United Way NSV Seeks Support for Expansion Project

United Way NSV Seeks Support for Expansion Project


(Winchester, VA, June 2, 2021) – United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley is holding an open house to unveil plans for an expansion project of its highly successful Valley Assistance Network (VAN) program. The event will be held on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 from 5:00 – 6:30 PM at Woodstock Brewhouse, located at 123 E. Court Street in Woodstock, VA. 

United Way NSV launched Valley Assistance Network in 2017 as a result of its Community Needs Assessment and the Virginia ALICE® Report, which shines a spotlight on the number of working families who are struggling to make ends meet. The core service of VAN is a comprehensive Resource and Referral System. To date, VAN has helped more than 4,000 families connect with critical resources like housing, food, medical care, and job training.

Support from a national initiative that promotes multi-sector collaborations allowed United Way NSV to pilot the program and create a steering committee to determine if an expansion in Shenandoah County would be a good fit.  In January, UWNSV was awarded a $25,000 grant from Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH) to expand its data sharing network (Unite Us) and engage stakeholders in a pilot program of the integrated service delivery model.

DASH, led by the Illinois Public Health Institute in partnership with the Michigan Public Health Institute and with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, identifies barriers, opportunities, promising practices and indicators of progress for multi-sector collaborations to share data for community health improvement.

“We enthusiastically support this initiative,” said Beth Delullo, Director of Social Services for Shenandoah County.  The agency is hosting VAN and providing office space free of charge during the pilot.

“Our community would benefit from an expansion of the Valley Assistance Network that has worked so successful in the communities north of us,” said Sharon Baroncelli, President/CEO of the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Steering Committee. “We have been looking for a solution to encourage collaboration and create a streamlined process for helping members of our community.  VAN is the solution and the time is now,” Baroncelli said.

Valley Assistance Network provides immediate crisis intervention services to help families navigate the complex social services system and move from crisis to financial stability. The program has primarily served the Winchester/Frederick/Clarke community has helped more than 4,000 families connect with housing, clothing, food, medical care, job training, and many other resources. Through coordinated care and case management services, VAN works to uncover the real reasons by clients’ struggles with issues like eviction and job loss. Providing a more holistic and comprehensive service, resource navigators connect families with additional services to help address the root causes that may be standing in their way of becoming financially stable.

VAN is based on an integrated service delivery model, where multiple partners work together to meet complex needs of clients. This model is proven to eliminate barriers to accessing services, eliminate redundancy, and decrease wait times for families seeking assistance.

During the Open House, UWNSV will provide information on its plans for expansion and how the community can support the initiative. Interested supporters can RSVP to the event by emailing Jhall@unitedwaynsv.org or calling (540) 247-3564.