According to Executive Director, Susan Richardson, “we are seeing 80-95 stays per night—this is more typical for the week prior to Thanksgiving.”
Trying to determine if the unstable political climate, an untold economic story, or the wide swing in weather patterns are the reason for the trend would be helpful for planning purposes. However, the truth is, the reason doesn’t matter as much as the fact that the need is great.
The Mission is fortunate to have churches and community groups that help with meals and projects, but the day to day items are in short supply right now. The number of groups that give time and funds grows closer to the holiday season and that allows the Mission to meet the need. However, with more residents in house earlier in the year, that support system from the community is not yet in place.
The Valley Mission offers free in-house mental health services to over 100 guests each year, life skills training, job seeking assistance and placement, health checks, and day support services. All of these services increase when there are more guests. Funding is vital to create work plans for each individual or family to put them on the path to self-sufficiency and independent living.
Visit www.valleymisson.net to learn more or to provide help. You can also join the Mission on November 10, for the Just Jazzin’ fundraising event at Gypsy Hill Place in Staunton where all proceeds go directly to these program needs.