Story of Hope – A Home for the Holidays

Posted on December 23, 2009

For many people, this is a season of hope and fulfillment. While many of us take the simple gifts of food, housing, health, and income  for granted, Virginia Supportive Housing extends a message of hope to some of our most vulnerable citizens who struggle to satisfy even these most basic of human needs. Stories like Sam’s (below) remind us that when compassion translates into action, the gift of hope can be fulfilled. Hope is what Virginia Supportive Housing is all about.

Sam has been a resident of New Clay House since 2002. Now in his late forties, Sam struggled for years with intellectual disabilities and the challenges of independent living. Throughout school, he was in special education classes and eventually dropped out in the 11th grade. Due to his cognitive impairment (his IQ measures at 50), he has never been able to consistently support himself although he would occasionally do farm or yard work. Without a reliable source of income, he was dependent on periodic assistance from local churches.

In his twenties, he moved to Richmond with no real plan or means of support. He spent time in shelters and on the streets, occasionally living with friends. Despite the critical impact that Sam’s disability was having a on his daily functioning, his attempts to apply for disability income were repeatedly denied until Virginia Supportive Housing came into the picture.

Thanks to VSH support services staff, Sam’s SSI claim was approved within 90 days. He now has a safe place to live and a steady income that meets his basic needs. For the first time in his adult life, Sam can share in the hope and fulfillment of the holiday season. Happy Holidays from Virginia Supportive Housing!

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