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About Us

shelterThe West Piedmont Better Housing Coalition, Inc. provides resources for continuum of care in Danville, Martinsville, and Franklin, Henry, Patrick and Pittsylvania counties in Virginia. The Continuum of Care is a set of three competitive programs based on the law of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to address the problems of homelessness in a comprehensive manner in concert with other federal agencies.

In the West Piedmont region, we have learned there is need for such services because…

  • 3% live in hotels/motels or apartment voucher arrangements (paid by public or private agency)
  • 32% reside in homeless shelters
  • 2% reside in substance abuse resident programs
  • 16% live on the streets (outdoors, abandoned buildings, automobiles)
  • 49% pending eviction

(based on 2013 Point-in-Time Survey - 174 adults, and 107 accompanied children)

homeless virginiaWhat this Means…

Most people who are homeless in the West Piedmont service region are doubled up with relatives or friends, or are living in cars and do not even consider themselves "homeless".

The West Piedmont area is economically distressed with 13.5% of persons living below the poverty line. (Census 2000 U.S. Census Bureau)

The education levels of persons 25 years and older with high school diploma is 67.6% for the region, compared with 81.5% for the Commonwealth of Virginia. (Census 2000 U.S. Census Bureau)

What we have Accomplished…

  • Since 2004, WPBHC has been awarded HUD grants to implement and maintain the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) database.
  • Several agencies in the region are now using the HMIS system and more are being trained.
  • Attained IRS 501©(3) Non-profit Status Recognition for the coalition.
  • Reviewing Permanent Supportive Housing, Shelter-Plus-Care, Single Room Occupancy (SRO) and Transitional Housing opportunities.

On-Going Strategies…

We have a variety of strategies to impact current chronic homelessness. These include:

  • Refining Point-in-Time survey methodology to more accurately count homeless individuals living in unsheltered conditions.
  • Establishing HMIS system at all existing shelters and transitional housing facilities.
  • Using current data from 2011 Point-in-Time survey to determine long-term needs of homeless in our region.
  • Focusing on prevention strategies by developing and implementing Permanent Supportive Housing Programs.

Danville /Martinsville CoC (VA-517) FY2012 Application Project Priority Ranking

Rank Applicant Name Project Name Project Type Amount Requested
1 Danville Redevelopment & Housing Authority 2012 West Piedmont HMIS HMIS $68,544.00
2 Danville Redevelopment & Housing Authority 2012Danville-Martinsville CoC Planning Standard $5,818.00
3 STEP, Inc. 2012 STEP SHP PH $273,816.00
4 Pittsylvania County Community Action, Inc. 2012 PCCA Housing PH $217,803.00
5 Pittsylvania County Community Action, Inc. Special Project 2012 PCCA PH $46,548.00


Homeless Shelter VirginiaThe Challenges we face…

  • Ensuring implementation of HMIS by all agencies
  • Capitalizing on the data captured by HMIS
  • Keeping the Coalition on track and working together
  • Implementing permanent supportive housing
  • Successfully identifying and obtaining grants and the matching funds to continue services
  • Seeking a coordinated, collaborative approach to addressing homelessness
  • Addressing the varied issues that lead to homelessness, such as domestic violence, substance abuse, unemployment
  • Seeking additional volunteers for the Coalition. Volunteers are needed to review traditional housing models, plan future forums, advocate for the homeless, provide fundraisers and more.

View The West Piedmont Better Housing Coalition 10-Year Plan (pdf)

Board Members

The West Piedmont Better Housing Coalition is private non-profit 501(c)(3) tax Exempt Corporation. Members of the Board of Directors are:

Brenda Manning, President - STEP, Inc.
Warren Rodgers, Vice President - Southside Survivor Response Center
Crystal Furches, Secretary - Danville Pittsylvania Community Services
Gary Wasson, Treasurer - Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority

Sto Belongia - ILCPA
Stephanie Callands - PCCA
Kippy Cassell - Piedmont Community Services
Michael Harrison - The Community Fellowship
Wayne Knox - City of Martinsville
Tess Moss - Danville Social Services
Norma Brower - City of Danville

At Large Members
Charika Barksdale - Southside Survivor Response Center
Pam Cobler - DRRC-Martinsville
Kate Donaldson - SAMVAMC - Salem
Crystal Flanigan - United Way of Henry County/Martinsville
Felecia Watkins- Southside Survivor Response Center
Carolyn Whiting - Piedmont Community Services
Alan Woodrow - SAMVAMC - Salem