Father Joe Carroll was an American Roman Catholic priest who sacrificed his life for the betterment of homeless people. Let us know about Joe Carroll’s life, Career and vision of building a homeless shelter.

Father Joe Carroll’s profile:

  • Full Name: Father Joe Carroll
  • Date of Birth: 1941 April 12.
  • Date of Death: 2021 July 11.
  • Age of Father Joe Carroll: 80 years old
  • Father Joe’s Memoir: The Life Stories of a Hustler Priest.
  • Sickness: Diabetes
  • Famous as Hustler Priest
  • Personality: Passionate about fundraising.
  • Religion: Roman Catholic.
  • Goodwill: Joe Village.
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The life story of Father Joe Carroll:

On April 12, 1941, Father Joe Carroll was born in the Bronx. He was the fourth of his parent’s eight children, and the family’s primary sources of income were farming and minimum wage jobs. They lived a short distance from the St. Joseph Catholic Church. He developed into a committed altar boy and regular church member, and he also got a desire for God.

After completing his education, he was subsequently ordained as a Catholic priest. He spent eight years faithfully serving at the parish where he was moved. Throughout his life, he showed a solid commitment to God’s and humanity’s tasks.

The career of Father Joe Carroll:

Father Joe Carroll

When he was eight years old, Father Carroll started as a butcher in a neighbourhood butcher shop. To support his family, he started selling Christmas trees and sometimes doing odd jobs. In addition, he was a committed Boy Scout during his early years.

He was accepted into Camarillo’s St. John’s Seminary School to study as a priest. Unfortunately, his stay there was temporary since he was dismissed from the school for violating the school’s code of conduct by operating the bookshop. At the University of San Diego, where he studied higher education, he finished his studies in 1974 and achieved his degree.

He went to a seminary as a student at the University of San Diego to make up for the missed time. Carroll was appointed by the St. Rita parish in Valencia Park after being confirmed as a priest.

After some time, Bishop Leo Maher gave Father Carroll the option of going to a parish church in Needles, California, or being moved to St. Vincent de Paul Parish Church to take the position of the previous priest.

From 1982 to 2011, Joe managed St. Vincent de Paul parish operations under the initial choice. In 2013, he stepped down from his parish manager position. But he was actively involved in the development of both his legacy and the parish up until the time of his death.

Village of Father Joe Carroll:

Father Joe Carroll

Father Joe Carroll was a happy Catholic priest. Joe Carroll was an outstanding, sympathetic, and forward-thinking leader. He had a vision of establishing a shelter for the needy in the community and beyond when he was at St. Vincent de Paul Parish Church.

The vision of a homeless shelter:

Father Joe’s Village was initially called St. Vincent de Paul Village. The parish’s parking lot served as the project’s first construction site. San Diego, California’s Imperial Avenue is the location of the non-profit shelter. Every prosperous business has its share of issues. Father Joe ran into his problems early on; at first, his vision was not well welcomed.

As many property owners objected to the expansion and other shelter owners criticized him, he had trouble when he tried to expand the facility. However, his idea was effective and helpful to the general population.

Thousands of people regularly get housing, food, medical attention, education, vocational training, and many other services from the shelter. The group works on a $40 million budget and employs around 500 people, including volunteers. They are, without a doubt, among the biggest shelters in San Diego, California.

The Personality of Joe Carroll:

Father Joe Carroll

Due to his enthusiasm for fundraising, Father Joe was referred to as the “Hustler Priest.” He said everyone was tasked with watching out for the poor and homeless.

Joe went so far as to appear in T.V. ads to collect funds. He was all over the place, ready to generate funds for the homeless and others in need. His close friend Monsignor Dennis Mikulanis famously said, “He can squeeze money out of a rock.”

The Wall Street Journal ridiculed him for his selfless acts and referred to the refuge as “Father Joe’s Country Club.”

Additionally, he was pleasant and cheerful everywhere he went. He enjoys reading, listening to stories, and going to baseball games. Further, because of his humility, he refused the idea of having the shelter renamed in his honour. A senior Roman Catholic priest’s title, Monsignor, is another title he protested being given.

The Joe Carroll Awards:

Father Joe Carroll

Father Joe was well-known and praised for his contributions and achievements. He received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from San Diego State University. In 1988, he was given the World Habitat Award for building a supportive atmosphere for the homeless. Additionally, he received the National Medal of Honor in Washington, D.C., for the event.

The Revolutionary Approach of Father Joe Carroll:

Simply by listening, Father Joe started his revolutionary strategy. He began to hear directly from homeless people about what they needed to leave the streets. He learned that people of all ages struggled to focus on finding housing and a source of income while dealing with various challenges to get by and that they required complete solutions to achieve.

Only five short years after taking over. Father Joe extended his ministry from handing out peanut butter sandwiches to opening the $12 million Joan Kroc Center in 1987,

The institution was the first of its type and included everything needed under one roof, including lodging for families and single persons, a clinic, daycare, food, and job training.

The Bishop Maher Center and Paul Mirabile Center debuted after the Joan Kroc Center in 1989 and 1994, respectively.

Father Joe’s Villages managed the construction of multiple buildings. Also, they created innovative programs, such as Therapeutic Childcare Center, Employment and Education Services, the Village Health Center, our Transitional Housing Program for Families, and others.

Father Joe also manages the opening in three additional locations, including Toussaint Academy in San Diego, M.A.S.H. Village in Las Vegas, and Martha’s Village & Kitchen in Indio. Father Joe’s Villages no longer includes the last two.

The Retired Life of Father Joe Carroll:

Father Joe Carroll

When Father Joe retired in 2011, he supervised the expansion of one of the nation’s most complete homeless services organizations. The Father Joe’s Villages property houses many shelters, low-cost apartment buildings, and a federally recognized health facility, including a dental clinic and state-certified centre for addiction treatment, a therapeutic childcare facility, a public meal program, and a job and education centre.

Thousands of San Diego residents have been impacted by Father Joe’s example, and tens of thousands of neighbours have been helped in permanently ending their homelessness. He never lost sight of our goal and upheld the original principles upon which the company was created.

San Diego has been very fortunate to have such an outstanding example of empathy, respect, compassion, empowerment, and dignity in the neighbourhood. The impact of Father Joe’s great understanding and his refusal to give up when it came to fighting for those in need is still felt in the community.

Carroll Joe Disease and Death:

Father Joe Carroll

Joe had diabetes and his condition worsened in 2017 and he lost both of his legs. He had to use a wheelchair to walk because of his illness. Sadly, his health deteriorated, and his right eye stopped working. On July 11, 2021, he passed due to health problems in the early morning at the age of 80.

People paid respect to the life he led while he was still living, including family members, friends, and individuals. His loved ones, intimate friends, and family were present during a private funeral liturgy. The San Diego St. Rita’s Catholic Church also hosted a memorial ceremony in his honour.

Father Joe Carroll sold 690 of his 700 Collection sets before he passed away in order to pay off all of his debts. They are among his most precious things and Father Joe Carroll began collecting them in 1974, the year he received his priestly ordination. Father Joe Carroll: Life Stories of a Hustler Priest is the title of a biography he also authored about himself.


Father Joe Carroll spent his life for the betterment of needy people, he was a great person. A lot of people got inspired by his life and actions. People still remember him and his work still inspires us to work for the people in need.


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