The Haven Receives 2015 ArtPlace National Grant!

The Haven announced today that, in partnership with New City Arts, it is among the 38 recipients of ArtPlace America’s 2015 National Grants Program. ArtPlace, one of the nation’s largest philanthropies dedicated to creative placemaking, is investing $200,000 in Charlottesville, VA, to further integrate arts and culture into the field of community planning and development through The Haven’s Housing2Home program. Out of nearly 1300 applicants, Charlottesville is the only recipient in the state of Virginia.


Still from film documenting newly-housed Haven clients (credit M Squared Creative)

Over 25% of the residents of Charlottesville, VA live in poverty and over 700 are homeless every year. Despite increased government support for housing and rental subsidies, formerly homeless clients of The Haven express feelings of social isolation in their new homes and find it difficult to adjust to their new communities.

Through Housing2Home, The Haven is partnering with the New City Arts Initiative to facilitate artist-led design consultation sessions with newly housed (formerly homeless) clients to create a more positive home environment that reflects each client’s needs. ArtPlace selected The Haven from a pool of nearly 1,300 applicants. The Haven is the only 2015 grantee in the state of Virginia.

“We are thrilled and honored to share this news with our community,” said Stephen Hitchcock, Executive Director of The Haven. “Housing2Home is the result and culmination of The Haven’s ongoing partnership with New City Arts. It is such a wonderful validation of that partnership that a national philanthropic initiative like ArtPlace has selected us as one of their 2015 grantees.”

“The Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless is very excited about Housing2Home! Moving people from homelessness to housing is the foundation of this community’s plan to end homelessness,” said TJACH Executive Director Kaki Dimock. “In our recent experience with housing programming, we have learned that housing, by itself, is not enough to solve homelessness. While referrals to community-based supportive services are an obvious need for people moving from homelessness into housing, we have discovered that people benefit from being engaged in community, being attached to their new place, and making choices about their surroundings. Housing2Home will allow The Haven to test out a model that provides additional value to local housing programs and may improve long-term housing stability for people transitioning from homelessness.”

The Haven and New City Arts have been community partners since 2010. Through their joint Artist-in-Residence Program, they provided affordable working space for local artists and integrated creative programming into the resources available to Haven guests during the day. This residency built social capital in many ways: bridges were developed between the arts and the social service community, relationships developed between individuals who might not otherwise connect, and the conditions of homelessness and poverty directly and indirectly informed creative expression and thoughtful examination of the world.

In addition to providing respite care through the Day Shelter, The Haven has recently implemented a Housing First approach to ending homelessness locally. In order to support this new housing-oriented approach, the two organizations are adapting their current model of artistic engagement. The exciting result of this adaptation is a collaborative, client-responsive program called Housing2Home. Housing2Home integrates artists into the housing stabilization process through creative interventions around place-making.

“New City Arts has found that intersection point where arts, social impact, and a reclamation of humanity can come together to truly make a difference in the lives of some of our least understood population,” said Gram Slaton, Piedmont Council for the Arts (PCA) Executive Director. “Truthfully, it brings art all the way back to its most ancient roots – as an expression of a people, a society, and a compassion for the world around us.  Bravo, New City.”

As a part of the Housing2Home program, The Haven is excited to announce a call for applications for the full-time Creative Coordinator position. The Creative Coordinator will work with newly housed Haven clients to imagine, design, and furnish their new homes. A full job description and application deadline can be found online at

“Investing in and supporting the arts have a profound impact on the social, physical, and economic futures of communities,” said ArtPlace Executive Director Jamie L. Bennett. “Projects like these demonstrate how imaginative and committed people are when it comes to enhancing their communities with creative interventions and thoughtful practices.”

“Housing2Home is a really exciting project. The Haven and New City Arts Initiative have partnered together to offer a unique and creative intervention for some of our community’s most vulnerable residents,” said Charlottesville’s Director of Human Services and Acting Assistant City Manager, Mike C. Murphy. “The City of Charlottesville is fortunate to have an innovative partner like The Haven bringing resources to our community in an effort to make homelessness brief, rare and non-recurring in our area.”

“The National Grants Program is actively building a portfolio that touches each of the sectors and stakeholders that make up the community development field,” said ArtPlace’s Director of National Grantmaking F. Javier Torres. “Last year, ArtPlace developed a Community Development Matrix to help us better evaluate our success on this front. So, we’re thrilled that this year’s 38 grantees represent a dynamic spectrum of creative approaches and partnerships in community development that expand the dimensions of our portfolio.”

This year’s ArtPlace America grantees were selected from nearly 1,300 applicants across 48 states and the District of Columbia. Grants range from $50,000 to $500,000 with an average of $265,000.

“Each one of these grants supports a geographic community: a collection of people who live, work, and play within a defined circle on a map,” continued Torres. “In each case, a community development challenge or opportunity was identified by local stakeholders; and these 38 grantees are serving as conduits for their community’s desires by leading arts-based solutions through their projects.”

To view the complete list of 2015 ArtPlace grantees, go

For more information about Housing2Home,


About The Haven

The Haven works to end homelessness by operating a multi-resource day shelter for the homeless in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia and administering client-centered housing and case management programs. The Haven facilitates transformation for the ready and provides respite for the weary. The Haven exists because everyone needs a place to start.

Since opening in January 2010, The Haven day shelter has provided approximately 80 guests each day with shelter from the elements, facilities to bathe and do laundry, a healthy breakfast meal and a place to receive mail and store personal items. The Haven provides a centralized location for guests to receive vital services, as well as on-site connections to related programs, which help break the cycle of poverty.

Recently, The Haven adopted the Housing First model, an approach that centers on quickly providing homeless individuals and families with housing and then gives supportive services once housed. The Housing First model is both more humane for our guests and less expensive for our community. for more information.

About New City Arts

The New City Arts Initiative is a collaborative non-profit fostering engagement with the arts in the greater Charlottesville area. New City Arts believes the arts can renew our city. Core to this mission, New City Arts provides ways for people to connect with one another, build community around the arts, and pursue beauty and justice together in our city. Visit for more information.

About Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless (TJACH)

The Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless (TJACH) seeks to make homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring in the city of Charlottesville and counties of Albemarle, Louisa, Fluvanna, Nelson and Greene. TJACH serves as the lead agency on homelessness by setting local policy, incubating coordination and collaboration among service providers, distributing local, state and federal funds; and educating the public on best practice approaches to ending homelessness. TJACH contracts with The Haven to distribute rapid re-housing and prevention programs to move people from homelessness to housing.

About ArtPlace America

ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration of foundations, banks, and federal agencies that exists to position art and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities. for more information.