news valley support housing acquires property will provide 20 apartment units

Valley Support Housing acquires property, will provide 20 apartment units

staunton virginiaValley Supportive Housing has completed the acquisition of a property in Staunton that will provide an additional 20 apartment units effective Jan. 1.

The non-profit started with 10 apartments in a former day-care center in 2006. Since then, VSH has added an additional 32 units in the Staunton area. When renovations are complete at a former commercial space on Pump Street, VSH will have a total of 68 apartments in the city.

The Pump Street renovation should be complete in June.

Honoring Karen Cochran

The City of Staunton and Valley Supportive Housing honored Karen Cochran on Nov. 17 for her leadership in the founding and growth of VSH. VSH provides affordable, attractive and safe housing to those with mental health issues.

At a reception for donors, it was also announced that the VSH apartment building on Kalorama Street would be named the “Karen Cochran Building.”

Staunton Vice Mayor Mark Robertson presented Cochran with a proclamation from Staunton City Council recognizing Cochran’s leadership in the organization.

Cochran helped found VSH in 2005 and served as its first board chair. She remained in that capacity until 2019 and remained a board member until 2021. She has been named permanent “Director Emeritus” in recognition of her past leadership. A retired psychiatric nurse, she has been active in other area mental health organizations and has served on the Valley Community Services Board and the Western State Hospital local human rights committee.

Valley Supportive Housing, originally known as Valley Area Community Support Inc., has been building lives here in the Shenandoah Valley for 16 years through affordable, safe housing and supportive services for those with mental illness, intellectual disabilities or substance use issues.

More information is available at

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.