Take a Success stories Heeeeeeeeere’s Johnny!
Saving, Inspiring and Changing Lives Pages 4,5 and 12
Nativity Tour Meet the “Mayor of
See Father Joe’s collection
Neighbors Helping Neighbors Pages 11
Village Crier Neighbors reception Pages 11
December 2010 • Volume 20, Issue 3
Christmas Caroling Downtown
and Limo Party Partnership
By Patricia M. walsh honors
J ust before sunset on December
8, 11 sleek, black stretch
limousines and 50 gleaming
Harleys roll into the courtyard Vince Kasperick, chairman of
at St. Vincent de Paul Village, a the board for St. Vincent de Paul
homeless rehabilitation center Village, accepted the Vic Kops
south of downtown San Diego. Humanitarian Award from the
Uniformed limo drivers get out Downtown San Diego Partnership
and stand by their vehicles. Leather VILLAGE NEWS Patricia M. Walsh on November 3 at the 48th Annual
wearing Harley owners, their hogs The party is complete with pizza. Alonzo Awards.
parked perfectly on the perimeter of Accepting the award on “behalf
the limos, mingle, take photos and limos and pile in. of the volunteers, staff and donors
wait for the party to start. Onlookers “Dad, they’re so small. How of the Village,” Kasperick added:
gawk in awe from the sidewalk at can they be homeless?” one of the “We have a solution that works”
the impeccable machinery. Some Harley owner’s son’s asks. “Anybody for addressing the issues of
Harley owners bring their families can be homeless, even babies,” his homelessness in San Diego. “Father
– husbands, wives, children – to dad replies. Joe for 60 years has been operating
join in the festivities. After the little ones are situated, a model that is proven to work.”
“Here they come!” a voice calls older children jump into their The Alonzo Awards honor the
from the crowd. waiting rides. Doors slam, engines people, projects and programs
First the 6- and 7-year olds walk rev. Harley engines roar as the first contributing to the improvement
out of the Joan Kroc Center. Wearing bikes pull onto Imperial Avenue, and revitalization of downtown
Santa hats, they are all holding their headlights piercing the now- VILLAGE NEWS Kathy Medved San Diego.
hands with their parents and staff. dark night. The limos pull out PLAYTIME AT MARTHA’S VILLAGE & KITCHEN: Kevin and Joan The Partnership works to
Wide eyed, they pass through a to meet their motorcycle escort. Knee, Martha’s Village board members, have graciously donated their advance downtown San Diego as
reception line of applauding Harley company’s extensive, top-of-the-line play structure to the Children’s Services the leading economic, cultural
owners and move timidly to the Continued on page 7
playground. Their four children, Bob, 15; Eddie, 11; Jackie, 11; and Teddy, 10; and governmental center of
agreed that it was a great idea and got in on the fun. See story, page 14.
the region through leadership,
advocacy and education. n
‘Those people’ are neighbors you can appreciate
By Mr. JBR them the way I do.
I read an op/ed piece from an East Village Neighbor
Father Joe Carroll is my neighbor. A great neighbor about Father Joe’s “Foodies” and how if he would stop
at that. feeding the same old crowd over and over, the homeless
His motto is Neighbors Helping Neighbors® and he problem downtown would be solved.
lives up to it. “Those people” shouldn’t be encouraged, she
MANAgEMENt I try to, too. said. They’ll never go away if you feed them. Like
I volunteer there sometimes serving meals. And I eat stray dogs.
PaID San Diego, CA 92102-3332
3350 E Street with them. I have come to enjoy the people there. They It really pissed me off. I’m betting she’s never been
are eclectic. I don’t think some of my other neighbors,
NoN-ProFIt St. Vincent de Paul Village
the ones in the sparsely populated condos, appreciate Continued on page 10
6 Village News, December 2010
St. Vincent de Paul Village
by Patricia m. walsh set your watch by it because he’s goods . Parishioners at Our Lady of
always on time. the Rosary in Little Italy, Johnny,
W hen the “Mayor of East
Village” is in the house
everyone knows it and is happy
“He comes and goes so quickly, but
you always know he’s here because
he says, “Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s
Rose and their children also
volunteer with their church to serve
meals at the Village.
to see him. Staff at the Village, Johnny!” says Mayra Campos, Guest “We try to give back,” Johnny
residents, neighbors in need who Services program supervisor at the says. “There are a lot of good
come for a noon-day meal, all Village’s Joan Kroc Center. “He’s people at the Village,” Johnny says.
know Johnny by name. He’s a part always cheerful and at Christmas “Sometimes I think we don’t know
of the intricate tapestry of life in he comes in wearing a Santa hat.” how fortunate we are.”
San Diego’s East Village. When he’s not on his route But it’s not all work and no play
For 21 years Johnny Cefalu has delivering packages at the Village, for the self-described “exuberant
been driving the same UPS route Johnny, 48, and his family are Italian.” Johnny knows how to
in East Village, delivery packages making a difference in the lives of enjoy himself in the neighborhood VILLAGE NEWS Patricia M. Walsh
and spreading his signature good our neighbors in need. While on too, taking in ball games and Like the bell tower at St. Vincent de Paul Village, Johnny Cefalu and his UPS truck
will. He’s always waiving, high vacation recently at home in Point shopping in local stores. are iconic symbols in San Diego’s East Village.
fiving, fist bumping and greeting Loma, Johnny and his wife Rose The next time you see a
everyone with a “have a great day.” were waiting for a truck from St. happy, hard working uniformed and wave, because chances are
You can count on him to deliver Vincent de Paul Village to pick up a driver in a UPS truck on the “Theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere’s Patricia M. Walsh is editor of
a smile with every package, and donation of furniture and household streets of East Village, smile Johnny.” n VILLAGE NEWS.
Programs created six teams; five teams work program and, because they have and a Career Team. Each team each resident’s case plan to achieve
Continued from page 4 with residents in Transitional sufficient income, can be rapidly includes case managers, substance income and permanent housing as
Housing and one team, the Rapid re-housed within four months. abuse counselors, mental health quickly as possible.
other programs. Now, staff Re-Housing/Shelter Diversion The five teams in Transitional clinicians, career counselors, In November, staff began an
members from various Team, works with people who are Housing include a Family Team, medical staff, chaplaincy and evaluation of the impact of the
departments are integrated in currently on the waiting list to a Veteran’s Team, a Co-occurring residential specialists—every changes. “We are already seeing
a team co-location. The Village enter the program or who are in the Disorders Team, a Benefits Team, service that residents need to get a significant reduction in our
back on their feet as quickly as shelter placement wait list and
possible. Placing residents on a small improvements in residents
WHAT'S OLD IS NEW AGAIN Transitional Housing team within
their first 30 days requires that
they be assessed by the Assessment
moving to permanent housing
with income. But this is just the
beginning. Further evaluation
Discover great finds at Father Joe's thrift stores Center within their first three
weeks from intake. From there,
will continue over the next year,”
said Kathi Bradshaw, director
residents are assigned to the most of Outcomes for St. Vincent de
City DIGZ Martha's Village appropriate team as determined by Paul Village.
the evaluation of their individual One positive, measurable
Downtown San Diego Thrift Store needs and strengths. outcome of how the Village serves
1550 Market St. 45596 Fargo St. The first few months of the residents is the impact it the has had
San Diego, Calif. 92101 Indio, Calif. 92201 enhancement focused on the on employees. Staff members on
Monday-Saturday Monday-Saturday physical changes of the program. the teams have really taken to the
10 a.m.-6 p.m. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Staff members had to adjust to team approach and have provided
Sunday 12 noon-6 p.m. 760.775.6060 working in new locations, providing feedback that it has made their job
619.645.3333 ext. 0 supportive services to new easier and the residents are getting
residents that they were not used more integrated care. “I don’t have
San Diego Downtown DROP OFF YOUR to serving, working in integrated to email or call the mental health
Thrift Store teams, and learning new policies clinician or the ATEC counselor
DONATIONS AT OUR and procedures. Once the teams anymore; I just quickly get out of
505 16th St.
San Diego, Calif. 92101 Main Warehouse began to get used to the physical my chair and go talk to them a
Monday-Saturday 815 33rd St. changes, next came implementing few feet away,” says Don Malong,
San Diego, Calif. 92102 a new cultural change with how Career Team case manager at
8:30 a.m-4:30 p.m. the teams provide services. St. Vincent de Paul Village. “It is
(Just north of Market St.)
619.687.1070 Open daily 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. In the past, most programs at so much easier to communicate
the Village served residents with about the clients and assist them
El Cajon/Fletcher Hills 619.446.2711
less attention paid to the amount with what they need, which is why
Thrift Store of time they spent in the program. I am here.” n
2325 Fletcher Pkwy. The teams adapted a new culture
El Cajon, Calif. 92020
All proceeds support programs more in line with rapid re-housing Kris Kuntz is the program manager
Monday-Saturday to help Save, Inspire & Change Lives by engaging residents early in their of Social Services at
9 a.m.-5 p.m. stay, discussing housing and exit St. Vincent de Paul Village.
For free pickup of usable household or business donations, from the beginning, and more
619.465.5840 call 619.671.7900 or 1.888.FATHERJOE (1.888.328.4375) closely monitoring progress on
Village News, December 2010 7
St. Vincent de Paul Village
limo Party drizzly December night next to the Since 2002, Krista has put a
Continued from page 1 ocean we all held hands and sang roof over our heads. She’s made
Christmas carols. a huge impact. Instead of the
Hog riders commandeer the The next year we were able to drive through and singing in the
intersection of 16th & Imperial, raise enough money for seven rain, the kids celebrate in a warm
temporarily halting traffic in all limos to take 60 children. We penthouse. She serves pizza,
directions so the caravan can roll bought pizza for the kids we didn’t soda, cookies and popcorn. The
on uninterrupted. The procession have enough room for. penthouse is decorated with a
snakes onto Interstate 5. Once the In 2001, Alfonse Joseph Christmas tree and red-and-white
motorcade reaches full speed on Niedermeyer, III, a friend of balloons. There’s face painting and
its way to the tony town of La Jolla, mine from our college days at the the Padres Friar shows up.
the annual Christmas Caroling and University of Dayton, was a Port Sam and Pam Frazier are
Limo Party officially begins. Authority police officer in New there, too.
York. Big Al, as he was known to When the Fraziers found out
*** all, was 40 now and married. He about party, they wanted to help.
was like Arnie and he loved to The first year they dressed up as
December 8 is Phil Cenedella’s help others. clowns. Now every December 8,
favorite day of the year. A co- On September 11, Big Al was the lawyers from La Jolla, come as
founder of The Christmas Caroling supposed to be on vacation. But Santa and Mrs. Claus.
and Limo Party, Phil, his friends, the night before, his boss called to This is where I gotta tell you, the
and some folks they’ve met along see if he would work because they Harley owners are only tough on
the way, for the last 12 years have were short staffed. Always there the outside. The guys and gals said,
helped light up the lives of more when anyone needed him, Big Al “this really kicks butt, do you mind
than 1,200 homeless children living went to work. if we bring presents?”
at the Village. He was at Grand Central Station So for the last four years, the
As Phil tells this real life Christmas when he heard the fire trucks and owners club goes shopping before
story, he comments on how an he raced to the World Trade Towers. the event to buy toys. All the St.
idea born in the human spirit and He ran into the building, helped Vinnys kids get to pick a gift.
nurtured by a desire to make life some people get out, went back in Now it just so happens that
better for others connects us all. and the building collapsed. December 8 is also the day of an
It’s what Father Joe Carroll calls That year we changed the name event called Christmas On Campus
Neighbors Helping Neighbors®. of the limo ride event to Big Al’s at the University of Dayton.
Christmas Caroling Party. Christmas On Campus officially
In October 1997, Arnie Karush That’s when I got a call from New started in 1966 when Ellie Kurtz
died of double lung cancer. Arnie York Myke who owns San Diego brought needy children from
never smoked a day in his life and Harley Davidson. around the city to campus for a
neither did his family or friends. “How do you know Big Al?” was Christmas celebration. This year
Arnie was the kind of guy who all he said. they’re expecting 3,000 kids. Ellie
loved to help other people, which “How do YOU know Big Al?” ran the event every year until she
he did even from his hospital bed. was all I said. died in 2009. She was 82. Today
In fact, Arnie spent the last four Turns out, New York Myke and there are 40 more events around
weeks of his life helping others by Big Al, just like Father Joe who is the country called Christmas Off
writing business plans for start-up from the Bronx, grew up in New Campus. They were started by
technology companies. I would see York City. Big Al and New York alumni Brian and Renai Lowry in
him in bed with tubes in his arms Myke were best buddies as kids. St. Louis.
and nose and folders everywhere. New York Myke cares about University of Dayton President
Jim DeLapa was another friend of people so he called his friend Daniel Curran is a big believer in
Arnie’s. We were all on the board of Warren Sherman, head of San Christmas Off Campus. So for the
directors of the San Diego Software Diego Chapter of Harley Owners last six years, the university has made
Industry Council. When Arnie died, Group. Warren’s a big guy with a contribution to The Christmas
Jim and I decided to do a “random an even bigger heart. Warren got Caroling and Limo Party with the
act of kindness” to remember a guy his friends at the club to escort help of alumni contributions.
who loved to help others. the limos. I was talking to Laura Kojima
We got the idea to get limos and That year I ordered 11 limos and (Volunteer Services program
have a party for homeless kids crossed my fingers that we’d raise manager at the Village), and she
Clockwise, from top, Jim DeLapa,
from St. Vincent de Paul Village. enough to pay for them. We did. told me that the kids who went on
Big Al, limos and Harleys in the
It seemed right because there was courtyard at the Village, the Padres For the first time all of the children the first limo rides are now in their
no one better at helping others Friar, Warren Sherman, Krista Baroudi living at the Village were able to 20s. She said, “Imagine if one or
than Father Joe. In 1999, with takes a photo of the gals from the join the party. Big Al was gone, more of those kids does their own
Jim’s original donation, we made Harley Owners Club at La Jolla Cove but he was still helping others. He random act of kindness in the city
it happen. Suites, and Sam and Pam Frazier as made it possible for all the kids to they’re in on December 8.”
We called Alma Hutchison-Coba Santa and Mrs. Claus. go to the party, with a motorcycle For additional information
(former Children’s Services program escort to boot. on next year's event, please
manager at the Village), and she of us with hamburgers, fries and The kids ate in the car and we Krista Baroudi owns La Jolla contact Phil Cenedella at
said OK. We rented three limos sodas for the kids. It was fun and it drove to La Jolla Cove. When Cove Suites, a hotel across the firstname.lastname@example.org, or
and took 24 children through the was unknown, but the worst part they were done eating we got out street from the park where we sang 888.206.3264. n
drive through at In-N-Out Burger was not being able to take all the and stood in a big circle at the Christmas carols. When she found
in Pacific Beach. When we got there, children living at the Village because Cove with some Chargers and out about party for homeless kids, Patricia M. Walsh is the editor of
the In-N-Out people took good care we only had three limos. Padres people. In the cold, dark, she said: “How can I help?” VILLAGE NEWS.
10 Village News, DeCeMBeR 2010
St. Vincent de Paul Village
Continued from page 1
Generosity abounds here …
hungry. And I’m betting she never got to know “those
people” that she wants to get rid of.
ironically, it’s easier to find here
She was mad that they pee on her street, smell bad than in the richer neighborhoods.
and bring down the value of her home. Fair enough.
But hungry people have to pee too. And if there’s no People here know what it’s like
public bathroom …
I’ve lived in luxury condos. I’ve lived in multi-million
to do without. They share the
dollar homes. And I’ve lived in my car. If you weren’t wealth, Even if the wealth is just
depressed going into that situation, you sure as hell
will be once you’re there. Depression can keep people the sports section.
from using their own shower! What if you don’t have
one to begin with?
I was able to get my act together, ask for and accept though many do not have much being paid to them.
help. Not everyone is at that point. And denying them The faces are diverse. Not just in color – there is
Thanks for Giving a hot meal won’t help much. When your basic needs
aren’t met you are LESS likely – not more – to be able
to concentrate on self improvement.
every hue of human here – but in age, gender and
degree of connection to reality. Some faces are freshly
washed and shaved. Some bear wounds. The sun-
With great appreciation to the sponsors, participants and I was able to get back to a point somewhere between baked skin of the chronically homeless is juxtaposed
volunteers in this year’s Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day the streets and a McMansion. The people who helped against those worried faces of newly-foreclosed with
5K Run/Walk. Your support makes it possible for Father Joe to me get here didn’t judge me. They told me to “pay it still-good haircuts. Some people keep to themselves.
provide 1.7 million meals a year to our neighbors in need. forward.” And now I do. Every day – be it a large or They look at their neighbors with suspicion at first, but
small act. I’m sure my helpers were doing the same, usually they’ll match your smile or head nod. Some
and those that judged had never needed help. are in their own world and you can tell that world is
Some people’s circumstances, and yes, choices, have troubled beyond most of our comprehension. Some
led them to a point where they probably never will be in the line morph, over time. At first, their heads are
able to sustain life off the street. Definitely not a life in down and their grooming is nonexistent. But after
a luxury condo. Many of those people gather for lunch a few days of help from their neighbors, they hold
at Father Joe’s place. Many of my neighbors – even the their heads a bit higher. There is hope in their eyes.
ones who probably donate old clothes or old cars – They recognize someone in line from the other day
undoubtedly avoid 15th & Imperial. and smile.
Too many bums. Too dangerous. Too smelly. Neighbors don’t always get along. There are verbal
LEGACY Too depressing. scuffles here and there, but arguments don’t gain
BUILDING SERVICES, INC.
The smelly part I don’t dispute, but I have found that much traction in line.
the little dead end street where the unfortunates gather The common enemy is hunger and it tends to
for lunch every day is anything by depressing. (And supersede disagreements. There are line monitors and
no more dangerous than any other neighborhood the cut-ins, but it rarely comes to blows. Some people
hand out. Perhaps less.) bristle and sound off when a cut-in steps ahead of
You hear laughter. them. Others smile quietly and say, or think, “there’s
You see little old men, mothers and teenage runaways plenty of food for us all.”
excitedly awaiting a plate of hot food. Perhaps their Usually it’s more about respect than one’s place
only meal of the day. in line. No one likes to be shown disrespect, but
But it’s more than a meal. these folks may be extra sensitive to it because
It’s a reason to be somewhere each day. It’s a place they’ve experienced it so often – even perhaps
to see familiar faces. Faces from all types of lives with from themselves.
all types of interesting stories to tell. People’s eyes light Some faces will disappear after a few weeks, maybe
up at the sight of old friends who had gotten lost in to a room and a hot plate, maybe back to the street and
the shuffle for a while. Guys talk football. Women despair; or worse.
show off new clothes that they got in the giveaway bin. You never know.
Suitcases sit in a pile and unlocked bikes rest against I like to think the conversations about studying or a
the wall unmolested. GED outnumber the ones about scoring some weed.
It’s a rare breed around St. Vinnys that would mess That the grateful who will pay it forward outnumber
with another guy’s stuff. If an occasional troublemaker the complainers for which nothing – even tasty,
starts something, the rest of the neighbors are quick nutritious, free food – is ever good enough. But even
to put a stop to it before it gets out of hand. If if people leave grumbling and destined for street life,
someone faints or seizes or can’t breathe right, there’s they’re still my neighbors.
P 497 P 7459
always a neighbor to call 911 on a cell phone. If one And fortunately people like Father Joe feel the
guy is lucky enough to have a newspaper, he shares same way. n
his good fortune.
Generosity abounds here. And you wouldn’t think Mr. JBR is a neighbor who knows what it’s like to have
that would be the case. But ironically, it’s easier to find it all and to be in need.
here than in the heart of the richer neighborhoods.
Please mark your calendar for next year’s 5K on Thursday, People here know what it’s like to do without. They
Nov. 24, 2011. share the wealth, even if the wealth is just the sports
section. Or the rice on their plate they don’t want. Or
For this year’s results, please visit shorts that don’t fit them, but will fit someone. Paying
www.thanksgivingrun.org it forward is a lesson that these folk have learned even