Tuesday, April 12, 2011
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors today honored Father Joe Carroll, who is retiring after decades of helping the region's homeless.
"You've served a lot of people so well," Supervisor Greg Cox told Carroll during a presentation on the homeless advocate's 70th birthday.
The supervisors proclaimed today to be "Father Joe Carroll Day" in the county of San Diego.
While he is stepping down from administrative duties at Father Joe's Villages, he said he will still be around to "pick pockets," his euphemism for fundraising. He said the staff will roll him out in the future for big events.
Along with the proclamation, Cox and Supervisor Ron Roberts each gave him a jar of Skippy peanut butter.
Carroll said he started helping the homeless by passing out peanut butter sandwiches, which he said were made once a week.
"By the end of the week, they thought we were toasting them," Carroll said. "They were kind of dry and crunchy."
Now, Father Joe's Villages are serving between 4,000 and 8,000 people daily, he said.
Carroll was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1974, and eight years later was tapped by Bishop Leo T. Maher to lead St. Vincent de Paul.
Carroll became a television fixture over the years as he asked for donations to the center, which spun off into seven villages caring for the homeless throughout the Southwest.