VSH Breaks Ground For New Studios At South Richmond!

Posted on December 7, 2010

The morning of Tuesday, December 7 was bitterly cold – perfect weather to celebrate the ground-breaking for a new construction project that, when completed, will get 21 chronically homeless individuals off the streets and into permanent housing! Virginia Supportive Housing was very proud to have The Honorable Dwight Jones, Mayor of the City of Richmond, and many other esteemed guests present at this ground-breaking event, which highlighted the collaborative efforts of the City of Richmond, Henrico County, and Chesterfield County to eliminate homelessness in Central Virginia.

In addition to Mayor Jones, VSH Executive Director Alice Tousignant proudly welcomed a number of other guest speakers including: Jay Stegmaier, Chesterfield County Administrator; Mark Strickler, Director of Henrico County Community Revitalization; Ronnie Legette, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Richmond CPD Field Office Director; Jim Chandler, Director of Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program with the Virginia Housing Development Authority; Willie Fobbs, Associate Director of Affordable Housing Production and Preservation with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development; Graham Driver, Director of New Market Tax Credits & Project Development Advisor with Virginia Community Development Corporation; and Karl Bren, President of Green Visions Consulting and Founding Board Member of Virginia Supportive Housing.

South Richmond Apartments, which opened in 1996, currently provides permanent supportive housing for 39 very low-income formerly homeless individuals, many of whom have disabilities. The addition of 21 new units will bring the total to 6o units. Construction will add 13,856 square feet to the existing apartment complex. Eleven of the 21 units will be disability-accessible. In addition, The Studios at South Richmond will be EarthCraft Virginia-certified for green building and energy efficiency, and will incorporate a photovoltaic solar energy system designed to reduce the building’s energy load by 20%.

To view the photos of this exciting event, just click here!

And the award goes to…

Posted on September 21, 2009

I’m excited to announce that VSH Board Member and former tenant, Orville Banks is the winner of Homeward’s 2009 Steve Neathery Award for “successfully overcoming homelessness and helping others to make the same transition”.

The award will be presented at the Homeward’s 2009 Trends and Innovations Awards reception as part of this year’s Best Practices Conference on September 24th.

Having struggled with alcoholism for years, Orville became homeless in 2002. After spending 2 months at a shelter, he moved into VSH’s South Richmond Apartments in November of that year. With the help of the on-site support services staff, he began to address his alcohol dependence.

Having successfully dealt with his alcoholism and obtained employment, Orvillee moved out of South Richmond in 2004 to become the live-in Night Manager at New Clay House. New Clay is another VSH supportive apartment building for single adults who have been homeless.

Orvillee is passionate about giving back to his community. He serves on the VSH Board of Directors and has spoken at events, including Affordable Housing Awareness Week, to share his story with the public. He actively seeks opportunities to help others overcome addiction and homelessness, and routinely shares his story to inspire the tenants at New Clay to continue their efforts toward recovery.

Also, with the assistance of VSH’s Financial Foundations asset development program, Orvillee is working to achieve his financial management goals and is approaching the stage of pre-qualifying for a home loan.

Congratulations Orvillee! The award is well disserved.

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