VACSI completed the renovation and proved that the facility was a good neighbor to the extent that, at the end of the three years, the community supported the project and City Council unanimously made the special use permit permanent.
Now Valley Supportive Housing, the organization has subsequently purchased and renovated four other houses in Staunton, and - in 2018 - completed renovating the former office space in it's original property into 8 additional efficiency apartments. Today VSH has 38 apartments - with plans for more in the near future. The charity also maintains special funding for other needs for the population it serves, and has a Memorandums of Understanding with the Valley Mission, and a close working relationship with other community groups such as the VCSB, WARM and Hall Services. It also works closely with other local services to meet the needs of its residents.
Lou Siegel was named VSH
Executive Director in 2019.
Before joining VSH, Siegel was
a leader in regional charities,
including drug and alcohol
rehabilitation programs. Most
recently he served as executive director of the Rockfish Valley Foundation, a Nelson County environmental 501(c)3. Previously he held senior executive positions with several international corporations in the areas of project development, marketing and sales. Lou is an engineering graduate of VMI and holds an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia.
Judy Burtner - Chair
David Rissmeyer - Vice Chair
Ken Beals - Secretary
Chris Vames - Treasurer
VACSI purchased its first property that same year, the old Effie Ann Daycare Center at 1314 West Johnson Street in Staunton. The facility was to have 10 attractive and affordable apartments, plus space for a Valley Community Services Board program. Rental of the office space would enable the charity to offer rents at well below-market levels. Following a lengthy and sometimes contentious process, VACSI obtained a permit for the project.
Opposition from a few in the community and the city planning department caused Staunton City Council to limit the permit to 3 years, and required a final review at that point.
Copyright 2021 © Valley Supportive Housing Inc..
All rights reserved.
Many area and regional individuals and corporate citizens have contributed to help VACSI continue to grow to meet real needs.
In 2005 those with mental illness, intellectual disabilities or substance issues were finding it almost impossible to find decent affordable housing.
Property values were rising and old homes once divided into small apartments or with rooms to let were being reconverted to single family residences. Traditional rooming facilities like Staunton's historic old Stonewall Jackson Hotel were being closed. The old hotel underwent a multi-million dollar renovation and expansion to reopen as a new hotel and conference center. Suddenly anything approaching decent housing for this population was becoming too expensive - or simply not available.
Many of these individuals have an extremely low income. Frequently they are forced to live in unsafe, unsanitary and generally unhealthy conditions. Some have no home and live with friends, in shelters or on the street.
Valley Area Community Support Inc. (VACSI) - now Valley Supportive Housing - was formed late in 2005 to respond to these growing needs, to find ways to create affordable and safe housing for these individuals and to provide some of the special services they need, but that might not be available in the community.