Written by Destiny Garcia-Rodriguez
Our most beloved Father Joe Carroll has passed away and will be missed greatly by the San Diego County community. Since 1982 Father Joe has generously served the less fortunate of our community until 2011 when he retired. He created programs to help house the homeless, provide medical aid and childcare for those who could not afford it.
Father Joe Carroll started serving the community by feeding local homeless people peanut butter sandwiches and with the continuation of serving others, he became the CEO and president of the then known St. Vincent de Paul Village. One project Father Joe worked on was the 5k race on Thanksgiving in Balboa Park which raised funds to feed over 1.7 million people.
The Father Joe’s Village has focused on reducing homelessness and potentially ending it in San Diego. The organization has served the community by not only housing the homeless by giving shelter but also helps children by giving them a better opportunity for education. Furthermore, in just the last year over 4,000 people have received health care at Father Joe’s. The organization also gives opportunities for others to volunteer their time to serve the homeless or donate food or financially.
Father Joe Carroll has said “These are neighbors not strangers. They are somebody’s son, daughter. They’re just in trouble but there’s a way to help.” Which demonstrates his heart for the less fortunate people in his community and the need to serve them.
In addition, he has fund-raised over $40 million and the organization he established has employed nearly 500 people which has made a slight difference in unemployment rates.
While Carroll was also a priest, he had another goal of spreading the message of God’s love and compassion. While he practiced it by serving the less fortunate of his community.