Council of Community Services http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.6 Blue Ridge Homeless Reports Featured in National Publication http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/news/blue-ridge-homeless-reports-featured-in-national-publication/ Mon, 10 Jul 2017 18:50:00 +0000 http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/?p=9525 The Limits of Homeless Services (3)

 

The Blue Ridge Continuum of Care, the local planning body responsible for coordinating the full range of homeless services in Roanoke, Salem, and Covington, was featured in The National Homeless Information Project’s newsletter. The NHIP is a grassroots effort to increase sharing and understanding of homeless services data in order to increase knowledge in the field. 

Reports from the Blue Ridge Mountains

The Blue Ridge Continuum of Care (VA-502) which covers a five-county area that includes the three cities of Roanoke, Salem and Covington released its annual Point-in-Time Count Report showing a 19.3% decrease in total one-day homelessness.  The CoC also released a Five-year Report detailing progress on chronic, veterans, and family homelessness.  The NHIP thanks Matt Crookshank, Director of Homeless Services for the Blue Ridge CoC, for sending along the reports.

Click here to read full article.

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Summer Resources with 2-1-1 VIRGINIA http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/news/summer-resources-with-2-1-1-virginia/ Wed, 07 Jun 2017 15:38:27 +0000 http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/?p=9474 Summer Resources (1)

Schools are out and summer is in session.

2-1-1 VIRGINIA is here year-round to connect you with FREE information on available community services.

2-1-1 is an easy to remember phone number connecting people with FREE information on available community services. When you dial 2-1-1, a trained professional listens to your situation and suggests sources of help using one of the largest databases of health and human services in Virginia. 2-1-1 VIRGINIA’s database can also be accessed at www.211virginia.org.

2-1-1 VIRGINIA has the following summer resources to share with those in need:

  • Summer Food Service Program: Ensures low-income children, 18 years and under, continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. Text “FOOD” to 877-877 to find local program sites. Don’t see something close? Check back as more programs may come available. Web search also available. VISIT: www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks
  • Summer Activities: Summer vacation and nothing to do? 2-1-1 VIRGINIA has listings for parks and recreation programs, museums, community theaters and more. SEARCH: Arts, Camp, Clubs, Cultural Heritage, Museum, Parks, or Recreation at www.211virginia.org. 

For additional resources and announcements, click here OR simply dial 2-1-1.

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Roanoke Region Receives More than $800,000 to Support Efforts in Reducing Homelessness http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/news/roanoke-region-receives-more-than-800000-to-support-efforts-in-reducing-homelessness/ Fri, 24 Mar 2017 13:06:40 +0000 http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/?p=9323 The Blue Ridge Continuum of Care, the region’s planning body for homeless services, has been awarded $835,191 to support its coordinated effort in reducing homelessness in the region. This funding awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) funds seven projects being implemented through three organizations: the City of Roanoke, the Council of Community Services and ARCH Services. The funding is part of a record $1.95 billion awarded by HUD to organizations nationwide through its Continuum of Care (CoC) grant competition.

These resources will provide critical services to individuals and families in crisis and will allow the region to build upon its successes in addressing homelessness. As announced earlier this month, overall homelessness in the region has been reduced by more than 52% since 2012. 

CoC 5 Year Progress Infographic_001

Projects funded through the announcement are:

• Blue Ridge CoC Planning Project – City of Roanoke
• City of Roanoke Homeless Assistance Team (HAT)
• Coordinated Assessment System – City of Roanoke (new)
• Healing Haven – ARCH Services (new)
• Heroes Haven Permanent Supportive Housing for Chronically Homeless Veterans – ARCH Services
• Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) – Council of Community Services
• Trust House Case Management – ARCH Services

These awards include five renewal and two new projects. The new projects are evidence of the region’s leaders and system planners’ commitment to conducting on-going evaluation of community needs and investing in new, best practice-aligned programs that make the service system more effective and efficient.

ARCH Services has received funding to implement a new permanent supportive housing project to provide stable housing and supportive services to individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. This project will utilize the Housing First model – a homeless assistance approach that prioritizes providing people experiencing homelessness with permanent housing as quickly as possible, and then providing voluntary supportive services as needed. This approach prioritizes client choice in both housing selection and in service participation.

The City of Roanoke will be implementing new funding to build its capacity in managing the community’s Coordinated Assessment System. The Coordinated Assessment System ensures individuals and families experiencing a housing crisis are connected to the most appropriate services quickly and efficiently.

Questions? Please contact Matt Crookshank, Director of Homeless Services, Council of Community Services

In the news: 

Roanoke region awarded more than 800,000 dollars to help the homeless, VirginiaFirst.com, March 23, 2017

Roanoke area receives more than $800k to reduce homelessness, WDBJ7, March 22, 2017

 

 

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Do you know a housing hero? Nominate them for the Affordable Housing Advocacy Award! http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/news/do-you-know-a-housing-hero-nominate-them-for-the-affordable-housing-advocacy-award/ Thu, 23 Mar 2017 18:47:55 +0000 http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/?p=9298 Do you know a housing hero-

 

Decent, affordable and accessible housing is the right of every citizen and is critical to the economic health and development of our region. To further its mission to encourage proactive involvement in housing issues, the Roanoke Regional Housing Network, a standing committee of the Council of Community Services, created the Affordable Housing Advocacy Award to recognize and reward the outstanding advocacy efforts of an individual or agency in our region. The award will be presented at the organization’s Roanoke Regional Housing Symposium. The recipient will receive $500.

Nomination Process:

Nominations for the Affordable Housing Advocacy Award may be made by any member of the Roanoke Valley community. Nominees may be member agency employees, volunteers, or any other member of a specific community so long as their advocacy efforts have been notable. Elected officials are also eligible for consideration. Nominations must be received by the chair no later than April 20. Please email the attached nomination to Matt Crookshank at mattc@chrcblueridge.org. If you have questions, please call 540.266.7554.

The Affordable Housing Advocacy Award Selection Committee shall be comprised of the RRHN Chair, Vice Chair and symposium planning committee.  The committee shall meet at the close of the nomination period to discuss and select a recipient. The committee shall submit their selection to the Chair in preparation of the award plaque and $500 check.

Award Criterion:

Recipients of the award shall be selected with the following criterion:

  • Impact on legislation: Actions having an impact on advancing affordable, quality and accessible housing legislation; generating support and/or raising new awareness among legislators. (25 points)
  • Raising community awareness: Actions generating support for and raising awareness among the general public and community decision-makers regarding the benefits of and the need for affordable, quality and accessible housing and community development partners. (25 points)
  • Mobilizing Grassroots Advocacy: Actions that mobilize legislative advocacy by fellow housing and community development partners and other members of the community. (25 points)
  • Within the above criteria, additional points may be awarded as follows:
    • Overall impact of efforts (10 points)
    • Local innovation (5 points)
    • Consistency of efforts (5 points)
    • Replicability (5 points)

Nominations shall be scored in accordance with the above criterion and point system. The nominee with the highest score shall be selected for the award. The Selection Committee shall have the ability to make more than one award if there is a tie or it is felt that more than one Affordable Housing Advocacy Award is warranted. No more than two awards will be given during any award period.

Click here to nominate: AFFORDABLE HOUSING ADVOCACY AWARD

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The Results Are In! 19.3% Decrease in Homelessness in the Roanoke Region http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/news/the-results-are-in-19-3-decrease-in-homelessness-in-the-roanoke-region/ Mon, 13 Mar 2017 20:07:33 +0000 http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/?p=9252 On January 25, 2017, volunteers and homeless service providers took to the streets and shelters to conduct the Roanoke Region’s 2017 Point-in-Time Count. The Point-in-Time (PIT) count is a count of sheltered and unsheltered persons on a single night during the last ten days of January. The count provides a snapshot of who is homeless. Why the Point-in-Time? 1) Its required. In order to qualify for federal homeless assistance funds, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires communities to conduct one.  2) The information collected is useful. The information is valuable to area service providers, policy makers, and you – the public, on the individual and family challenges and barriers associated with homelessness.

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The numbers have been crunched and the results are in…

We are pleased to announce the results indicate progress and a decrease in homelessness in our region for the FIFTH consecutive year!

The number of homeless individuals has decreased 52% since January 2012, with the count decreasing 19.3% in January 2017. This year’s decrease is the largest single year reduction since 2013.

With five years of decreasing numbers in the PIT Count under our belt, it’s safe to say we’re on a downward trend in the number of people experiencing homelessness…but we can’t take all of the credit! These numbers are a testament to the hard work and dedication of the community’s service providers, system planners and decision-makers. It’s been a collaborative effort. In 2012, the Blue Ridge Continuum of Care began to transform the way services are provided in the community. An increased focus has been placed on service coordination among providers; hard work has been done to expand permanent housing solutions; data is being used through new, enhanced technology to monitor progress and outcomes in more sophisticated ways; resources are now being more strategically targeted on the community level. We’ve moved away from a program-centric structure to a system-minded, coordinated effort. As cliche’ as it sometimes can sound, collaboration really is the key to success!

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Yet with all this progress, there is still work to do! 267 of our neighbors remain without a home. This year there was an increase in the number of individuals staying in unsheltered locations (17 individuals counted in 2017, seven were counted in 2016). Three of those counted were youth (age 18-24). This year, temperatures were unseasonably warm on the night of the count, so no warming shelter was open. This could certainly be a contributing factor to the increase in the number of unsheltered individuals. There is more than enough beds at emergency shelters to meed the needs of individuals in crisis in our community.

As the results make clear, the system changes have paid tremendous dividends. Continued and expanded investment in permanent housing solutions and best practice service models are key to accelerated future success as we continue our focus on reducing homelessness among the priority populations, and for all of our neighbors. We will not stop until everyone in our community has a safe, stable place to call home. Ready for zero? Let’s get to it!

RD

 

Check out the full report below:

2017 Point-in-Time Report

2017 Point-in-Time Report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the news: 

Count of Roanoke Valley homeless declines for fifth year, The Roanoke Times, March 10, 2017

Homelessness down in the Roanoke region for fifth year in a row, WDBJ7, March 10, 2017

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How Can You Support the Council on Roanoke Valley Gives Day? http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/news/how-can-you-support-the-council-on-roanoke-valley-gives-day/ Mon, 20 Feb 2017 14:27:28 +0000 http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/?p=9189 RVG Infographic

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roanoke Valley Gives

03.15.17 | 12:00 AM – 11:59 PM

For 24 hours, beginning, March 15th at 12:00 a.m., YOU can support the work of the Council of Community Services.

Website: rvgives.givebig.org/c/rvgives/a/councilofcommunityservices

OR go to rvgives.givebig.org and search for the Council of Community Services

Social media accounts:

Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/ccsroanoke

Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/ccsroanoke

Follow us on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/council-of-community-services

Hashtag: #rvgives17

What is Roanoke Valley Gives? Roanoke Valley Gives is an initiative of Foundation for Roanoke Valley. It is a day of community giving! One of the primary goals is to empower those who love the community to easily support their favorite causes or charitable organizations.

What is the goal of Roanoke Valley Gives? Foundation of Roanoke Valley’s goal is to generate $500,000 for participating Roanoke Valley nonprofit organizations in a 24-hour period. Last year RVG raised $366,541 for 125 local nonprofits.

Let’s talk CCS Goals!

  • Our goal is to raise $3,500
  • 100 unique donors
  • 100% board support

How Can I Help?

  1. Mark March 15, 2017 on your calendar!
  2. Place a Roanoke Valley Gives badge in your email signature.
  3. Like and follow CCS on our social media accounts.
    • Change your profile picture to a Roanoke Valley Gives badge.
    • Help Build Buzz! See our post?
      • Click like
      • Better yet, comment.
      • Even better, click the share button!
      • The best, share this link on your page and challenge your friends to participate!
        • Example: Today, thousands of people are joining together for a community-wide day of charity. I’m donating to the Council of Community Services and I hope you do, too!
  4. And of course, GIVE!

How Can I Give?

Beginning at 12:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 15th, visit Roanoke Valley Gives.

Step 1: Search for the Council of Community Services.

Step 2: Click the “Donate Now” button.

Step 3: Enter your credit card information to complete your donation of $10 or more. There is no maximum donation amount.

The Roanoke Valley Gives Day ends at 11:59 p.m. on March 15th.

Please make a gift during this 24-hour period OR you can schedule your donation in advance. You can visit the site today and schedule your gift to be processed on March 15th. *Gifts must either be given on March 15th or scheduled to be processed on March 15th to count towards the Roanoke Valley Gives total.

How Do I Become A Fundraiser?

  1. Go to the Council’s Roanoke Valley Gives webpage
  2. Locate and click the red “Become a Fundraiser” button
  3. Enter in your name and email, then click submit.
  4. You will receive a confirmation code from “GiveBig Responder” to the email you entered.
  5. Click the link in Step 1.
  6. Create a profile name and password, and click submit.
  7. Personalizing your profile
    • You will be redirected to your site upon creating your profile.
    • Locate the “setting” button above the blue and green banner.
    • Use the button to customize items on your profile like:
      • Add a profile picture
      • Set a fundraising goal
      • Tell others why you’re giving – Don’t forget to save your settings!

Access Your Fundraiser Profile.

Login: Go to the Roanoke Valley Gives website

Click on the white circle in the upper right corner to go to the login screen.

Click on Fundraiser Sign In and enter your email and password

Now Tell Your Friends!

To share your fundraising page with others you can either use your unique link or you can post your social network message using the Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ icons on your fundraising page.

Information Overload?

Not to worry! If you’re feeling overwhelmed or need one-on-one assistance, the CCS Roanoke Valley Gives Team is here to help! Contact Alison, Amanda, or Linda with questions.

Alison Jorgensen     (540) 985-0131, ext. 502    alisonj@councilofcommunityservices.org

Amanda Holcomb   (540) 985-0131, ext. 503    amandah@councilofcommuityservices.org

Linda Arrington       (540) 985-0131, ext. 704     lindaa@councilofcommunityservices.org

THANK YOU!

Thank you in advance for supporting the Council’s mission! Your willingness to advocate, fund raise, and donate enables us to continue the important work we do to improve the quality of life for those in our community. Be on the lookout for social media posts, newsletters, and emails regarding Roanoke Valley Gives Day!

Add this post to your social media pages to show your support!

RVG FB-Twitter Post

 

 

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Emergency Department Visits for Unintentional Drug and Heroin Overdoses among Virginia Residents, January 2015 – August 2016 http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/news/emergency-department-visits-for-unintentional-drug-and-heroin-overdoses-among-virginia-residents-january-2015-august-2016/ Wed, 21 Sep 2016 17:34:57 +0000 http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/?p=8993 Virginia Department of Health | Enhanced Surveillance Monthly Report
Emergency Department Visits for Unintentional Drug and Heroin Overdoses among Virginia Residents, January 2015 – August 2016
Report Generated: September 9, 2016
Chief complaints and discharge diagnoses of emergency department (ED) visits are analyzed to characterize the burden of unintentional drug and heroin overdoses across Virginia. This report includes visits of Virginia residents to 81 acute care hospitals EDs and 13 free-standing EDs that occured between January 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016.
Report Highlights: In August 2016, emergency department (ED) visits for unintentional drug overdose among residents in Virginia increased 8% while visits for unintentional heroin overdose decreased by 20% compared to July 2016.
By health planning region, ED visits for unintentional heroin overdose decreased in four out of five regions. Visits in the Southwest Region increased from 4 to 8 visits but still accounted for the smallest population of visits by region (8%).
By sex, the number of ED visits for unintentional heroin overdose among 25 to 35 year olds continued to decrease for the 5th month in a row, but still accounted for the highest proportion of visits statewide (37%). ED visits for unintentional heroin overdose decreased among every age group except those 65 or older which remains the smallest proportion of visits (1%).
 
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Homelessness in the Roanoke Region is on a Decline for the Fourth Consecutive Year http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/news/homelessness-in-the-roanoke-region-is-on-a-decline-for-the-fourth-consecutive-year/ Wed, 25 May 2016 18:44:31 +0000 http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/?p=8653 The Roanoke Region’s 2016 Winter Point-in-Time ReportPIT

Homelessness in the Roanoke Region is on a Decline for the Fourth Consecutive Year

The Point-in-Time Count is used to estimate the number of homeless individuals (sheltered and unsheltered) on one night in the Roanoke Region and gather information on their demographic characteristics. On January 28, 2016, the count found 331 homeless adults and children, which represented a 15.2% decrease from last year. The total does not include the possible homeless individuals incarcerated. The total does include the following demographics:

  • 45 homeless veterans. This is a 10% decrease from last year’s total.
  • Females make up 33.8% of the total homeless population and males 66.1% of the total homeless population.
  • Children under the age of 18 are 14.2% of the total homeless population.
  • Youth homelessness (ages 18-24) are 7.25% of the total homeless population.
  • The largest decrease in subpopulation data from last year was for youth homelessness (41.2%) and children under age 18 (46.6%).

The Point-in-Time Survey is administered at least once a year for the purpose of detailing information and characteristics about people experiencing homelessness in a shelter. 145 adults 18 and over completed the survey. A significant proportion of the homelessness individuals surveyed (58) have never experienced homelessness prior to their current situation. 65.5% of those without homes were in the Roanoke Region when they became homelessness. This statistic has increased each year since 2013.

This data from the Point-in Time Count and Survey provides insight into the experience of homelessness, highlights local needs, and can guide strategies to address homelessness. The results in the full report are valuable to area service providers, policy makers, and the general public.

The collective impact approach and housing first model utilized by the Blue Ridge Continuum of Care continues to have positive outcomes. The results indicate progress and a decrease in homelessness in our region for the fourth consecutive year. Since 2012, there has been a 41% decrease in homelessness (2012: 561; 2015: 331). The number of individuals experiencing homelessness has not been this low since 2003.

Blue Ridge Continuum of Care and its partner agencies should be applauded for their efforts and considerable strides!  We have a dedicated, passionate, thoughtful group of individuals who are determined to end homelessness in the Roanoke Valley.

 

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2016 Flat Pickin’ Fridays http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/news/2016-flat-pickin-fridays/ Thu, 07 Apr 2016 16:51:59 +0000 http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/?p=8531

FPFC

Join the Council of Community Services and Big Lick Entertainment as we kick off another incredible season of the Bank of Botetourt Flat Pickin’ Fridays series! Daleville Town Center is the place to be the second Friday of every month, May – September 2016! Great music, food trucks, beverages and fun for the entire family! The event is for ALL ages and just $5 at the gates. Kids 12 and under are free! 100% of ticket proceeds benefit the Council! A special thank you to our sponsors the Bank of Botetourt, PA Short Distributing/Budweiser and the Daleville Town Center for making it all possible!

Friday, May 13th

Local favorite Seven Mile Ford will kick off another incredible season!

Seven Mile Ford

 

Friday, June 10th

“County Sing along Night” featuring Fuzzy Logic and Special Guest Jerry Wimmer Trio (of the Worx)!

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Fuzzy Logic

Friday, July 8th

Heating up July 8th with “County Girl Night” featuring Nashville-Favorite The Natalie Brady Band!

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The Natalie Brady Band

Friday, August 12th

“Nashville On the Rise” night featuring The Low Low Chariot and special guests to be announced!

LLC

The Low Low Chariot

Friday, September 9th

Ending the season with local favorite Rutledge!

Rutledge

Rutledge

 

 

]]> Employee Spotlight: Carl Jones, Project Specialist, Drop In Center http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/news/employeespotlight/ Tue, 29 Mar 2016 02:00:07 +0000 http://www.councilofcommunityservices.com/?p=6519 Meet Carl Jones, Project Specialist at The Drop in Center

 CJ at work.         

Carl Jones

What is your position at the Council of Community Services? Project Specialist, which means I implement all assigned programs, from recruiting, flyering, and talking to the public.

How long have you worked at CCS? 9 years! It will be 10 in June

What is your favorite thing about your job? Meeting people, all different kinds of people. I’ve learned to be tolerant of all kinds. …Also, messing with Pam 🙂

What is your favorite thing about working for CCS? The diversity that it brings to the community.

CJ at home.

Hometown: Born and raised in Roanoke, VA

Where I currently reside: Villa Heights area

Family life: I grew up with my mom in a single parent home. My mom is where I get my jokester side from and I get my blunt personality form my dad. My family is pretty tight knit and most of us come from Franklin County.

carl and friends

CJ at leisure.

Deep dish or thin crust: Thin Crust

Black or cream and sugar: Cream and Sugar! Lots of it.

Facebook or Instagram: Both!

If they could bottle your personality what would the label read: “A whole bottle of…something”

My theme song is: In the Air Tonight- Phil Collins {He may have gotten some side eye for that answer! }

Any pets? A 4 year old Rottweiler name “Brewtus” . He’s a big ‘ol baby.

If I were a super hero, I would be: Batman, with a little bit of The Hulk mixed in

The movie version of my life should be titled: “This is Me…So Far. The Life and Times of CJ” {He’s actually currently writing a screenplay!}

Something I said I’d never do but did anyway was: Roller Coasters! I hate them but I always end up riding them.

Two things I can’t live without are: My friends/family (My Squad) and my Girlfriend Holly.   cj and holly

It’s Saturday morning at 10 a.m. If I’m not sleeping, I’m: CARTOONS! Or still sleeping.

The best thing about Roanoke is: There is always something to do if you just look for it, and the people are always very friendly.

One thing I love that everyone dislikes: Impersonations, I do a good Count form Sesame Street and Becky the Valley Girl! {more side eye…}

The first thing I do when I wake up is: Check the time and hit the snooze button

If I could change one thing about Roanoke, it would be: More entertainment. Trendy restaurants, shows, places for the under 21 crowd, that kind of thing.

One thing people are surprised to find out about me is: I was a boy Scout and I’m really into photography.

The last concert I went to was: Puff Daddy and Family in 1997. I won tickets on the radio. {someone take this man to a concert!}

My favorite TV show to watch as a kid was: Old School Cartoons: Transformers, Ghostbusters, HeMan, Thundercats, Scooby Doo…etc.

My favorite color is: Red

cheese carl

 

 

 

Meet Shannon Lugar, MIECHV Central Intake Coordinator unnamed[1]

Shannon at work.

What is your position at the Council of Community Services? MIECHV Central Intake Coordinator

How long have you worked at CCS? Since July {She’s new!}

What is your favorite thing about your job? Getting the opportunity to be out in the community.

How did you hear about this position and what drew you to it? The community announcement email {yes!}.  I wanted to work at the Council for awhile and I already knew Alison from working in the community. My suspicions about the Council were correct, it’s a really fun place to work and a much better work environment.

Shannon at home.

Hometown: Born and raised in Roanoke, VA

Where I currently reside: Hollins area

Family life: I’m an only child of a single mother. My mom just moved back from Richmond, VA. She worked at the Department of Juvenile Justice for 30 years, so she knows who I’m talking about (individuals and agencies) and get to work with.

Shannon at leisure.

Deep dish or thin crust: Deep

Black or cream and sugar: Black

Facebook or Instagram: Facebook

Favorite sports team: Star City Roller Girls

If they could bottle your personality what would the label read: Secretly Sassy

My theme song is: Currently: Uptown Funk

Any pets? A dog named Rai – she’s a baby and a rescue from Angels of Assisi; a cat named Margarita – she’s polydactyl {extra thumbs – like a human}; my dream pet is a potbelly pig

spotlightIf I were a super hero, I would be: Black Widow

The movie version of my life should be titled: Fake It ‘Til You Make It

Something I said I’d never do but did anyway was: Teach

Two things I can’t live without are: My phone and dog.

It’s Saturday morning at 10 a.m. If I’m not sleeping, I’m: Probably downtown on the market, brunching.

The best thing about Roanoke is: There’s so much going on!

One thing I love that everyone dislikes is: Brussels sprout

The first thing I do when I wake up is: Brush my teeth and Facebook

If I could change one thing about Roanoke, it would be: At the beach! {that would be amazing!}

One thing people are surprised to find out about me is: I play roller derbyspotlight 2

The last concert I went to was: Joan Jett

My favorite TV show to watch as a kid was: SpongeBob

My favorite color is: Yellow

 

 

 

 

Meet Ronnie St Clair, Project Specialist, Drop-In Center {July 2015}150759_4639911708264_1053210187_n

Ronnie at work.

What is your position at the Council of Community Services? Project Specialist, Drop-In Center

How long have you worked at CCS? 3 years before and I’ve been back for 1.5 years for a total of 4.5 years!

What is your favorite thing about your job? Sharing an office with Jeff Crooke {Scroll down to our December 2014 Employee Spotlight to learn about Jeff!}

How did you hear about this position and what drew you to it? The first time, Pam Meador (Director, Drop-In Center) offered me the position for a new grant the Center received. {And for the second time? He just missed us!}

Ronnie at home.

Hometown: Bedford, VA

Where I currently reside: Roanoke, VA

Family life: My parents live in Bedford and my sister in Lynchburg with her family

Ronnie at leisure.

Deep dish or thin crust: Thin

Black or cream and sugar: Just cream

Facebook or Instagram: Facebook

Favorite sports team: I don’t have any

If they could bottle your personality what would the label read: Charming

My theme song is: Home by Michael Buble’ {He’s a self proclaimed homebody}  

Any pets? No

2493141-captainamerica_nextgenIf I were a super hero, I would be: Captain America

The movie version of my life should be titled: Where Do We Go From Here?

Something I said I’d never do but did anyway was: I can’t think of anything.

Two things I can’t live without are: Family and God

It’s Saturday morning at 10 a.m. If I’m not sleeping, I’m: practicing my music {He’s an organ player!}

The best thing about Roanoke is: it’s just the right size for me!

One thing I love that everyone dislikes is: going to the dentist {Another employee that loves the dentist!}

The first thing I do when I wake up is: look out the window to check the weather.

If I could change one thing about Roanoke, it would be: I don’t know that I would change anything.

One thing people are surprised to find out about me is: my age {He does look young!}

The last concert I went to was: Olivia Newton John

My favorite TV show to watch as a kid was: Laverne & Shirley – I still watch reruns!laverne__shirley

My favorite color is: Blue

Who’s on deck? TBD

 

 

 

Meet Deborah Cotton, Contact Specialist, 2-1-1 VIRGINIA {June 2015}

Deborah at work.

Wedding 2013

Deborah and her husband

What is your position at the Council of Community Services? Contact Specialist/CIRS – Certified Information & Referral Specialists

How long have you worked at CCS? I’ve worked for CCS approximately one year but have been with 2-1-1 VIRGINIA for seven years. {The Council has all 2-1-1 VIRGINIA Contact Specialist all under one “roof” now}

What is your favorite thing about your job? Helping people

How did you hear about this position and what drew you to it? I was volunteering at the Planning Council and this position became available. I was drawn to this position because it would allow me to help people in need.

Deborah at home.

Hometown: Folsom, Pennsylvania (suburb of Philadelphia)

Where I currently reside: Chesapeake, VA

Family life: Married to my best friend and soul mate, James R. Cotton, Sr.; I have three amazing sons; James Jr., Marquis, and Isaiah; 2 beautiful daughter-in-laws; Tarra and Tiffany and last but not least two awesome grandsons Marquis Jr. and Jeremiah.

Deborah at leisure.

Deep dish or thin crust: Deep

dwyane-wade

Dwayne Wade

Black or cream and sugar: French Vanilla Cream and Sugar

Facebook or Instagram: Facebook

Favorite sports team: Basketball – Virginia Wesleyan Marlins & Miami Heat {she’s a Dwayne Wade fanatic!}, Football – Philadelphia Eagles, Baseball – Philadelphia Phillies

If they could bottle your personality what would the label read: Giving

My theme song is: Dreamgirls

Any pets? Not anymore. {Her dog, Gemini ran off and never came back :(}

Easter 2015

How precious! Deborah’s grandsons.

If I were a super hero, I would be: Storm from X-Men

The movie version of my life should be titled: Debbie’s Big Happy Family

Something I said I’d never do but did anyway was: go jet skiing

Two things I can’t live without are: chocolate and my sewing machine

It’s Saturday morning at 10 a.m. If I’m not sleeping, I’m: baking, working in my craft room or being taken full advantage of by my grandsons

The best thing about Roanoke is: it was where my parents met and fell in love {Awe!}

One thing I love that everyone dislikes is: exercising

The first thing I do when I wake up is: pray then put on a pot of coffee

One thing people are surprised to find out about me is: I am a lover of the performing arts. I always wanted to be a professional dancer.

The last concert I went to was: Patti Labelle, Ruben Studdard and Frankie Beverly and Maze

My favorite TV show to watch as a kid was: The Jefferson’s, The Facts of Life and Charlie’s Angels

My favorite color is: Red

Who’s on deck? Ronnie St Clair, Project Specialist, Drop-In Center

 

Meet Alison Jorgensen, Director, Resource & Capacity Development {May 2015}

Alison at work.Hiking pic

What is your position at the Council of Community Services? Director, Resource & Capacity Development

How long have you worked at CCS? 13 years {She just celebrated her 13th year this month!}

What is your favorite thing about your job? All of the people I get to work with –  in and out of the Council.

How did you hear about this position and what drew you to it? In the newspaper – I was so excited to use my new degree!

Alison at home.

Hometown: Fincastle, Virginia {She also spent a good chunk of her childhood in Martinsville, Virginia}

Where I currently reside: Fincastle, Virginia

Family life: Husband, child and a devil dog named Duke {Her words!}

Alison at leisure.

Deep dish or thin crust: Deep

Black or cream and sugar: Cream and sugar

Facebook or Instagram: Both!

Favorite sports team: North Carolina Tar Heels

If they could bottle your personality what would the label read: Blonde Ambition

My theme song is: American Honey by Lady Antebellum

2015-01-03 22.28.30

Duke Jorgensen

Any pets? Yes, just Duke right now

If I were a super hero, I would be: Wonder Woman

The movie version of my life should be titled: Legally Blonde {Alison the lawyer?!}

Something I said I’d never do but did anyway was: get married young {She was 22}

Two things I can’t live without are: chocolate and music

It’s Saturday morning at 10 a.m. If I’m not sleeping, I’m: at my child’s sports game or doing laundry

The best thing about Roanoke is: the mountains

One thing I love that everyone dislikes is: going to the dentist {Interesting!}

The first thing I do when I wake up is: let the dog out

If I could change one thing about Roanoke, it would be: bigger airport

One thing people are surprised to find out about me is: I’m married to a Norwegian and lived in Norway for a year. I met my husband in a bar in Oslo!

DB

Dierks Bentley

The last concert I went to was: Dierks Bentley

My favorite TV show to watch as a kid was: The Cosby Show

My favorite color is: Pink

Who’s on deck? Debbie Cotton, Contact Specialist, 2-1-1 VIRGINIA

 

 

In Loving Memory of Emily King Holly {April 2015}

1077030_10151770692208373_169693399_o For this month’s Employee Spotlight, we decided to mix things up a bit in light of the passing of one of our employees, Emily King Holly. Emily was a long-time staff member at the Drop-In Center. She was dedicated to supporting and advocating for others through her work at the Center. Sadly, Emily passed away on April 3, 2015, after battling cancer. We will always remember Emily for her brave fight but more importantly we remember her character, dedication to others and her community and the lasting impression she left in our hearts. We asked staff members to share a few words to describe Emily, fondest memories and moments and anything else that came to mind. This was the result:

A few words to describe Emily.

wordle

“Emily was genuine, passionate, open and had a great sense of humor. She had a gift for putting people at ease.”300573_10150369537583373_1537544590_n

“I would describe Emily as a caring, compassionate young lady with a contagious laugh!”

“Strong and well spoken, filled with joy of living and being who she wanted to be.”

“Emily was such a joy! She was always so upbeat and energetic. She was passionate about what she did and worked hard to advocate for those in the community without a voice.”

“Emily was spirited, passionate and loveable.”

A memory or moment you had with Emily that will always stand out to you.

The day she came to a 2-1-1 VIRGINIA staff meeting. She shared so much information and about herself. Emily made comfortable some very hard questions we had with callers in the past. She opened conversations and shared knowledge.

I remember Emily’s wedding day! She had such joy and happiness written all over her beaming face! She was so happy with Grant! I’m glad that she was able to experience life with her one true love!

Emily and I obsessed over the same books, movies and shows. We loved to discuss them and suggest new books to read, movies to see, shows to watch to each other. It was fun to have someone to share “nerd-geek” moments with! 466572_10150715158068373_1696745241_oWe talked about the Twilight movies series, and how cheesy they were, but we loved them anyway especially the “vampire sparkling” lol!

Emily was so energetic and just a joy to be around. Her spirit will be missed.

Emily was always so cheery and genuine; she made you feel good about yourself. I will forever cherish her fun-loving spirit. I always looked forward to her visits at the main building – she would guarantee a laugh!

Our Thoughts

May her family, friends and all those she touched find true peace.

I did not work with Emily or know her on a personal level but I send my sincere condolences to her family.

Remembering Emily

Life Legacy – A link to Emily King Holly’s obituary.

Informative Q – Before Informative Q, there was the Roanoke Gayzette, a publication from the Drop-In Center that was Emily’s pet project for many years. In this issue, Informative Q included a piece on Emily in her memory.

“Emily may have left us but her legacy will continue to shine within the walls of the Drop-In Center. The SWVA community lost a magical soul but gained a guardian angel.”  – Informative Q

 

 

Meet Jenna Baldwin, Home Specialist, Child & Adult Care Food Program {March 2015}

Jenna at work.Jenna B

What is your position at the Council of Community Services? Home Specialist, Child & Adult Care Food Program

How long have you worked at CCS? 6 months What is your favorite thing about your job? Helping kids get decent food.

How did you hear about this position and what drew you to it? I first heard about the job when I moved to Staunton, VA. I was interested in it because of the strong beliefs that I have about the power of good nutrition and the importance of making healthy food available to all children.

Jenna at home.

Hometown: Antietam, Pennsylvania

Where I currently reside: Staunton, Virginia

Family life: A stellar mate and an amazing daughter

Jenna at leisure.

Deep dish or thin crust: Deep

Black or cream and sugar: Cream and sugar

Facebook or Instagram: Neither

Favorite sports team: Flyers

PhiladelphiaFlyers2 If they could bottle your personality what would the label read: Deep & Goofy

My theme song is: Sun Will Set by Zoe Keating

Any pets? Not at the moment. {We predict a pet in the future!}

If I were a super hero, I would be: Durga

The movie version of my life should be titled: Finding Home

Something I said I’d never do but did anyway was: Live without electricity and running water in the wilds of Northern Maine {Oh wow!}

Two things I can’t live without are: My daughter and nature

It’s Saturday morning at 10 a.m. If I’m not sleeping, I’m: doing something with my daughter

The best thing about Roanoke is: the arts {Jenna doesn’t even live here and knows that – bonus!}

One thing I love that everyone dislikes is: Scything grass

s grass The first thing I do when I wake up is: Make tea and meditate

If I could change one thing about Roanoke, it would be: I think cities should place an emphasis on walking and bicycling and cut out a majority of the automobile traffic and pollution.

One thing people are surprised to find out about me is: I’m unsure.

The last concert I went to was: The Krueger Brothers

My favorite TV show to watch as a kid was: Scooby Doo

My favorite color is: Sky Blue

Who’s on deck? TBD!

Meet Matt Crookshank, Director, Community Housing Resource Center {January 2015}

Matt at work.

Mattc

Matt Crookshank (right) posing with his brother Brian.

What is your position at the Council of Community Services? Director, Community Housing Resource Center

How long have you worked at CCS? 8 years next month

What is your favorite thing about your job? Feeling like I have an impact on the community; a service system that’s effective; community collaborations

How did you hear about this position and what drew you to it? After graduating college, I knew I wanted to go into work that would impact the community and I knew the Council of Community Services was that place – when I first started, I worked in 2-1-1 VIRGINIA as a Community Resource Specialist, then I worked at the Drop-In Center and now I’m at the Community Housing Resource Center. I applied for the director position at the CHRC because I liked the collaborative approach of the program – engaging partners to solve a community problem.

Matt at home.

Hometown: Marshalltown, Iowa {lived there until he was in 2nd grade}

Where I currently reside: Salem

Family life: Both my parents live here, my brother and his wife are in Richmond and my extended family is in the Midwest. {Iowa}

Matt at leisure.

Deep dish or thin crust: Both – depending on my mood

Black or cream and sugar: Black – started with cream and sugar and graduated to black

Facebook or Instagram: Facebook UVA

Favorite sports team: UVA {he’s an alum}, Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs

If they could bottle your personality what would the label read: Quietly Determined

My theme song is: Eye of the Tiger by Survivor {Matt requested a link to the music video}

Any pets? No

If I were a super hero, I would be: Superman – so I can change the world

The movie version of my life should be titled: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas {He wants you to know he’s joking here}

Something I said I’d never do but did anyway was: attend drag shows at a gay bar (Even though it was for work – I’m glad I had those experiences because it allowed me to meet people I otherwise probably wouldn’t have met and it gave me diversity in my work experience. I met a lot of kind and generous people.)

Two things I can’t live without are: coffee and books

It’s Saturday morning at 10 a.m. If I’m not sleeping, I’m: drinking coffee and reading the paper

The best thing about Roanoke is: we are becoming more progressive; socially minded – Roanoke cares about people and I think it’s changing in a good way

One thing I love that everyone dislikes is: politics and presidential history (though I’m sure not everyone dislikes this)

The first thing I do when I wake up is: hit snooze then start the coffee

If I could change one thing about Roanoke, it would be: closer to the equator for warmer weather

dogs-playing-poker

Dogs Playing Poker, C.M. Coolidge

One thing people are surprised to find out about me is: that I occasionally smoke cigars and play poker {and we hear he’s pretty good at it – playing poker}

The last concert I went to was: Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville

My favorite TV show to watch as a kid was: Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

My favorite color is: Blue

Who’s on deck? Jenna Baldwin, Home Specialist, Child & Adult Care Food Program

 

Meet Jeff Crooke, Program Coordinator, Drop-In Center {December 2014 Spotlight}

JeffJeff at work.

What is your position at the Council of Community Services? Program Coordinator, Drop-In Center

How long have you worked at CCS? 2 years

What is your favorite thing about your job? At the moment, working at the Drop-In Center with the Ryan White program; it puts the spectrum of prevention to care in place and all under one roof. It’s an honor to have the Ryan White program at the Drop-In Center. {As a result of strategic planning, the Ryan White program moved under the Drop-In Center March 2014.)

How did you hear about this position and what drew you to it? Through a former employee of the Council. {Yay, for good referrals!} I was impressed by the Council’s reputation in the community and I thought it would be a good organization to work for – the position also provided a full range of experience from a grant writers perspective: sitting down writing the grant, getting awarded the grant and finally compliance with the grant. I’m interested in the experience and being able to pitch yourself well.

Jeff at home.

Hometown: Franklin County – house in the country

Where I currently reside: Vinton

Family life: Me, my son and daughter

Jeff at leisure.

Deep dish or thin crust: Both

Black or cream and sugar: Black – anything else is a heresy!black-coffee

Facebook or Instagram: Facebook

Favorite sports team: Manchester City

If they could bottle your personality what would the label read: Slightly Nutty with Hints of Oak

My theme song is: Spectacular Views by Rilo Kiley

Any pets? An overweight dwarf hamster named Merry – she looks like a fat tennis ball

If I were a super hero, I would be: Hellboy

The movie version of my life should be titled: It’s a Wonderful Life

Something I said I’d never do but did anyway was: Had kids (2 of them!)

Two things I can’t live without are: My kids and coffee – really they are interdependent on each other, one drives the demand

It’s Saturday morning at 10 a.m. If I’m not sleeping, I’m: Hiking

The best thing about Roanoke is: The mountainsroanoke mtns

One thing I love that everyone dislikes is: Winter

The first thing I do when I wake up is: Swear {@#%$%^?!} and hit the snooze button

If I could change one thing about Roanoke, it would be: The perception of people in Roanoke. I think there’s an unfair perception that a lot of people in Roanoke take without giving but this is not true, I believe there’s a lot of hardworking people in Roanoke

One thing people are surprised to find out about me is: My height – I’m really eight feet tall

The last concert I went to was: James McMurty @ Kirk Avenue Music Hall

My favorite TV show to watch as a kid was: Star Trek My favorite color is: Indigo

Who’s on deck? Matt Crookshank, Director, Community Housing Resource Center  

 

Meet Laura Prevatt, 2-1-1 VIRGINIA Operations Manager {November 2014 Spotlight}

Laura at work.Laura's picture

What is your position at the Council of Community Services? Operations Manager for 2-1-1 VIRGINIA

How long have you worked at CCS? 2 months {she’s new!}

What is your favorite thing about your job? The training and facilitation aspect of it and helping people – I like what we do here

How did you hear about this position and what drew you to it? Stalking the CCS website! I was drawn to the health and human services aspect; connecting people, helping find resources and information – things like assisting with their light or water bill

Laura at home.

Hometown: Concord, North Carolina – A boring ole suburb of Charlotte {her words!}

Where I currently reside: Franklin County

Family life: I live in a multigenerational household with my mom, dad and daughter. I haven’t lived with my parents since college but there are pros and cons, the pros outweigh the cons

Laura at leisure.

Deep dish or thin crust: thin crust

Black or cream and sugar: cream and sugar

Facebook or Instagram: Facebook

Favorite sports team: I don’t like sports. If I had to chose I would go with Carolina – UNC basketball

If they could bottle your personality what would the label read: Quirky, unique and a little bit nutty

My theme song is: Benny Hill theme song, Yakety Sax

Any pets? An adorable kitty cat named Gypsy

If I were a super hero, I would be: Wonder Womanwonderwoman

The movie version of my life should be titled: The Never Ending Story

Something I said I’d never do but did anyway was: Leave my hometown

Two things I can’t live without are: Music and having something cool to do on the weekends/”me time”

It’s Saturday morning at 10 a.m. If I’m not sleeping, I’m: Out having an adventure with my family or boyfriend like at a museum, shooting range or sitting on the porch listening to birds

The best thing about Roanoke is: The mountains and all of the locally owned restaurants. I don’t think people from here realize how cool Roanoke is

One thing I love that everyone dislikes is: I like odd food – I can’t give specifics but I like a lot of exotic food

The first thing I do when I wake up is: Put on my music and take a shower

If I could change one thing about Roanoke, it would be: Higher wages and more work for people

One thing people are surprised to find out about me is: I’m a bit of a rebel

The last concert I went to was: Yo La Tango at The Neighborhood Theatre in CharlotteGrowing_Pains2

My favorite TV show to watch as a kid was: The Cosby Show and Growing Pains

My favorite color is: Green

Who’s on deck? Jeff Crooke, Program Coordinator, Drop-In Center

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