Partnering to make a lasting impact

Featured Initiative

Robert Johnson's Story

One of our homeless initiative success stories is that of Robert Johnson. No longer homeless, the disabled masonry worker has a happier, more stable life at one of five area apartment complexes for formerly homeless people built with help from $1.8 million in Hampton Roads Community Foundation grants.

The Hampton Roads Community Foundation has many goals for southeastern Virginia region and its people.

But two are at the top:

  1. Helping residents lead good lives today and even better lives in the future.
  2. Connecting charitable residents with causes and organizations to help create a thriving community with opportunity for all.

The community foundation achieves these goals by stewarding charitable funds, running a robust grants program, equipping area nonprofit staff members to excel and providing college scholarships. Each of these are key components to long-lasting impact on the lives of Hampton Roads residents.

But sometimes a leadership initiative is the best approach

The community foundation is not afraid to take "deep dives" into impact that can take years to accomplish with help from multiple partners. Our role is as a convener, collaborator, "incentivizer" and funder to help:

  • identify pressing regional issues
  • explore solutions
  • find funding resources
  • make long-term commitments to success

Over the years collaborative efforts have ranged from stabilizing the arts to re-energizing our region's economy, getting our youngest residents off to great starts in life, and reducing homelessness. After incubating initiatives we typically launch them as their own nonprofits or as part of other organizations and then focus on new challenges.

In 2018, after nearly three years of incubation, Minus 9 to 5 became a program of Eastern Virginia Medical School. This early care and education initiative began in 2016 after our board challenged us to find the single best investment we could make for our region's future.

Research challenged us to focus on getting our youngest residents off to good starts in life. The reason? Nearly half of area children under age 6 live in households earning less than 200 percent of the federal poverty line. More than 30 percent live in single-parent homes and 68% have both parents in the workforce. Many families struggle to give their children quality early care and education since they lack options, can't afford tuition or have transportation issues.

Minus 9 to 5 harnessed the power of more than 100 experts from around our region -- educators, parents, grandparents, health professionals and child-care providers -- to focus on families with children from conception to kindergarten.

Thank you

Like all our community foundation's work the initiatives highlighted in this section are made possible by the generosity of people -- particularly those who have established charitable funds with us. Such generosity includes contributions of time, ideas and money to making a difference in the lives of area residents these generous donors may have meet. For that, we say thank you!

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