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Father Joe's Villages to hold Independence Day celebration Friday for homeless San Diegans

The Fourth of July event at its outdoor courtyard will distribute food, gift bags to people from 11 a.m. to noon.
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SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Father Joe's Villages plans to hold an Independence Day celebration Friday in Downtown San Diego when it distributes food and gift bags to people in San Diego County who are homeless.

The Fourth of July event at its outdoor courtyard will be held from 11 a.m. to noon. Father Joe's Villages President and CEO Deacon Jim Vargas will kick off the event with a prayer, and there will be patriotic music, decorations and food.

"Fourth of July is a cherished holiday and, in fact, so many of our neighbors living on the streets have helped fight to protect our nation's freedom," Vargas said. "We want to celebrate our country's independence and the gains made, day by day, by those regaining independence and self- sufficiency in their lives."

The goal of the event is to "provide nourishment, hygiene products and a day of hope to homeless or housing-insecure people -- many of whom served in the armed forces," a statement from Father Joe's said.

A local estimate is that up to 8% of people without shelter in San Diego County are veterans. An estimated 7,600 people throughout San Diego County are homeless.

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