How to access and navigate housing resources

By Erica Holmes, MS, CHC – Senior Director, Flagler Housing & Homeless Services

A record-breaking number of people are facing homelessness or housing poverty as rents continue to rise amidst the national shortage of affordable housing. Families confronted by traumatizing events like eviction don’t always know where to seek assistance, especially without natural supports to help. The Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services team is trained to meet our neighbors where they are, and present the most viable resources for maintaining housing, or obtaining a safe and affordable place to live as quickly as possible.

Flagler serves individuals and families in housing crisis throughout Richmond and the Tri-Cities region, using the community-based model of rapid rehousing. The process of accessing services varies depending on the client’s area of residence. If you are at risk of eviction, or experiencing homelessness, these are the first steps to take –

Greater Richmond Continuum of Care

  • Call the Homeless Connection Line at 804.972.0813 if currently homeless or within 3 days of losing housing.
  • Call the EmpowerNet 24/7 hotline at 804.612.6126 if fleeing domestic violence.
  • You can also help us assist an individual or family experiencing homelessness by letting us know where they’re located. Simply go to and complete the form. Our region’s outreach team will attempt to connect and provide support services as needed.

Tri-Cities – Crater Area Coalition on Homelessness

Colonial Heights, Dinwiddie, Emporia, Greensville, Hopewell, Petersburg, Prince George, Surry, and Sussex

  • Call the Flagler Housing Resource Center at 804.722.1181 ext 101 or Commonwealth Catholic Charities Outreach at 804.467.7181 if currently homeless.
  • Call our Youth Outreach Specialist at 804.615.9416 if age 18-24. Flagler’s Youth Outreach Specialist goes directly to clients and offers services including survival supplies, individual assessments, crisis intervention, transportation, and follow-up support.
  • Call the James House at 804.458.2840 if fleeing domestic violence.

Not every person who reaches out to Flagler requires intense case management or financial assistance. Our Prevention and Diversion Case Managers educate individuals on resources to tap into before becoming homeless, and quickly assess their situation to see if a resolution can be reached. We engage in conversations about next steps, goals to achieve, and how housing can be maintained. That way, when Flagler is no longer in the picture, our clients are informed on what resources exist in the community, and know where to turn if they need a helping hand.

Erica HolmesErica Holmes has 21 years’ experience in the housing & homeless services field. She has served on several boards including the Crater Area Coalition on Homelessness, and is a member of Leadership Metro Richmond’s Class of 2022.

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