Virginia Supportive Housing
Virginia Supportive Housing
Monthly Volunteer Newsletter
   February 2014 




The good news is that, between August of 2011 and October of 2013, Virginia Supportive Housing successfully housed 75% (or 170 out of 214) of the individuals and families identified in the community as chronically homeless and medically vulnerable.


Even better, VSH volunteers contributed to the stability of the individuals and families we serve by engaging in a wide variety of service activities. From meals and birthday parties to games and classes, from painting and cleaning to landscaping and gardening, volunteers were a part of our proven, permanent solution!


Best of all, fun and meaningful opportunities are available all throughout the year for individuals and groups to serve our organization and support our clients.   


So what are you waiting for? To get started, plan to attend an upcoming VSH volunteer orientation to find out what YOU can do to be a part of the solution! 


For Richmond opportunities, the next session is on Tuesday February 11 at 5:30 at our headquarters (5008 Monument Avenue, 2nd floor). For opportunities in Charlottesville and Hampton Roads, just click on the links below to request a schedule! 


On behalf of everyone at VSH, we wish you a service-filled new year!

In This Issue
Thanks To MLK Day of Service Volunteers!
Spotlight On Mit'chelle Wilson
Hot Meal On A Cold Night
Congregational Opportunities
Group Painting Opportunity
Global Youth Service Day Is Coming!
Affordable Housing Week Is Coming!
Please Complete Our Survey!
News From Hampton Roads
News From Charlottesville
In-Kind Donation Opportunities
2014 Orientation Schedule
Reminder About Sensitivity Training
Thank YOU For Making 2013 A GREAT Year!
Save The Date!
Our Annual Report Is Now Online!
Invite Us In!
MLK Day Volunteers Make It A Day ON, Not A Day Off! 

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'" On Monday January 20, Virginia Supportive Housing collaborated with HandsOn Greater Richmond to honor the legacy of Dr. King with our 2014 Dreams & Visions Party. A total of 34 participants including 10 community volunteers, 12 VSH clients, and 12 UMFS teens engaged in lively discussions, exercises, and activities designed to explore the question posed by Dr. King. The answer is, there is a lot we can all do to serve others and volunteering is a great way to meet that goal! VSH offers many opportunities for individuals and groups to engage in meaningful service throughout the year. To find out how you can get involved, RSVP to attend the next Richmond orientation on February 11 at 5:30 or request information on opportunities in Hampton Roads or Charlottesville! See you in 2014!

Spotlight On Mit'Chelle Wilson! 
Mit'chelle Wilson (pictured left with her son) launched the Richmond chapter of Birthday Cakes 4 Free in September of 2013 with a mission of providing free birthday cakes to socially disadvantaged kids, seniors, and military veterans. Mit'chelle donates her time and skills to coordinate a team of volunteer bakers who provide beautiful cakes for the areas of Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover, Ashland, and Petersburg. VSH is very thankful to Mit'chelle and Birthday Cakes 4 Free for partnering with us to support our monthly birthday parties! To find out more about Birthday Cakes 4 Free, click here
Our birthday parties provide great opportunities for youth & family volunteers to serve others! Here's what a recent volunteer had to say about her experience as a volunteer with VSH's January birthday party: "I can't thank you enough for the opportunity to volunteer at today's Birthdays For Everyone. Today was my very first volunteer opportunity and I was so emotionally overwhelmed by the feelings I experienced that I just wanted to thank you. Today truly changed my perception of what it means to give! I just wanted to say thank you for helping me see that there is so much more to life than me!!!"   
To volunteer for a VSH birthday party, click on a link below:
February 22, 10 - 12 (FULL)
March 22, 10 - 12 (1 slot left)
April 26, 10 - 12 (19 slots left)
Serve A Hot Meal On A Cold Night! 
February 10 - 14 is Random Acts of Kindness Week! Kindness is a verb, and it's something we can engage in each and every day of the year through big and small acts of service. Nothing says kindness like a hot meal on a cold night, so on February 12 from 6:00 - 7:30, VSH is hosting a Random Acts of Kindness Potluck! Volunteers will be asked to bring a hot nutritious dish, clean and set the dining area, serve the food & beverages, and share the meal & conversation with participating VSH clients. It's that simple! To sign up for this fun & meaningful opportunity, please click on this link. All volunteers must register through HandsOn Greater Richmond in order to participate! Stay tuned for more pot luck dinners to be scheduled in March & April! 
Congregational Opportunities 

Volunteers with Spring Creek Baptist Church have been supporting the tenants of South Richmond Apartments for more than five years, providing monthly dinners and Bible study gatherings that nourish both body & soul. "We here at Spring Creek truly feel blessed to be able to fellowship and share God's love with the tenants at VSH." Volunteers with Christ the King Lutheran Church just recently began providing monthly meals at South Richmond, after their longstanding partnership with Freedom House ended. "It was a blessing to help at VSH, my first time. I sat with two gentlemen and very much enjoyed their company. Jesus says, 'Serve a banquet! Invite everyone!' That's our new motto for our VSH ministry. Thanks again for making it happen!" VSH provides LOTS of opportunities for congregations and faith groups with a commitment to serve our most vulnerable neighbors, and Lent (March 5 - April 18) is a perfect time to schedule a meal! To find out more, please click here!

Group Painting Opportunity 
VSH needs a small team of volunteers for a painting opportunity at New Clay Apartments. This job will require 5-8 volunteers with painting skill and should take approximately three hours from start to finish. The job needs to be completed prior to February 28. Weekdays are preferred, during the morning (9-12) or afternoon (1-4). If your small team is available and you would like to help us complete this work, please click here to send an e-mailStay tuned for many more painting, cleaning, and landscaping opportunities in the spring!
Global Youth Service Day is April 12!
Who says youth & family volunteers can't help VSH achieve its mission? Last year, VSH offered twenty-four youth/family-friendly opportunities, ranging from birthday and decorating parties to cleaning and cooking activities. VSH is once again proud to serve as a community partner for 2014 Global Youth Service Day, a day that mobilizes youth volunteers across the world for the purpose of improving communities through service. This year our Global Youth Service Day project will take place on Saturday, April 12 from 
10 - 1. Fifteen youth volunteers (accompanied by parents and/or adult chaperones) will be needed for a service project that supports our efforts to end homelessness (details TBD). To find out more or sign up for this event, please send an e-mail.     
Affordable Housing Awareness Week 2014 Is Coming! 
Everyone deserves a safe, affordable place to call home! You can help make it a reality by participating in Affordable Housing Awareness Week 2014, scheduled for April 25 - May 2! This event, coordinated by the Partnership for Housing Affordability, gives volunteers in the Richmond area an opportunity to join local non-profit housing organizations that are serving your Richmond area neighbors in need! As a provider of permanent rental housing, VSH is proud to partner with PHA on this event! Teams of 15-20 volunteers will be needed on the following dates to support our Spring Spruce-Up Campaign with cleaning, landscaping, and painting services: 
  • Friday April 25, 1 - 4 p.m. (RESERVED)
  • Monday April 28, 1 - 4 p.m. (OPEN)
  • Tuesday April 29, 1 - 4 p.m. (OPEN)
  • Wednesday April 30, 1 - 4 p.m. (RESERVED)

VSH will be offering many more opportunities for groups that would like to engage in property beautification projects during the months of March, April, and May. If you would like to schedule a Spring Spruce-Up project during Affordable Housing Awareness Week or any time during the spring months, please click here to express interest!

Please Complete Our Survey!
SurveyIf you applied, attended training, and/or actively volunteered with VSH within the last year, then we want to hear from you! Please take just a moment to answer a few quick questions about your experience as a VSH volunteer. Your feedback will help us to build a better, more effective, and more responsive program! To complete the survey, please click on this link! The deadline is February 28. Thank you for being a part of our proven, permanent solutions to homelessness! 
News From Hampton Roads
2014 got off to a busy start in Hampton Roads with lots of client-based volunteer activities! Activities ranging from luncheons, birthday parties, and Bingo to GED, Bible study, and health workshops helped VSH tenants recover from the holidays and refocus their efforts on wellness and recovery. Pictured at left, Patricia Dennis of the Navy delivered a generous donation of canned goods for low-income tenants in need. Volunteers will be needed to support similar activities in February. To find out more about opportunities in Hampton Roads and what YOU can do to support VSH and the people we serve, please RSVP for an orientation on February 5 or 12 OR send an e-mail to volunteer coordinator Michelle Robinson OR call 757-802-4689 ext. 306! Thank you for making a difference in Hampton Roads!
News From Charlottesville 
The Crossings wrapped up 2013 in a big way! The Divas Book Club made a beautiful gift basket for each of the 18 female tenants and an anonymous donor delivered 60 holiday gifts, one for each resident of the Crossings! Capital One Bank continues to host monthly birthday parties and in December, that included a festive holiday party. Residents made 65 holiday cards to be delivered by Meals on Wheels.
On February 13, we invite the community to support VSH and The Crossings through Ruby Tuesday's GiveBack program! On that date, the Ruby Tuesday's located on Emmet Street in Charlottesville will donate 20% of the net sales to VSH! PLEASE NOTE: Don't forget to mention VSH when you are being seated.
We're looking forward to celebrating our second birthday in March with a Crossings Birthday Challenge! Please help us celebrate by making a gift starting with 2: $2-$20-$200-$2000.....Stay tuned for more information! To find out more about opportunities in Charlottesville, please send an e-mail to Resource Development Coordinator Anne Deery or call 434-465-6580! To get updates on activities in Charlottesville, follow and "like" our Charlottesville Facebook page! Thank you for making a difference in Charlottesville!  
In-Kind Donation Opportunities
Did you know that VSH gratefully accepts donations of non-perishable foods, canned goods, paper products, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, and household items throughout the year for distribution to our very low-income clients?
Below are a few of the items we need on an ongoing basis:

Non-perishable food: Canned soup, Canned vegetables, Canned fruit, Canned tuna, Peanut butter, Pasta, Pasta sauce, Dry cereal, Instant oatmeal
Cleaning supplies: Paper towels, Toilet paper, All-purpose spray cleaner, Bleach, Trash bags, Dish detergent, Laundry detergent

Household items: Pots & pansDishes & cups, Cooking & eating utensils, Tupperware, Shower curtains, brooms & mops 


Toiletries: Tooth paste, Soap, Deodorant, Shampoo, Disposable razors


To receive a complete list and delivery instructions, please click on this linkThank you for supporting the needs of our formerly homeless clients!
2014 Orientation Schedule 
VSH has a need RIGHT NOW for volunteers who can help with administrative needs, routine maintenance, gardening, computer tutoring, and mentoring activities. And all kinds of opportunities are available for volunteers who want to help paint, clean, serve food, celebrate holidays & birthdays, and support the efforts of our clients to get back on their feet!

NOW is the perfect time to get training requirements out of the way
so that you can be a part of the action! To RSVP for an orientation session below, just click here!

Richmond sessions:
Tuesday February 11, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
To RSVP or get more dates, click here or call 804-836-1061!
Charlottesville sessions:
To express interest, click here or call 434-465-6580! 

Hampton Roads sessions:
To request a schedule of dates & times, click here or call 757-802-4689 x 306!
Reminder About Sensitivity Training 
Due to new VSH liability regulations, ALL VSH volunteers involved in direct interaction opportunities MUST complete annual sensitivity training! This training provides important information on client rights, volunteer liability, policy violations, and other reminders. If you have not had sensitivity training within the last 12 months or are unsure, please respond to this message! 
Richmond sessions: 
To request a schedule of dates & times, click here or call 804-836-1061!


Charlottesville sessions:  

To express interest, click here or call 434-465-6580. 


Hampton Roads sessions:

To request a schedule of dates & times, click here or call 757-802-4689 x 306!  


To RSVP for one of the sessions listed above or to schedule a special session for your group, just click here! 


I look forward to working with you!

Alison Jones-Nassar, Volunteer Resources Manager

Virginia Supportive Housing

January 2014

Wall of Fame

Virginia Supportive Housing is deeply thankful to the following group and individual volunteers for donating the gift of their time in January 2014:

Calvary Revival Church
Capital One Bank (Charlottesville)
Christ the King Lutheran
First Baptist Church
Grove Avenue Baptist
Level Green Church
(Virginia Beach)
Mt. Gilead
Ohef Shalom
Spring Creek Baptist
UMFS Project Life teens

Renee Allen
Diedre Anderson
Cyndee Blount
Ashley Boudurant 
Sharon Brager
Erica Brager
Erica Brouillette
Olivia Bullock
Ralph Bullock
Carley Butrico
Alyssa Carlson
Laura Carter
Brooke Castro
Becky Clarke
Brandt Clarke
Julie Cloninger
Deborah Coleman
Caroline Colton
Taniqua Crump
Bruce Cruser
Jennifer Davis
Marlene Davis
Destiny Davis
Serenity Davis
Patricia Denise
Mary Donner
Michael Donner
Nancy Dupee
Yodorah Dyer
Lee Gimpel
Pam Goggins
Nelson Gregory
Harry Hamilton
Grace Hamilton
Hikmat Hassanieh
Burney Hatchett
Timothy Hatt
Ola Hawkins
Dawn Hendricks
Kate & Mason Hubbard
Ericka Johnson
Ramesh Lagesetty
Manasa Lagesetty
Meggie Lareau
Audrey Lassiter
Cheryl Leonard-Smith
Donna Lira
Victor Livingstone
Debbie Loving
Brittany Loving
Kelly McIntosh
Amy Miller
Demarko Moore
Bianca Myrick
Kim Naoroz
Desiree Nazareth
Susan Noland
Lain O'Ferrall
Hannah Pace
Gerald Parker
Jesse Pellow
Don Powell
Patricia Rascoe
Malou Rawls
Kathy Reid
Tameka Robertson
Marcia Robbins
Matt Rogers
Shari Schaefer
Lesley Shinbaum
Latarche Singh
Jared Singh
Ciarra Smith
Marshall Smith
Madison Smith
Sidney Smith
Fayth Snydor
Jonathan Spain
Suzanne Sparrow
Harper Speagle-Price
John Stewart
Mary Anne Stone
Joni Teague
Kathleen Turman
Hannah Vidaver
Tzshay Wade
Andante Wade-Hatchett
Donovan Wheless
Hall Wingfield
Christine Winner

The purpose of VSH's volunteer program is to support our clients' efforts to stabilize in housing and to reconnect them to a caring community

To see VSH volunteers in action, please visit our Facebook page
To find out how you can support VSH in Charlottesville, click here

To find out how you can support VSH in Hampton Roads, click here

To find out how you can support VSH in Richmond, click here
Save The Date!
Save the date of 
Tuesday May 20, 2014, when VSH will celebrate our outstanding Richmond region volunteers with a special dinner and awards ceremony! To see photos from last year's event, click here!
Our Annual Report is Now Online!
"Thanks to the Crossings I have a great home. I honestly feel if it hadn't of been for this place, I would be on the street drinking. I would be dead. Instead, with the support of the team, I have been sober for one year and five months!" 

Shawn Bradley, a 43-year-old formerly homeless veteran, moved into The Crossings in April 2012. Since that time, Shawn has been sober and his physical health has stabilized. Shawn is now an advocate for the homeless community in Charlottesville, a member of the Homeless Speakers' Bureau, a volunteer with Veterans For Peace, and a volunteer with PACEM emergency shelter. 

To read more about Virginia Supportive Housing's efforts to end homelessness, download our most recent annual report!
Invite Us In!
Do you belong to a congregation, service club, civic group, or scout troop that is seeking meaningful service opportunities that make a difference in the community? Why not introduce your group members to the great work of VSH? We'd love to share our mission, vision, and goals for ending homelessness among our most vulnerable citizens! There are many opportunities throughout the year for groups to support our work through service and advocacy. To find out more, request a presentation! 
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