Villa receives $1.25 million Bezos Day 1 Families Fund grant to end family homelessness

In its 30th year of providing safe and stable housing for individuals and families throughout central Virginia, Flagler Housing & Homeless Services at St. Joseph's Villa has been awarded a $1.25 million grant from the  Bezos Day 1 Families Fund.
“We are exceedingly honored and grateful to be entrusted with this transformational grant, which will impact thousands of our neighbors in need,” said Kathleen Burke Barrett, CEO of St. Joseph’s Villa. “The Villa is committed to ending chronic homelessness in our region through a collaborative approach with our partners. This investment from the Day 1 Families Fund puts us in a great position to succeed.”

This one-time grant will be used in diversion and prevention programming so we can better serve families who face imminent risk of becoming homeless. We will also broaden access to mental health services, and expand our homeless hotline services in Petersburg and the Tri-Cities regions.

St. Joseph’s Villa is 1 of 32 nonprofits across the U.S. to receive the second annual Day 1 Families Fund grants, as part of a broad investment by the Day 1 Families Fund to help solve family homelessness. Their vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle:  no child sleeps outside.

To learn more, please visit our website , or read about us in the Richmond Times-Dispatch , Henrico Citizen , or Petersburg Progress-Index .
Villa earns Silver-Level Living Wage Certification
Living Wage Certification
We're proud to be a silver-certified living wage employer in Richmond! The Richmond Living Wage Certification Program is a joint initiative of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and the Richmond Office of Community Wealth Building. We're committed to paying living wages to all of our team members.

Learn more about the program here .

Are you interested in a career at the Villa? Visit our website to view current opportunities.
Villa Autism Center Director Adam Dreyfus presents research findings abroad
Adam Dreyfus in Moscow
Dreyfus, third from left, with conference presenters

Following international presentations in France, Pakistan, Belarus, and Nevis, Sarah Dooley Center for Autism Director Adam Dreyfus recently journeyed to Russia to collaborate with autism educators and professionals from around the world. At the Inclusive Education Conference, held at Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Dreyfus led a Masterclass on teaching non-verbal children to talk.

"It's always inspiring and motivating to see how other countries and cultures are approaching the global issue of a sharp increase in the rates of autism," said Dreyfus. "The rise in autism rates and corresponding challenges for parents and educators is not a United States problem, it's a global problem, and the solutions will be global - so it's important to reach out across borders to mine our collective efforts to improve the lives of those impacted by autism."

Dreyfus shared SDCA's pioneering model of autism education, which emphasizes Community-Based Instruction and data-driven teaching strategies. Last year, SDCA students learned almost 10,000 new words. The Villa is planning to open a new cutting-edge autism center during the 2020-2021 school year, which will include a flexible space for teacher trainings and conferences here in Richmond.
Telepsychiatrist Dr. Ashika Kapoor brings expertise to Villa Crisis Stabilization Unit
Dr. Ashika Kapoor
The Villa's Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) engages youth in mental health crisis and their families 24 hours a day, 365 days a year . Dr. Ashika Kapoor, based in Marlton, NJ, is an integral part of the CSU team.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that about 300,000 Virginians experience serious mental illness , but the need for services far exceeds the number of providers. At the CSU, all youth have daily access to Dr. Kapoor, a licensed child and adolescent psychiatry specialist.

Dr. Kapoor has served the CSU for five years, and is deeply invested in the program. She participates in all CSU intakes, learns each parent's concerns and goals for their child, and helps youth develop effective coping skills. Parents are welcomed to sit in on evaluations, or call with follow-up questions. Dr. Kapoor believes telepsychiatry provides a meaningful, potentially life-saving service to families, while maintaining a personal touch.

"There are times when kids won't tell you a lot, because they don't know you," said Kapoor. "With telepsychiatry, having the screen as a barrier can make them comfortable sharing more than they normally may in person."

The CSU has served more than 1,100 youth since opening in partnership with Richmond Behavioral Health Authority Region IV in 2012. 94% have been diverted from hospitalization.
Richmond Mounted Police at the Villa
Richmond Mounted Police visit Villa students

Aslan, Samson, Scooter and Toby got lots of love from our students when they visited the Villa campus with the Richmond Police Mounted Unit. Every one of our schools had the opportunity to meet these beautiful horses, and talk with the friendly officers who protect and serve our community a first for many students.

Every day at St. Joseph's Villa, learning takes place outside the classroom thanks to our caring partners who provide our students unique, hands-on educational experiences. Thank you, Richmond Mounted Police!
We never stop believing in children and their families.
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Living Wage Certification