VOACC and the Lawson Family Foundation Fund  Launch Market Heights Neighborhood Program   

VOACC Contact: Nicholle Granger

may 23, 2024 | NORFOLK, VA

Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas (VOACC) is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a $130,000 grant by the Lawson Family Foundation Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to launch the Market Heights Neighborhood Program. This program will expand access to vital social services resources and support for residents of Market Heights Apartments and other community members in need. 

Located at 651 May Avenue in Norfolk, Market Heights Apartments is a 100% affordable 164-unit Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) apartment community developed by Lawson. Through our current partnership with Lawson and the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), VOACC provides supportive services to Market Heights residents living with intellectual and developmental disabilities and serious mental illness. The new Market Heights Neighborhood Program represents an expansion of our partnership to improve the overall quality of life for all residents of Market Heights and the surrounding neighborhood. 

“The Lawson Family Foundation is proud to support initiatives that promote community well-being and empower individuals to thrive. Through this grant, we intend to facilitate positive changes for people living in Market Heights Apartments and its surrounding neighborhoods. By working together with VOACC, we believe we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of residents and contribute to the creation of a stronger, more resilient community.”

Steve Lawson, Chairman, Lawson Family Foundation

As an integrated housing, health and human services nonprofit, VOACC understands that secure housing is just the first step to ensuring long-term health and independence. Through the Market Heights Neighborhood Program, our Community Outreach Specialist will build a network of support leveraging current and new service provider partnerships to connect residents to medical and dental services, mental health and wellness services, children’s activities and childcare, fresh food and other community assistance. 

“Volunteers of America has been in the business of addressing underlying barriers to good health and wellbeing for the most vulnerable in our communities for more than 128 years. By collaborating with impactful community partners like Lawson and the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to improve housing stability, income stability, access to healthy food, access to transportation and other important social determinants of health, we can help transform even more lives for the better.”

Russell Snyder, President & CEO, VOA Chesapeake & Carolinas 

Since 2017, Leola Dorsey has provided 35 apartments for permanent housing along with comprehensive supportive services. Acknowledging that housing is just the initial step towards long-term independence, our program delivers ongoing support, including access to mental health and substance use recovery services, assistance with public benefits and job resources, community engagement opportunities, life skills training, and more. 

To learn more about the Leola Dorsey Community Resource Center & Residences, visit: www.voachesapeake.org/leola-dorsey.

About the Lawson Family Foundation Fund

The mission of the Lawson Family Foundation Fund is to engage with effective and compassionate local partners to collectively enable individuals in our communities to flourish, dream, and craft brighter futures for themselves. We believe in the transformative power of education, financial empowerment, health and well-being, and strong social connections to create a brighter future for our residents and the neighborhoods we serve.   

The Lawson Family Foundation Fund is administered by the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, a community foundation serving South Hampton Roads. 

About Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas

Volunteers of America Chesapeake & Carolinas (“VOACC”) is a faith-based, nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire self-reliance, dignity, and hope through housing, health and human services.

At VOACC, we have been helping to create Healthy Communities for All for over 127 years by aligning housing, health and human services. We actively pursue health equity by filling the gap in housing and care for underserved populations, including those who are experiencing homelessness, low-income, underinsured or uninsured, justice-involved and veterans. By offering integrated housing and care, we address the social determinants that impact the long-term stability for those in need.

Through a dedicated team of management, staff and volunteers who are guided by our Core Values – Visionary, One Body, Integrity, Compassion, Excellence, and Faith – we are the safety net for thousands of men, women and children each year across Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and the Carolinas. We operate over 49 programs focused on 8 areas of service: homeless services, affordable housing, mental health, substance use recovery, intellectual/developmental disabilities services, community re-entry, veteran services and workforce development.

VOACC has over 900 staff members and more than 2,000 volunteers. The organization helps over 10,600 individuals and families every year from Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia and the Carolinas. For more information on VOACC, please visit www.voachesapeake.org.

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