Virginia Supportive Housing
Virginia Supportive Housing
Monthly Volunteer Newsletter
   March 2014 




In a recent volunteer survey, more than 95% of respondents indicated that they enjoy their service, plan to continue, and would recommend the VSH volunteer experience to others. Here's what else they had to say: 

  • "Birthdays for Everyone was really enjoyable, exciting, and eye-opening."
  • "Rewarding and fun!"
  • "They have all been good [experiences]."
  • "Wonderful from start to finish!"
  • "A great experience! I want to help more in 2014!"
  • "Each time I go, the experience is better."
  • "Had a fantastic volunteer experience!"
  • "I am satisfied with the way things are handled and organized. Keep up the great work!"
  • "Overall I think the volunteer experience at VSH is great. I've been very pleased with my service and have enjoyed it greatly!" 


To find out more about how you can have a great volunteer experience with VSH, make plans to attend an upcoming volunteer orientationFor the orientation and training schedules for RichmondCharlottesville and Hampton Roads, just click on the links at the bottom of this message! 


VSH is thankful to all volunteers who support our mission with their gifts of time and talents! We can't do it without YOU!

In This Issue
Spotlight on Monika Merk
Shout-out to Doug Melton!
Individual Volunteer Opportunity
Group Volunteer Opportunity
Youth & Family-Friendly Opportunities
Volunteer News From Hampton Roads
Volunteer News From Charlottesville
Donation Needs For Our Volunteer Program
2014 Orientation Schedule
Reminder About Sensitivity Training
February 2014 Wall of Fame
Save The Date!
Our Annual Report Is Now Online!
Invite Us In!
Spotlight On Monika Merk 
In the fall of 2013, Monika Merk applied to VSH as an intern and spent the semester at the Richmond headquarters supporting Deputy CEO Kathy Talley. Among other tasks, Monika organized HUD paperwork and documentation files for our properties; organized binders for all of the property financials; created Emergency Manuals for all of the properties; and recorded the minutes for the Asset Management Committee meetings. Monika enjoyed working at the headquarters so much that she has returned to assist Program Manager of Housing Counseling Salathia Johnson with an upcoming HUD audit. Monika volunteers for at least four hours per week reviewing files to ensure that they contain all the required documents, cross-referencing signatures & dates, updating active & closed case files in the online database, and transcribing handwritten notations. "I admire the work of Virginia Supportive Housing and my internship really helped me to understand the complexity of the work that they do and the financial workings of the organization. I have really benefited from my experience and enjoyed my time with VSH!"  
Shout-Out To Doug Melton! 
Painting is not something that every volunteer likes or wants to do. It's messy and smelly, and it requires a level of skill and care that not all volunteers possess. VSH volunteer Doug Melton is one of those volunteers who really likes to paint, and he's good at it. So whenever we have painting opportunities available, we welcome the gift of Doug's time, help, and expertise. Recently, we had two urgent painting projects that had to be turned around in a very short amount of time. Like a super hero who appears just in the nick of time, Doug stepped up to the plate on BOTH of them and got the job done. He did a beautiful job with minimal supervision, and because of his service, our small maintenance team could focus on other urgent property needs. We are so grateful for super volunteers like Doug Melton! Thank you!  

 Individual Volunteer Opportunity 

VSH Richmond needs an administrative support volunteer to help us catch up on some data entry! This volunteer must be able to serve a minimum of four hours per week at our Richmond headquarters. This role requires an individual with an intermediate or better level of computer fluency who can enter data into our SAGE 50 fundraising software system. Other core competencies include:
  • High degree of accuracy & attention to detail
  • Good analytical skills
  • Proficient in interpreting complex information
  • Commitment to complete confidentiality
  • Ability to work independently
  • Self-motivated to get the job done
To apply for this opportunity, please send a resume to
Group Volunteer Opportunity 
VSH is seeking a group or team of approximately 20 volunteers with painting skills who can help us with our Extreme Office Makeover! Now that we have a new executive director, our Richmond headquarters needs a bold new look. Volunteers are needed to paint the main hallway, kitchen, and conference room spaces. Project duration will be approximately four hours (morning or afternoon) and we'd like to complete this project be the end of April. Volunteers should have previous painting experience and be able to meet the quality expectations of the landlord. To express interest in this opportunity, please send an e-mail to
Youth & Family-Friendly Opportunities 
Did you know that VSH Richmond offers at least one youth & family-friendly service opportunity every month? These opportunities allow motivated youth volunteers (under the supervision of parents or guardians) to complete school service requirements, gain greater understanding about the issue of homelessness, and have a fun and meaningful experience. To sign up for one of the opportunities below, please visit the HandsOn Greater Richmond opportunities calendar, search for the correct date, and click on the registration link.
  • Saturday March 22, 10 - 12: Birthday Party
  • Wednesday March 26, 6 - 7:30: Pot Luck Dinner
  • Wednesday April 9, 6 - 7:30: Pot Luck Dinner
  • Saturday April 26, 10 - 12: Birthday Party
More birthday parties and pot luck dinners will be scheduled after April, so stay tuned! 
Volunteer News From Hampton Roads 
VSH currently has four supportive apartment buildings in the Hampton Roads area and volunteers provide a broad spectrum of services in support of the tenants including meals, grooming services, bingo, movie nights, birthday celebrations, art classes, and personal wellness & development activities. VSH is deeply thankful to volunteers like those pictured above with The Tribe of Issachar for serving a delicious meal in the community room at Heron's Landing. To find out more about how you can get involved in VSH Hampton Roads, please contact volunteer coordinator Michelle Robinson by calling 757-802-4689 ext. 306 or sending an e-mail to To schedule a property tour or discuss Adopt-A-Room opportunities, please contact Esther Robert, Director of Mission Advancement in Hampton Roads, by calling 757-275-8544 ext. 108 or sending an e-mail to
Volunteer News From Charlottesville 
Since the grand opening of The Crossings at Fourth & Preston in March of 2012, homelessness has ended for 95% of the 44 people housed! You can support this good work by supporting The Crossings Birthday Challenge! Your gift will help fund the individualized support services that enable residents to make positive, lasting life changes. Permanent housing and support services are the keys to success...but we can't do it without you! To find out more, please click on this link or send an e-mail to Resource Development Coordinator Anne Deery at You can also call 434-465-6580 to schedule a tour or discuss Adopt-A-Room opportunities. Thank you for joining VSH in our efforts to end homelessness in Charlottesville!
Donation Needs For Our Volunteer Program 
VSH conducts multiple volunteer activities and service projects throughout the year, which means that we go through lots and lots of supplies! If you would like to donate any of the items listed below to support our volunteer program and ensure its success, please reply to this message for delivery instructions! Don't forget that VSH provides written documentation of your in-kind donations for tax purposes!
Painting supplies: Paint brushes, Roller sleeves, Rolls of contractor's paper, Blue painter's tape, Disposable paint cups, tray liners
Cleaning supplies: Garbage bags, filtration masks, vinyl gloves, paper towels, multi-surface cleaning spray, sponges, scrubbing brushes, sponge mops
Art supplies: Markers, poster paints, paint brushes, colored construction paper, glue sticks, glitter, tape
Birthday supplies: Colorful plastic tablecloths, party-themed paper products, balloons, hats, noisemakers, streamers, decorations, commercial birthday cards, cake mixes, tubs of icing
Other supplies: Paper products (plates, cups, napkins, plastic utensils), Bottled water, Diet sodas 
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:
Thursday March 20, 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

February 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 February 2014:

Capital One Bank (Charlottesville)
Christ the King Lutheran
First Baptist Church
Grove Avenue Baptist
Level Green Church
(Virginia Beach)
Ohef Shalom
(Hampton Roads)
Spring Creek Baptist
St. Mark's Baptist (Hampton Roads)

Renee Allen
Cyndee Blount
Ralph Bullock
Patricia Dennis
Nancy Dupree
Rebecca Edwards
Sophie George
Pam Goggins
Rev. Linwood Hill
Amber Holmes
Ashley Johnson
Ericka Johnson
Colin King
Victor Livingstone
Gerald McInnis
Audra Mellott
Melton Family
Monika Merk
Austin Miller
Colby Myles
Dewan Myles
Johnette Ostendorf
Rachel Ostendorf
Hannah Pace
Don Powell
Ebony Powell
Glendora Richardson
Shari Schaefer
Kami Smith
Joni Teague
Torres Family
Kathleen Turman
Sheila Watters
Johnathan Watters
Annetta White
Landon White
Shameka White
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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