How We Help
Transitioning from years of living on the streets to suddenly having housing is not an event, it’s a process. Most of our residents arrive with little more than the clothes they are wearing, and they have no source of income.
We help people reclaim their lives.
Although the vast majority of those we serve are people experiencing homelessness, we also work with small populations of individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries and people living with HIV or AIDS.
Below is general information on the key services we provide. Please check our listings to the left to learn more about specific programs offered in each of the regions we serve; Central Virginia, Charlottesville and Hampton Roads.
As a non-profit real estate developer, we have created 17 affordable housing communities state-wide. We also serve as the property manager of the communities we develop. To give formerly homeless individuals more housing choices, we work with private landlords, too.
We subscribe to the evidence-based Housing First approach. Our main requirement is that the adults we serve have suffered chronic homelessness. To reside in one of our studio apartments, they must sign a lease and pay one-third of their (future) income on rent, or a minimum of $50 per month.
Unlike some organizations, we do not require individuals to be addiction-free, mentally stable or have employment before we house them. It’s very hard for homeless individuals to overcome those barriers while living on the streets. With Housing First, residents can stabilize and transition at their own pace.
Once housed, VSH supportive services staff members assist tenants with accessing mainstream community services and resources, monitor the quality and effectiveness of those services, and ensure coordination of care. They help each tenant achieve individual goals such as maintaining housing, securing income or work, and improving health and mental health conditions.
Supportive services staff work closely with VSH property management staff to address issues which might jeopardize housing stability in more conventional housing settings.
Counseling and Skills Training
Supportive services staff provide counseling to help individuals resolve life issues, promote recovery and community integration, and manage mental health symptoms. We provide skills training to improve individuals’ abilities to budget and manage finances, manage medication, secure and maintain employment, and develop positive social supports. We also provide crisis prevention and intervention to individuals experiencing acute distress.
Additionally, VSH is licensed by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to provide Mental Health Skill Building. This intensive support for individuals with serious mental illness assists with managing symptoms, improving community living skills, taking medication as prescribed, managing finances, and addressing co-occurring physical health and substance abuse disorders.
Support service staff work with our tenants to ensure a strong sense of connectedness in the apartment community as well as with the larger community. Residents participate in community meetings, attend community events, and plan and participate in recreational activities, many of which are supported by our volunteer program.