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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

CCS & SJV

In The News: Villa Fundraising in Uncertain Times

“We have applied the same strategies during this crisis that we always have. We simply buckle down and show everyone that we are the strength in the storm." CEO Kathleen

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mental health month

May Is Mental Health Month

At St. Joseph's Villa, we provide a variety of integrated, trauma-informed services and connections to community resources for individuals experiencing mental health crisis. Our goal is to help children be

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The Giving Wall

Lift up Villa families at The Giving Wall

There have been times in all of our lives when we've needed a hand up. Many of our clients are unable to lift themselves out of crisis because of recurring

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COVID-19 UPDATE: CAMPUS AND OFFICES CLOSED. ALL VILLA SCHOOLS CLOSED FOR REMAINDER OF 2019-2020 SCHOOL YEAR. READ HERE.