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Father Virgil Cordano Center: A Place of Respite, Community and Hope

by | Mar 12, 2020 | Formation, Reflections

It is generally accepted that the exponential growth in homelessness is due in large part to ever-increasing income inequality, illness, forced migration and war.  The Vincentian Family, through many of its initiatives, has responded with “boots on the ground” solutions serving not only the immediate needs of the those suffering from this societal illness, but also working for long term systemic change.

One such ministry to those who are homeless can be found in Santa Barbara, CA. Santa Barbara, known as a beautiful, coastal, serene community where mountains touch the Pacific Ocean is thought of as an enclave for those who have “succeeded” in life and can afford the multimillion-dollar houses which dot the rolling hills with vistas of palm trees, beaches and oceans.

However, as with any community, Santa Barbara is home to an economically diverse population – with its own growing community of those who have been displaced from secure housing.  That displacement can often lead individuals to increased feelings of disconnect, degradation and a sense of invisibility.

The Father Virgil Cordano Center (FVCC), a day center, is a partnership between the Daughters of Charity at St. Vincent’s Santa Barbara and the Franciscan Friars of Old Mission Santa Barbara. The Center was opened a year ago to serve those homeless seeking a place of respite and belonging while determining their next steps in life. A place where they might rest, wash clothes, get their mail, access the internet, get help to complete forms and gain records needed to move forward. These tangible services are not unique. What FVCC adds is the intangible values of community and respect and helping the members of FVCC community realize homelessness is “a moment in their life and not a definition of their life.”

To experience a glimpse into the impact of this unique ministry, please click on the link below.

Fr. Virgil Cordano Center

 

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