The San Diego community was invited to double its donation power Aug. 25 to 31 in a matching gift campaign to support behavioral health services at Father Joe’s Villages.

Donations were matched 100%, up to $250,000. The donation match supports behavioral health services, including psychiatric care, substance use disorder treatment, therapeutic child care development services and other support services offered by Father Joe’s Villages. The matching funds are provided by dedicated donors in memory of Michael D. Brooks.

$279,491 was raised through the matching gift campaign.

The donations received will support Father Joe’s Villages’ efforts to address barriers to housing and employment, including rising opioid use rates and mental health issues among people who are experiencing homelessness in San Diego.

Substance use disorder and mental health needs are on the rise among San Diegans experiencing homelessness. The trauma that comes with life on the streets can be overwhelming and can lead to unhealthy choices and coping mechanisms. For those already enduring mental health conditions, the complications of homelessness only intensify their symptoms.

To help address this, comprehensive behavioral health services offered through Father Joe’s Villages’ Village Health Clinic are crucial. Through these services, neighbors struggling with mental health challenges can access the tools they need to manage their mental health symptoms and move toward recovery.

“No matter the circumstances that bring them to Father Joe’s Villages, we know that our neighbors experiencing both homelessness and behavioral health challenges deserve dignity and access to care,” said Deacon Jim Vargas, president and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages. “With your help, our neighbors in need can find their way home and move from despair into hope.”

The above comes from an Oct. 5 story in the Southern Cross.