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Father Joe's Villages unveils planned memorial promenade

Father Joe Carrol.jpg
Posted at 9:31 AM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 12:31:42-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - In honor of the work and legacy of Father Joe Carroll, Father Joe's Villages virtually unveiled the planned Father Joe Carroll Memorial Promenade Tuesday.

The promenade, scheduled to be completed in early 2022, will be located in front of the organization's newest affordable housing community, Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa, in East Village -- part of Father Joe's Villages' Turning the Key initiative.

"Father Joe Carroll inspired everyone around him to take action and work together to provide effective and compassionate care to people experiencing homelessness," said Deacon Jim Vargas, president and chief executive officer at Father Joe's Villages. "Through the Father Joe Carroll Memorial Promenade, we continue to honor Father Joe's 30 years of service providing hope to those who need it most.

"We're thrilled to invite the entire community to join this effort to celebrate an incredible leader," Vargas concluded.

Carroll, a San Diego icon of charitable services whose decades of work for the homeless made him a noted figure nationally and a beloved civic fixture in his adopted hometown, died July 10 at 80 following a battle with diabetes.

He was president and CEO of St. Vincent de Paul Village from 1982 until his retirement in 2011, and the facility was renamed Father Joe's Villages in his honor in 2015.

A second path, parallel to the grand expanded sidewalk, will feature footprints of Father Joe that will be embedded to "symbolize his focused determination to provide comprehensive services for those in need," a statement from the homeless services agency read.

Once completed, visitors will be encouraged to step on the wet stone at the walkway's southern entrance. As they step off, they will leave their own footprints on the path, offering them the opportunity to walk with Father Joe in his mission to end homelessness, one life at a time.

Plaques to commemorate Father Joe's Congressional Medal of Honor Society's Citizen Service Above Self Award and the organization's motto "Neighbors Helping Neighbors" will hang at the building's entrance. Placed within the seating areas on the promenade will be statues of small children and planters emblazoned with quotes from clients.

The Turning the Key initiative is intended to create 2,000 affordable housing units for people experiencing homelessness, and ensure that people have what they need to stay housed long-term.

Located adjacent to Father Joe's Villages East Village campus of comprehensive services and programs, Saint Teresa of Calcutta Villa is intended to shelter more than 500 men, women and children throughout the 407 units of affordable and supportive housing.

The community is invited to reserve a commemorative paver within the Father Joe Carroll Memorial Promenade online here.