St. Joseph's Villa, Richmond, VA

St. Joseph's Villa

Abstract: Founded in 1989 as shelter for homeless mothers and children on the campus of St. Joseph’s Villa, Flagler Home built a reputation among community stakeholders, donors, and leaders in the homelessness field as a first class model for transitional housing. Flagler Home housed families for up to two years as case managers helped them regain their independence through holistic services such as financial literacy, employment training and parenting skills. In recent years, local and national research revealed the transitional housing model to be less effective and less economical than the progressive model of rapid re-housing. Rapid re-housing places homeless individuals and families of any composition into permanent rental housing as quickly as possible, providing the same support services but only at the request of clients.  

In our commitment to adopting best practices, the Villa’s Flagler Housing and Homeless Services participated in a rapid re-housing pilot program from 2010 to 2011 led by Homeward, the planning and coordinating organization for homeless services in the Greater Richmond region. Families rapidly re-housed during the pilot experienced a higher rate of success than those participating in the programs of Flagler Home, and at about one-fourth the cost to the organization. Staff leadership and the Board of Trustees of St. Joseph’s Villa determined that discontinuing the residential component of Flagler Home and fully implementing the rapid rehousing model would achieve more impactful results in reducing homelessness. Flagler completed a successful transition that resulted in better outcomes, positive media attention and accolades from Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. 

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