We Can't Do It Without Volunteers!

Posted on May 11, 2011

On a beautiful spring evening last week, VSH held a reception to thank volunteers at the home of VSH Board President Leon Shadowen.  It was our first official volunteer recognition event since implementing our volunteer program in 2010.

If you look at sheer numbers alone, our embrace of volunteerism has been wildly successful: over 450 volunteers in 2010 compared with 50 in 2009.  We logged almost 500 hours per month of volunteer time in 2010!

But, who’s counting?  What’s really important is the experience that volunteers have working with VSH, its properties and clients (volunteer satisfaction with their experience was either good—64% or excellent—36%). Even more important is the impact that volunteers have on VSH and the lives of our clients.  Just watch the YouTube video that features Capital One volunteers helping Joe Brightful move into his new apartment to get a sense of the impact.

While many volunteers supported us in many valuable ways last year, we felt compelled to give special recognition to three groups of volunteers who went above and beyond the call of duty. We were privileged to give our Bob Sledd Volunteer of the Year Award to: 

This wonderful new volunteer program at VSH doesn’t just happen on its own.  VSH is extremely blessed to have the best volunteer coordinator in town, Alison Jones-Nassar, who tirelessly works alongside the volunteers, smiling and encouraging all the way.  The volunteers do an amazing job because they know that every single activity and project they do helps us accomplish our mission to end homelessness!

So, thanks to everyone who attended this beautiful event last week and thanks to Leon Shadowen and his wife Laurie for hosting the event. Most of all, thanks to every VSH volunteer for giving the gift of your time so that we can do what we do best – provide proven, permanent solutions to homelessness. We can’t do it without you!

To see photos of volunteers in action, click here. To be a part of VSH’s volunteer program in 2011, click here.

Think Homelessness Can't Happen To You?

Posted on March 15, 2011

Think homelessness can’t happen to you? That’s what Susan Schneider of Alexandria, Virginia thought….until it happened to her. 

In 2008, Schneider, the former owner of a mortgage business, was evicted from her home after a precipitous downward spiral triggered by the real estate bust. All the comforts of her middle class lifestyle – a new Honda Accord, nice restaurant dinners, and expensive salon hair treatments – disappeared in a blink.

Read her story, and an exploration of this common myth concerning homelessness, in the March 13 entry of 100,000 Homes’ weekly blog.

At Virginia Supportive Housing, we know that homelessness is a problem that can affect anyone. And it does affect the lives of more than 8,800 Virginians every day. To find out more about the state of homelessness in Virginia, and read Governor McDonnell’s recommendations, click here.  To find out more about how you can be a part of our proven, permanent solutions to homelessness, click here.

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