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The Addiction Podcast - Point of No Return

Feb 10, 2024

Jenni Wilkens, SUDCC assumes the role of Manager of Street Health, as well as a Certified Substance Use Disorder Counselor, with the Father Joe’s Villages Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center which serves the homeless and at-risk of homelessness populations in downtown San Diego. Jenni has worked with Father Joe's Villages since August, 2019. She holds a Certificate in Behavioral Sciences for Alcohol & Other Drug Studies and a Mental Health Work Certificate through San Diego City College. She is continuing in school to pursue her bachelor’s degree in psychology. Jenni is passionate in leading her Street Health outreach team to assist our unsheltered community members take the action needed to improve their lives and in using her skills to build relationships with community members struggling with substance abuse to provide hope, support, encouragement, and intervention which will empower them to reduce harm caused by their use. Jenni provides counseling to those in need, not only within the clinic’s walls, but also out on the streets, meeting her clients, quite literally, where they are at. She also prides herself in her own recovery, which allows her the added edge she believes allows her to successfully connect and empathize with those who still struggle.


Elizabeth Sophy, MD serves as one of the physicians on the Street Health Team. She grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and first moved out West for college at the University of Southern California, where she double majored in biology and American Studies and Ethnicity. It was during her time at USC that she discovered her passion for working with underserved populations and partnering with community advocates while spending time with the homeless and working poor of South Central Los Angeles. After college, she deferred her medical school acceptance to live and work for a health and development non-profit organization in Honduras for two years. This experience only further solidified her goal of providing medical care and social support to those most in need. She attended medical school at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, a city with a diverse urban underserved population that provided her with many opportunities for community outreach. She completed her residency in family medicine at UC San Diego and completed a palliative care fellowship at UC San Diego and Scripps health. Currently, she works in family medicine at St. Vincent de Paul Village Family Health Center, a federally qualified health center in downtown San Diego that is the largest provider of comprehensive health care to the uninsured in San Diego and serves mostly people experiencing homelessness. She also works doing inpatient palliative care consultations in Chula Vista where she serves mostly underserved communities including our border population. Additionally, she enjoys volunteering with the UC San Diego medical student free clinic as well as teaching residents and fellows in her other jobs.


Father Joe’s Village - Our mission is to prevent and end homelessness, one life at a time.

Our values are expressed in our CREED. They are the foundation of our work. C - Compassion, Concern for others and a desire to assist; R- Respect, An act of giving particular attention or special regard; E - Empathy, Understanding, an awareness of and sensitivity to the feelings of others; E - Empowerment, Helping others to help themselves; and D - Dignity, Counting all people worthy of our esteem.





The Addiction Podcast - Point of No Return

Intro and Outro music by:

Decisions by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.