We never stop believing in children and their families.
Aaron and Brianna find housing and hope through Flagler youth services
Youth Rapid Rehousing Case Manager Lolita Matthews (left) with Brianna and Aaron

Few things test the strength of a relationship like the possibility of becoming homeless. Young couple Aaron and Brianna faced such a test when, to avoid living on the street, they moved into his mother's apartment. But the situation was dire.

Aaron's mother was in and out of the hospital with health issues, and the apartment was virtually uninhabitable with caved-in ceilings and mold. Eventually they were evicted with nowhere to go. Aaron and Brianna wound up sleeping on benches and behind stores.

"It was cold. It was a very scary situation," said Aaron. "But we got through it together, with St. Joseph's Villa."

Villa receives four-year accreditation from COA
with highest marks
The Council on Accreditation (COA) is the nation's highest accrediting agency for the full continuum of child welfare, behavioral health, and community-based social services. St. Joseph's Villa recently received re-accreditation for the next four years, after our programs, services, administration and management were evaluated and found to meet best practice standards and ethics requirements.

"Our integrity as an organization and our respect for our clients are at the core of all the Villa is and what we do. I am incredibly proud of our staff for this accomplishment," said Villa CEO Kathleen Burke Barrett.

Click here to learn more about COA accreditation.
Villa joins statewide
advocacy efforts
This has been an exciting time of year as we've engaged with our community partners to participate in conversations around legislation that impacts our children and families. At the Virginia General Assembly, the Villa joined other nonprofits at Mental Health Advocacy Days and Housing Advocacy Day. Many thanks to hosting organizations Voices for Virginia's Children, NAMI Virginia, Mental Health America of Virginia, VOCAL, and Virginia Housing Alliance.

Last month, Villa CEO Kathleen Burke Barrett and Director of Community Partnerships Craig Hedley had the opportunity to speak in support of children's mental health services at a state budget hearing. The hearing was held by the House Appropriations and the Senate Finance committees of the Virginia General Assembly.
Children's Mental Health Advocacy Day
State budget hearing
Career and Transition Services, VCU partnership extends beyond grades
Since 2014, peer mentors from VCU's Focused Inquiry service-learning class have helped Villa students set their sights on college. Students participating in our Career and Transition Services meet with their mentors on the VCU campus, take tours, eat in the dining hall, and even attend classes to get a feel for the college experience--something never thought was a possibility before. They also collaborate on semester-long projects, from research and writing to movie production, where their creativity can really shine!

While our partnership prepares Villa students for college and career readiness, VCU students say they have also gotten a lot of of the experience. Hear what one student and Associate Professor Beth Kreydatus say about the benefits they see in the mentoring program.
VCU mentoring
VCU logo
Collegiate School volunteers care for kids in Villa Center for Autism
Our Center for Autism has been fortunate to be a volunteer site for College School's Community Engagement Week for the last three years. Student volunteers from Collegiate spend five full school days assisting our students and their teachers from kindergarten through high school. This month we were delighted to welcome twelve volunteers, who all did an amazing job! Our students loved getting to know their new friends.
Collegiate student volunteer with Villa student
Collegiate logo
Remembering longtime
Villa leader and champion,
John McCann
St. Joseph's Villa would not be what it is today without John McCann. For more than 30 years John served as a volunteer and leader on our boards, most recently as president of the Villa Corporation Board. We will always remember him for his firm conviction, astute guidance of our organization, and his heart and compassion for the children and families we serve. John's work has changed countless lives at the Villa and throughout the Richmond region. We will miss him greatly.
John McCann
February 2018 e-newsletter

St. Joseph's Villa | 804-553-3200 | www.NeverStopBelieving.org
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