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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. No matter what, we never stop believing in them.

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 and stability. Villa staff brings expertise from many fields to help them thrive in the community.

Areas of Impact

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

Our Values

  • Compassion Each person we work with has a treasure within themselves. When we open our hearts, we can see it more clearly.
  • Hope  We know we will transform the lives of the people we serve. We will imagine their brighter future, knowing we will make it a reality.
  • Passion – We will do everything we can to help the people we serve. Our passion will inspire others.
  • Integrity – We are honest and straightforward in our dealings with others. Our respect for them strengthens our relationships.
  • Community – None of us can succeed alone. Sharing our ideas and energy strengthens our commitment to each other and to our mission.

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. Our doors have been open 24 hours a day, 365 days a .year 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. In 1898, a bequest by Dr. 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 the 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

Villa School Supplies Drive

Back To School Supplies Drive - Help a Villa Child Succeed!

Each summer, the Villa works to ensure that every student is prepared with the supplies and resources they need to reach their full potential in the classroom on the very

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Kathleen Burke Barrett

Kathleen Burke Barrett, CEO of St. Joseph’s Villa, to retire after 17 years of service

Kathleen Burke Barrett, Chief Executive Officer of St. Joseph’s Villa, has announced her plans to retire in December 2023 after leading the organization for 17 years. Under Barrett’s leadership, the

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Adam Dreyfus

Adam Dreyfus, Center for Autism Senior Director, appointed to Virginia Board of Education Special Education Advisory Committee

St. Joseph's Villa congratulates Adam Dreyfus, Senior Director of the Villa's Sarah Dooley Center for Autism, on his appointment to serve on the Board of Education's State Special Education Advisory

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