Dr. Savage speaks at affordable housing summit

Recently, Rev. Dr. Keith Savage, Senior Servant at First Baptist Church Manassas and Co-Chair of VOICE, gave remarks at an affordable housing summit in Prince William County organized by Families for Affordable Housing around the county’s dire lack of affordable housing.

Dr. Savage was joined by Del. Michelle Maldonado, PWC Supervisor Andrea Bailey, and Ms. Jill Norcross from Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance, who delivered the keynote speech. 

Quality, affordable housing remains out of reach for far too many everyday county residents!

It’s about the next generation

On Sunday, a diverse crowd of 800+ VOICE leaders and allies from the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association packed the gorgeous sanctuary of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Triangle to meet with Gov. Glenn Youngkin to address the issue of youth behavioral health in Virginia.

It was a powerful afternoon, filled with stories of pain and loss, but also hope.

Gov. Youngkin shared details of his administration’s Right Help, Right Now three-year plan for overhauling Virginia’s behavioral health system. The Governor also made commitments to VOICE and our coalition partners to:

  • Consider the coalition’s request to invest $110 million in state funding for mental health Crisis Receiving Centers in the FY2025 state budget.
  • Meet with VOICE and our coalition allies again in September, to consider additional reforms and funding for youth behavioral health that the coalition plans to develop, in the lead-up to the 2024 General Assembly;
  • Keep prioritizing funding support for behavioral health reform as his administration’s number one priority for the rest of his term.

Check out WJLA’s coverage of Sunday’s assembly for a good rundown of the Assembly: 

Working Teams in Alexandria

After the recent caucus VOICE Alexandria leaders formed two teams focused on getting into action around mental health and housing. Each team has already met once, decided on a number of research actions including leading Listening Sessions around the city to better understand and find new leaders who share our interest in addressing the housing and mental health crisis in the city. On Tuesday night last week a small group of Alexandria leaders from both the mental health and housing team gathered at the Old Presbyterian Meeting Housing for a Listening Session Training. Listening Sessions are a central tool of organizing and we are excited for more leaders to be learning these skills and using them to build our power and VOICE in Alexandria!