Valley Assistance Network
1 February 2019
We were in the studio today with Jennifer Hall, Director of Community Engagement, and Joseph Jablonski, Volunteer Coordinator for Valley Assistance Network – a program of United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley.
We talked about their program, what it does, who it serves and the important role it plays in the community to help residents and families in the Shenandoah Valley to navigate community resources on their path to financial stability. Joseph also told us about the volunteer opportunities available and the various skill set(s) and personality traits needed to be a successful volunteer. We also discussed the area’s first ever Code Blue that was issued from January 19th to January 21st of 2019 in response to temperatures around six degrees those nights. VAN and Faithworks worked to make temporary emergency shelter possible for the homeless those nights with a special focus on families, collecting donations and supplying shelter to ten additional people. You can still donate to this cause here: https://www.givelify.com/givenow/1.0/MjUxNzE=/selection
We continued our conversation after the show aired so that Jennifer & Joseph could tell us about some specific examples and real-life stories of those their organization has helped.
Here are a few statistics from Valley Assistance Network’s first year:
- 85% of referrals made are for Financial Stability resources; 10% for Health and 5% for Education.
- 125 families report being homeless. 176 families are at-risk of being homeless.
- 71% of clients are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). They are working but not earning enough to make ends meet.
- 40% of clients are single parents.
- 1 in 3 clients have medical insurance, and just 1 in 4 have a primary care doctor.
- Just 26% of families have a bank account.
- Housing assistance, eviction and homelessness are the top reasons for contacting VAN.
For more information about Valley Assistance Network, visit their website: https://www.unitedwaynsv.org/VAN or visit their office located at 411 N. Cameron Street, Suite 210 on the Our Health campus. They are open Monday – Thursday from 9am – 5pm and by appointment on Friday. You can call them at (540) 773-3178 and follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ValleyAssistanceNetwork/
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