In September 2013, Debby Read received a vision and a calling to build a home in Louisa County for those in need of a temporary place to live. She imagined a place of hope for her friends and neighbors, a place to help them get “back on their feet.” The Journey Home’s purpose would be to provide a safe place of hope and healing for those individuals in the County who find themselves in need of a temporary place to live due to a crisis situation. Likely guests could include a single mother coming out of a drug rehabilitation program who needs a secure, stable place to live in order to be re-united with her children or an individual or family who has lost a job and are in need of a temporary home.
She initially met with social workers in Louisa County who confirmed the critical need for temporary housing. The nonexistence of transitional housing in Louisa County is considered by many Louisa County Human Services Staff to be the #1 issue in attempting to assist their clients. Distinct difficulties with homelessness in Louisa County are the fact that it is not overtly visible (as in urban areas), there is no mechanism to identify its extent, and the nearest emergency/transitional housing facilities are 40+ miles away.
Finding others who shared her vision, she recruited a diverse governing Board. It includes a social worker, a physician, a nurse, a bank operations manager, an attorney/pastor and a person who has experience in an organization that repairs substandard housing. During the past 3+ years, we (board members) have made many presentations to organizations and churches, as well as attending numerous meetings of community agencies to network and to develop relationships. Many local individuals, agencies and churches have been supportive of The Journey Home (TJH) and are committed to partnering with us. In addition, board members have visited both instate and out-of-state transition homes to further develop the vision, mission and goals for TJH.