Housing Virginia’s Most Vulnerable

Virginia Housing Alliance (VHA) is pleased to invite you to our 2022 Housing Virginia’s Most Vulnerable Conference! This year’s event will be held at the Omni Hotel in Richmond, VA and feature two days of peer exchange, sharing, and best practices. We hope you will join us for this exciting event. Details will be updated in real time so please check back as new speakers and sessions will be added.

Presented in partnership with Virginia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, Housing Virginia’s Most Vulnerable is the Commonwealth’s premier professional development opportunity to explore emerging standards and best practices focused on interventions and services for the most vulnerable homeless populations. Our statewide participants, partners, and sponsors represent organizations that are at the forefront of supportive housing service delivery and program implementation, and we look forward to offering session topics to help operationalize housing as a social determinant of health.

Conference Agenda

Wednesday, October 12, 2022


9:00 AM – 9:45 AM:  Self Care Session #1 – Breakouts

Session Title:  “Begin Within: Scheduling Your Daily Self-Care”

  • Speaker: Felisha Jones (The Innerwork Center)
  • Session description: Are you tending to yourself before attempting to extend care and service to others? We lead busy lives and many times we overlook our own basic needs. This session will focus on practical ways to schedule self-care into your daily calendar. Be ready to access your calendar to schedule the most important person in your life – YOU.

Session Title:  “Mindfulness: Game Changer for Stress Reduction”

  • Speaker: Korantema Pierce-Williams (The Innerwork Center)
  • Session description: Mindfulness can be the game-changer you’ve been looking for to reduce the sense of stress in your life. Come learn more about how this ancient practice can support your mental and physical health in our modern-day, fast-paced lives.

Session Title:  “Burnout, Boundaries & Balance”

  • Speaker: Shelia Battle (The BattleStation Corporation)
  • Session description: These past few years, many professionals have experienced a level of stress unlike any endured before — and for many who regularly work intimately with the public, the added pressure is substantial. These duties can be both emotionally and physically demanding and, without the proper tools to handle it or compassion from those around them, conditions can quickly become overwhelming. To help them combat that and numerous stressors they encounter daily, Sheila Battle — trained SoulCare Coach, Human Services advocate, and author of 15 Minutes of Grace — will host a session full of practical exercises to help cope with strain, supply supportive resources, and provide opportunities for internal development. This session aims to help guide participants toward a personal transformation that can aid them in caring for themselves and better equipping them to anticipate and work through a number of future difficulties.

10:00 AM – 10:45 AM:  Self Care Session #2 – Breakouts

  • Self Care Session #2 includes three breakouts identical to the aforementioned Self Care sessions.  If you miss one or more of the previous sessions, feel free to use this block to select another self care topic of choice.  


11:00 AM – 11:30 AM:  State Update 

  • Speakers:  Susan Dewey (Virginia Housing), Bryan Horn (DHCD), Lisa Jobe-Shields (DBHDS)

11:30 AM – 12:00 PM:  LUNCH BUFFET

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM:  Welcome, Lunch and Keynote Address

  • Speaker:  Peggy Bailey (Center for Budget Policy Priorities )


1:45 PM – 2:45 PM:  BREAKOUT 1

Session Title:  “A Harm Reduction Approach to Housing Individuals Experiencing Substance Use Disorder”

  • Presenters:  Georgi Fisher (DBHDS), Ashley Harrell (Department of Medical Assistance Services)
  • Session description:  This presentation will increase your knowledge of Medicaid eligibility and benefits, including the Addiction and Recovery Treatment Services (ARTS) benefit, role of the Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) and how to best leverage these resources for you and individuals you work with. We will also cover available supportive and community recovery housing options in Virginia and discuss how principles of harm reduction and housing first can empower and stabilize individual’s recovery.  

Session Title:  “Housing Responses for Familiar Faces Initiative –  Building Effective Partnerships with CoCs for Individuals Leaving Jails and Prisons”

  • Presenters:  Meghan E. Patton (Cuyahoga County), Donna Harrison (Virginia Department of Veterans Services)
  • Session description: Justice system involved individuals face a variety of barriers, access to housing being at the top. This session will discuss how Cuyahoga County, Ohio created a housing initiative for individuals in their mental health court who are high utilizers of jails and prisons. The session will explore how this multifaceted partnership with the CoC, criminal justice and behavioral health systems, and other partners has successfully created housing options for justice involved individuals. Additional topics covered include: the unique data matching study and funding efforts to support the program.  

Session Title:  “The Lived Perspective:  Navigating Homelessness in Virginia”

  • Presenters:  Taeshawn Williams, Andrew Stankevich, Liam Hudson (CSH)
  • Session description:  In this session persons who have experienced homelessness and navigated the systems available in Virginia will provide insight into their challenges, triumphs, and calls for change. Each panelist will respond to a series of questions meant to help the audience gain a deeper understanding of the barriers, needs, and perceptions of the current services/resources available in the Commonwealth.  


3:00 PM – 4:00 PM:  BREAKOUT 2

Session Title:  “Emerging Practices in Housing Stabilization”

  • Presenters: Erica Holmes (SJV), Meghann Cotter (Micah Ecumenical Ministries), Kelly King Horne (Homeward)
  • Session description: This session will explore the ways in which organizations are helping households achieve housing stability in the face of the rapidly rising cost of housing across the Commonwealth. Micah Ecumenical Ministries and St. Joseph’s Villa will briefly discuss how their respective agencies are assisting households in quickly obtaining housing and the resources they are utilizing to assist households in maintaining stability long term. In addition, the two organizations will present their innovative approaches to leveraging funding sources and partnerships to connect households with the necessary resources to maintain their housing. Lastly, attendees will have the option to participate in an open discussion regarding the resources they have connected with in their communities and discuss the innovative ways they are assisting households in maintaining housing stability. 

Session Title:  “Strengthening Collaboration Between Affordable Housing Developers & Service Providers” 

  • Presenters: Marquan Jackson (APAH), Jill Fox (CSH), Susan Davidson (AHC Inc)
  • Session description:  We all know the solution to homelessness and housing stability is affordable housing and services. But too often, there is a disconnect between our service providers, homeless systems, and our local affordable housing owners and developers. Given increasingly tight rental markets and constrained affordable housing inventory, now more than ever, partnerships between affordable housing owners and developers and homeless and supportive housing service providers is critical. Join this session to hear about effective collaborations, what makes them work, and where we can strengthen our collective efforts to meet the housing and services needs for all Virginians.

Session Title:  “Virginia’s Ongoing Response to the Eviction Crisis”

  • Presenters: Senta Leslie (DHCD), Elizabeth Spach (DHCD), Charvalla West (UWVP), Jen Cherry (UWVP),  Gabby Vazquez (DHCD)
  • Session description: Join Virginia’s Eviction Prevention Team and our Virginia Eviction Reduction Pilot (VERP) grantees for an interactive discussion about evictions in Virginia, the systemic responses carried out at the locality level, and how you can replicate these best practices and emerging models in your own community. 


4:15 PM – 5:15 PM:  BREAKOUT 3

Session Title:  “Introduction to Navigating Systems and Resources to Address Homelessness”

  • Presenters: Kelly King Horne (Homeward), Taylor Ryan-Harvey (DHCD)
  • Session description:  In 2012, HUD released the Continuum of Care Interim Rule which transformed the decision-making role and core responsibilities of the Continuum of Care and laid out requirements for a coordinated response to homelessness. Since this time, the complexity of federal and state regulations on coordinated efforts to reduce homelessness has only increased. This session will provide a review of the policy and funding framework that guides our efforts to solve homelessness in the Commonwealth. Whether you are new to the field of homelessness or a seasoned professional, join us for a lively and slightly wonky discussion of policies, best and promising practices, and funding opportunities.

Session Title:  “Aging in Place:  Being a Part of the Solution to Address the Unmet Needs of Older Adults”

  • Presenters: Josh Gemerek (Bay Aging), Rebecca Brown (Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia), Molly French ( Housing and Services Resource Center – US Aging), Kate Noon (Better Housing Coalition), Charnitta Waters  (Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia)
  • Session description: This session will provide the platform for cross sector conversations around the complex housing needs of older adults. The conversation will focus on addressing housing instability among seniors and the solutions being implemented across the state to bridge gaps and provide viable supports to make independent living for seniors possible. 

Session Title:  “Efforts to Criminalize Homelessness and How to Fight Back”

  • Presenter:  Lily Milwit (National Homelessness Law Center)
  • Session description: As homelessness rates increase across the country, policymakers and law enforcement are turning to criminalization as a means to banish and exclude unhoused individuals from the communities they call home. Policies and practices that make it illegal or impossible for people experiencing homelessness to exist and survive in public spaces are inhumane, ineffective, and often unconstitutional, but are nevertheless on the rise in jurisdictions around the country, including in Virginia. This presentation will cover trends in criminalization and describe the ways in which criminalization harms us all. It will also discuss how advocates can fight back against these trends, using litigation, policy, messaging, and public education.



 Thursday, October 13, 2022



9:45 AM – 10:45 AM:  BREAKOUTS

Session Title:  “Trauma and Resilience – The Intersectionality of Housing”

  • Presenters: Liam Hudson (CSH), Taylor Harvey-Ryan (DHCD)
  • Session description: Trauma is often thought to be an elusive subject but may impact people in more ways than commonly known. This session invites participants to explore the compounding factors of trauma and how these factors impact a person’s ability to obtain and maintain housing stability. Participants will be guided through understanding intersectional components, such as racism, homelessness, and systematic inequities and begin to learn the importance of providing a person-centered response. The goal of this session is to identify the ways in which our communities can be better supported through an intentional, informed, and multi-dimensional approach to housing barriers and inequities.

Session Title:  “What’s Unique About Housing Vulnerability in Rural Virginia?”

  • Presenters: Andy Kegley (Wythe Hope)
  • Session description: Rural Virginia shares many of the same housing issues with other parts of the state. However, Southwest Virginia’s distance from the state capital, proximity to other states, and Appalachian focused partnerships – among others – make it a particularly challenging area of the Commonwealth to serve. Panelists will explore the challenges unique to the region and discuss its numerous strengths and opportunities.

Session Title:  “What to do about the Rent

  • Presenters: Jovan Burton (Pharva), Del. Nadarius Clark (Virginia House of Delegates), Del. Michelle Maldonado (Virginia House of Delegates), Mariko Lewis (New Virginia Majority)
  • Session description:   For numerous reasons, including the complex array of land use, public opposition to affordable housing, and limited financial resources, Virginia has a known shortage of at least 200,000 affordable homes. Though the long-term strategy is to build a lot more housing, we also need to address short term interventions. This panel will explore policy solutions to combat rapidly rising rents and ensure housing stability for tenants.


11:00 AM – 12:00 PM:  Closing Plenary 

  • Speaker: Ann Oliva (National Alliance to End Homelessness)

Sponsor Housing Virginia's Most Vulnerable

Advertise at the HVMV

Our Sponsors


Oct 12 - 13 2022


Omni Hotel Richmond, VA


Omni Hotel Richmond, VA
100 South 12th Street, Richmond, VA 23219


Book your hotel stay

NOTE: Please indicate your need for accommodations during the registration process and be sure to book your room using the VHA conference room block.

$145 per night (single)
$155 per night (double)

Please call the Omni directly with any special requests: 804-344-7000

Registration Closed - Contact VHA for Info