letters, 'please help me, please help me' and I'd get stacks back, 'no, no, no'."

Despite dealing with rejection and other challenges early on, Father Joe has remained committed to fighting homelessness for decades.

As Father Joe says, "the rest is history."

He remembers ten years ago when he first recognized the problem of homelessness was growing. "We ignored it and we ignored it and had all these crazy ideas which I still think they have, so, I still think it's not reachable for a few more decades."

Father Joe may be retired but he's still involved weekly in the fight against homelessness.

As he watches the City of San Diego continue to try and solve the problems, he tells 10News, "housing is not the answer to homelessness."

He says, instead, the answer is rehabilitation.

After decades of fighting homelessness, Father Joe says the answers come from the individuals themselves, "slowly but surely I learned you had to talk to the homeless first to know what you're doing."

While he's more removed from Father Joe's Villages since retirement, he still talks with the homeless community daily.

"Everyday I get out of here, I shake hands with people who are success stories, and that's what makes me want to do more."