Henrico County VA

Villa implements rapid re-housing

Method proving more helpful to homeless
There is really no way to make homelessness any less scary, especially for children, but St. Joseph’s Villa is working to make getting out of it less jarring for families.

The Richmond nonprofit’s Flagler Housing and Homeless Services system will complete its change July 1 to a system of rapid re-housing of homeless families in their own apartments or houses, as opposed to housing them at St. Joseph’s Villa.

“We saw that the Flagler Home’s transitional housing was becoming less and less effective,” said Kimberly Tucker, director of housing and homeless services. She attributed this change to generational differences between the people served when the Flagler program was founded in 1989 and its participants today.

This program places families of any composition in houses or apartments and provides services to keep them there. These include short-term rent assistance funding, employment coaching and help from a housing stabilization case manager.

This manager serves as an advocate and adviser for the families, Tucker said, who might otherwise be rejected by landlords because of past debts and evictions. Typically, a family stays in the program for only three to six months, she said, but the goal is keep them housed permanently.

The main benefit of rapid re-housing is that it immediately gets a family into where it’ll be living, Tucker said, as opposed to having members move into various temporary shelters. This not only provides a permanent address to list on job applications, she said, but also is much less stressful on children, who don’t have to change schools and lose friends.

“It’s a model that respects people’s dignity and helps them to get back into the community,” Tucker said.

Families must be classified as homeless to qualify for rapid re-housing, meaning they have nowhere else to go for lodging. Participants are referred from Homeless Point of Entry, a Commonwealth Catholic Charities program that serves as a centralized intake for homeless people seeking assistance.

The rapid re-housing model has been growing in popularity nationwide recently, and was first implemented by St. Joseph’s Villa in 2010 as a pilot program. Since then, 97 percent of the families it has served in the Richmond area have not returned to homelessness, Tucker said, versus an average success rate of about 60 percent with the old transitional housing model.

Residents currently living in the Flagler Home at St. Joseph’s Villa will be rapidly re-housed or transferred to other area shelters.

St. Joseph’s Villa mainly uses funding from the Virginia state government to run its programs, Tucker said. Rapid re-housing has turned out be much cheaper than transitional housing, Tucker said, because of the much shorter duration of the program and because St. Joseph’s Villa no longer has to maintain a residential facility. While transitional housing cost the nonprofit about $27,000 per family in the past year, rapid re-housing averages about $4,000 per family per year.

“We can serve three times as many people with the same amount of money,” Tucker said. St. Joseph’s Villa expects to help 300 families in 2013.
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Community

Anthem ‘LemonAid’ registration opens


Last summer, hundreds of Anthem LemonAid stands dotted Central Virginia and raised more than $100,000 in support of cancer treatment and research at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR). This July 17-19, Anthem is inviting community members to host an Anthem LemonAid stand in support of the children who are battling the disease. During the past 13 summers, Anthem LemonAid has raised more than $1 million. All funds raised support the Hematology and Oncology Clinic at the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU.

Anthem LemonAid is Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ signature summer event. It’s free to participate and is designed for children, families, community groups and businesses alike. > Read more.

Tree seedling giveaway planned April 2-3


The Henricopolis Soil & Water Conservation District will sponsor a tree seedling giveaway on April 2 at Dorey Park Shelter 1 from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and on April 3 at Hermitage High School parking lot from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Bare-root tree seedlings are available to Henrico County residents free of charge for the spring planting season.

The following seedling species will be available: apple, kousa dogwood, red maple, river birch, red osier dogwood, loblolly pine, sycamore, bald cypress, white dogwood and redbud. Quantities are limited and trees are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each participant is allowed up to 10 trees total, not to include more than five of the same species. > Read more.

State provides online directory of Bingo games


Wondering where to go to play Bingo? Wonder no more.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) recently launched an online directory of permitted bingo games played in Virginia. Listed by locality, more than 400 regular games are available across the state. The directory will be updated monthly and can be found on VDACS’ website at http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/gaming/index.shtml.

“Many Virginia charities, including volunteer rescue squads, booster clubs and programs to feed the homeless, use proceeds from charitable gaming as a tool to support their missions, said Michael Menefee, program manager for VDACS’ Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


It’s that time of year – charity races are popping up everywhere! On Saturday, St. Joseph’s Villa will be the site of the sixth annual CASA Superhero Run and the fifth annual Richmond Free to Breathe Run/Walk will be held in Innsbrook. Also in Innsbrook, the 2015 Richmond Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis will take place on Sunday. If you’re more into relaxation than exercise, check out Wine for Cure’s Dogwood Wine Festival or the Troubadours Community Theatre Group’s production of “West Side Story” at the Henrico Theatre. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


There are several fun events this weekend taking place outside including the third annual Virginia Firefighter Games at Short Pump Town Center; Twin Hickory Park’s “April Showers: A Celebration of Spring” event; the Young Life Richmond West 5k in Innsbrook; and the Gold Festival on Broad which benefits Prevent Child Abuse Virginia. Fingers crossed for no rain! For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


The University of Richmond will host its annual Global Family Concert this weekend – a free, family friendly concert featuring Japanese, Indonesian, West African, Indian, and Brazilian music and dance performances. Country music fans can head to The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen for “An Evening of Country” featuring The Honky Tonk Experience. Enjoy the spring weather at Meadow Farm for “Sheep to Shawl” or join the Henrico Hiking Club at James River Park. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

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Henrico County Public Schools’ Special Education Advisory Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the library at Brookland Middle School. Although this is a planning session, parents are welcome to… Full text

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