Wake-Up Call: Homelessness in Charlottesville

This time Rick is joined by Stephen Hitchcock, Director & Chaplain at The Haven, and Jordy Yager, journalist. Jordy wrote a piece called The Median Men for Cville Weekly. He spent 9 months learning about a group of 6 individuals that panhandle in the medians at major intersections around Charlottesville that stick together and made a camp to have roots.

Stephen says The Median Men may be a public face of Homelessness, but not necessarily the truest face. He describes the fastest growing homeless demographic as families and unaccompanied youth from 16-24 years old.

The Haven is a day shelter that offers phone and computer access, a place to store belongings and wash clothes. The mission is to help with housing solutions. Stephen says, “Why are people homeless? Because they don’t have a home.”

Jordy’s experience is that the individuals have their own personal story, but the people he got to know believed that you don’t deny what is given to you and that if a care package was given to them if they couldn’t use the products inside, they would find another person in need to give them to.

If you’d like to learn more about The Haven or give to their cause click here. You can read Jordy Yager’s article here.

Charlottesville-Right Now: Dave Norris

Tonight is the last night that the PACEM shelter for the homeless will be open for the season. PACEM Executive Director and Charlottesville Mayor Dave Norris joins Coy Barefoot on WINA’s “Charlottesville–Right Now!” to give listeners an update on how many people the shelter served this year. Originally expected to close on March 13, the season was extended thanks to the generosity of Debbie Pollack.

Dave Norris and PACEM

On the November 9th edition of WNRN’s Sunday Morning Wake-Up Call, Rick Moore talks with Charlottesville Mayor Dave Norris in his capacity as Executive Director of People and Congregations Engaged in Ministry (PACEM), an interfaith collaboration of congregations and community partners in Charlottesville dedicated to help the homeless find shelter at night, especially during the cold winter months. Dave talks about what PACEM and other area groups are doing to address the homeless problem, and he and Rick look forward to a new policies from the Obama administration.

SRO: A Permanent Solution to Homelessness

On May 27, 2008, representatives from Virginia Supportive Housing led an insightful and interactive presentation for the Charlottesville community on Single Room Occupancy (SRO) housing for the homeless — a proven, permanent solution to homelessness that’s taking hold in many cities across the country. The presentation took place in the “CitySpace” meeting room at the Charlottesville Community Design Center.

Virginia Supportive Housing, a Richmond-based statewide nonprofit housing provider, recently agreed to work with the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless (TJACH) and the Charlottesville community to develop and manage an SRO facility in Charlottesville. The May 27 presentation gave members of the public, community agencies, local officials, potential funders and area media a chance to learn more about the SRO concept and to hear about Virginia Supportive Housing’s plans and timeline for opening an SRO in Charlottesville.

A Single Room Occupancy facility typically features several dozen efficiency apartments that are available at low cost to people who have been homeless, with on-site support services and security to help keep the SRO residents stable in their housing. In cities like Richmond, Norfolk, Roanoke, Fairfax and (soon) Virginia Beach, SROs have been successful in moving local residents — many of whom are disabled and/or veterans — off the streets and out of shelters and into permanent supportive housing.