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.
Holman Middle School student Victoria Nguyen recently was named Miss Virginia American Coed Junior Teen after competing in the Miss Virginia American Coed pageant in Williamsburg. She was the youngest competitor in her division. Nguyen now will advance to represent Virginia at the 2015 Miss American Junior Teen Pageant at Walt Disney World in Florida in November. > Read more.
Companion Extraordinaire Home Care and Skilled Services will be honoring veterans and current military members May 14 at 11 a.m. The event will take place at 5311 Lakeside Avenue.
Companion Extraordinaire dedicated a hall in its new Lakeside office as a “Wall of Honor” and will be presenting 13 military service men and women with certificates as well as placing their service photos on the wall.
> Read more.
Public vote open through Friday to select winner
Citizen Staff Reports
Henrico resident Haley Malloy is one of three national finalists for a $10,000 scholarship, whose winner will be determined by the vote of the public.
Malloy is a finalist for The Goddard School Anthony A. Martino Scholarship, which is open annually to any high school junior or senior who graduated from a Goddard School pre-kindergarten or kindergarten program. Applicants are evaluated based upon the work ethic and perseverance they have demonstrated – two key characteristics of Martino, the founder of the Goddard School franchise system. > Read more.
Relax this holiday weekend with Fridays Uncorked at Southern Season – taste wines from the Roman Empire! Or at James River Cellars who is hosting “Experience Virginia” – sample Virginia wine, beer, cider and mead. And what goes better with wine than strawberries – an annual tradition in Varina, the Gallmeyer Farms’ Strawberry Fields Festival is tomorrow. Other fun happenings this weekend include: “A Little Princess” at The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen; weekly dance at American Legion Post 125; and National Theatre Live’s “Man and Superman” at the University of Richmond. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
Final performance of 2015 season – ‘Quartet’ – starts this week
CAT Theatre’s final show of its 51st season – Quartet by Ronald Harwood – will open May 22 and run through June 6. It will be the show’s Richmond-area premiere.
The theatre also announced its four-show schedule for its 52nd season, which will begin in October and continue into June 2016, and announced a new partnership with The Bifocals Theatre Project, an outreach program into senior communities in the Richmond region. > Read more.
It’s a beautiful weekend to spend outdoors and Henrico has many options to choose from! The 31st annual Lebanese Food Festival begins today on the grounds of St. Anthony’s Maronite Catholic Church. The MISS Foundation’s Kindness Walk is tomorrow, as well as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Great Strides Walk. Take a Sunday Stroll at Dorey Park with the Pocahontas Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society or raise money for the March of Dimes at the March for Babies in Innsbrook. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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CalendarAmerican Legion Post 125, located at 1401 Hilliard Rd., will hold a dance with a live band every Friday and Saturday from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Snacks and coffee… Full text