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Our Mission

St. Joseph’s Villa provides children with special needs and their families the opportunity to succeed through innovative and effective programs.

Who We Serve

We serve children and families facing homelessness, autism and developmental disabilities, mental illness, special education needs, and other challenges. Our passion is helping them reach their potential and live fuller, more independent lives. We never stop believing in them. In many cases, the Villa is their last hope.

Our wraparound approach to education, therapy and care addresses individual needs, and leads those we serve to recognize that they are valued. Vulnerable children and families grow stronger as they gain skills for long-term success. Villa staff brings expertise from many fields to help them build upon their strengths and thrive in the community.

Areas of Impact

We have served 57 localities throughout Virginia since 2015, and impact the lives of more than 3,000 children and families each year.

Our History

St. Joseph’s Villa is the longest continuously operating children’s nonprofit in the United States. We were founded in 1834 by the Daughters of Charity, a religious order of women called to care for Richmond’s orphaned and impoverished children. We have not closed for a single minute since then.

The Daughters of Charity arrived at Rockett’s Landing by steamboat to found St. Joseph’s Academy and Orphan Asylum at Fourth and Marshall Streets. St. Joseph’s remained open during the Civil War, taking in more children and establishing hospitals to care for soldiers on both sides.

In 1898, a bequest by former Union doctor Daniel Hopkins Gregg supported the purchase of Hollybrook Farm north of the city to provide the orphans with a summer haven, fresh air and food. The new campus for St. Joseph’s was developed on the Hollybrook property in 1931 when Major James H. Dooley left a bequest of $3 million. The Italianate architecture and home-like setting inspired a name change to St. Joseph’s Villa. As community needs changed, the Villa transitioned from an orphanage to 501(c)(3) nonsectarian nonprofit organization in 1977.

Even as the Villa lived through wars, economic recessions and dramatic social changes, our mission remained steadfast as has our belief in those we serve. Each day we live out the Villa’s founding purpose: to change the lives of most marginalized and underserved members of our community.

Recent News

Bezos Day 1 Families Fund

Villa receives $1.25M Bezos Day 1 Families Fund grant to end family homelessness

St. Joseph’s Villa, a 30-year provider of housing and homeless services in central Virginia, has been selected to receive a $1.25 million grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund. 

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Mounted Police

Villa students enjoy visit from Richmond Mounted Police

Aslan, Samson, Scooter and Toby got lots of love from our students when they visited the Villa campus with the Richmond Police Mounted Unit. Every one of our schools had

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Capital One donates 5,000 lbs of food to the Villa Grocery

Capital One generously contributes time and resources throughout the year to help our children and families succeed. To make sure no student is held back by hunger, Capital One’s Internal

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