VIHFA Employees Raise $6,000 to Furnish Transitional Housing for Homeless

St. Teresa House of Hope Transitional Housing Facility, located in downtown Christiansted.

Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority (VIHFA) employees have donated $6,000 to furnish two efficiency units at the recently opened St. Teresa of Calcutta House of Hope transitional housing facility in Christiansted, which is managed by Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands Inc. (CCVI).

The facility was financed through a $1.3 million Community Development Block Grant funding that is managed by VIHFA. However, U.S. Housing and Urban Development regulations does not allow block grant funding to be used to furnish the building.

At the site’s dedication ceremony in September, VIHFA Executive Director Daryl Griffith announced that VIHFA employees could make donations to secure furnishings for the facility’s 11 efficiency units. After two months of fundraising, VIHFA staff raised approximately $3,000 and the authority matched each dollar.

VIHFA St. Croix staff check presentation to Catholic Charities.

“I want to thank my dedicated VIHFA staff in both St. Croix and St. Thomas for their generosity to this worthy cause,” said Griffith. “This facility has been a work in progress for many years, and we are so happy that it is finally completed. This donation is a small token of our appreciation for what Catholic Charities has done and is doing for the homeless population in the Virgin Islands.”

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Catholic Charities Inc. Executive Director Andrea Shillingford said, “Thanks to all of you at VIHFA for everything you’ve done, without you, we wouldn’t be here today. We have been busy trying to get this place up and running, so this donation means a lot. That’s two units we don’t have to worry about furnishing.”

Royal Furniture quoted CCVI a package deal priced at $2,500 to furnish each unit completely. The package includes a twin bed with linens, 18” stove, refrigerator, table with two chairs and a love seat. Donors who contribute $2,500 will have a unit named in their honor.

Individuals and organizations interested in donating to Catholic Charities V.I.’s St. Teresa of Calcutta House of Hope transitional housing facility can do so online at https://catholiccharitiesvi.org/ or by mail to:

Catholic Charities of the Virgin Islands, P.O. Box 10736, St. Thomas, VI 00801

Front row (holding check) VIHFA Executive Director Daryl Griffith, Catholic Charities Executive Director Andrea Shillingford, VIHFA CDBG Program Manager Tamisha Thomas. Also pictured are (background left to right) Catholic Charities employees wearing pink, Janine Hector, VIHFA Federal Programs director, and Michael Hendershot, VIHFA Construction Manager.

Transitional housing programs help guide homeless individuals and families to permanent housing within 24 months of entering the facility. It provides safe, affordable housing that meets the participants’ needs. CCVI will also offer services such as life skills training and referrals to mainstream services to ensure that clients can move to permanent housing situations within the prescribed period.

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