Joy House RVA

Making a difference. One woman at a time.

North Chesterfield, VA   |


Joy House RVA provides stable housing and comprehensive support services for single unaccompanied women experiencing homelessness so they may secure a permanent home.

Notes from the nonprofit

In 2022 Joy House RVA grew substantially due to one grant of $10,000 from the United Methodist Conference (Common Table Grant) and one individual donation of $20,000. That brings our assets at the end of December 2022 to $61,000. (Joy House is still eligible to file the IRS 990 electronic post card.) Current assets and donations will allow Joy House RVA to increase the number of women served by subsidizing rents, paying utilities, and expanding services through our staff social worker. Joy House currently (as of Jan 31, 2023) has access to two homes, serving 5 women. Plans are moving forward to have a third home available by the end of February. A five-year goal is to that Joy House would own its own property to provide the housing while continuing to partner with private homeowners. "Making a difference. One woman at a time".

Ruling year info


President of Joy House RVA

Dr. Barbara Thrush Lester


Mrs. Catherine Mina Jones

Main address

P.O. Box 73358

North Chesterfield, VA 23235 USA

Show more contact info



NTEE code info

Other Housing Support Services (L80)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.


Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Homelessness: Joy House seeks to alleviate homelessness for unaccompanied women in the Richmond, Virginia area. The Richmond area has services for men and families, but fewer services for single women. Joy House provides the housing and support services for women referred by local homeless shelters such as CARITAS. While living in a Joy House RVA home for one to two years, women participate in programs and services through the Social Worker and volunteers, with the goal of moving to their own stable and safe housing.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Moral Reconation Therapy

Volunteers lead a cognitive-behavioral treatment program known as Moral Reconation Therapy to address issues related to trauma or substance abuse and enable Joy House women to make better choices and decisions.  We have seen great success with this program.   You can learn more at:

Population(s) Served

We invite volunteers from the community to interact with Joy House women and teach them new skills or to act as mentors.
Mentors/Friends give help and encouragement, but do not need the skill set of a Social Worker. The goal is to provide each Joy House woman with a Mentor.
Joy Talks are educational/recreational gatherings conducted by a volunteer with expertise in a needed area such as finance, stress reduction arts and crafts, etc.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Joy House employs (part-time) a Social Worker to come alongside each Joy House woman to assess her skills, gifts and needs so she can move on to a "home of her own" and independence after about one to two years.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Joy House RVA identifies and recruits landlords willing to partner with Joy House RVA by providing housing in privately owned homes or apartments, preferably near public transportation and at rental rates at about $350/month. The homes are shared, with 2 - 4 women living in each house. There is no live-in supervisor, but the Social Worker, Mentors and Joy House President check in frequently. (See Social Worker and MRT
and Mentors/Joy Talks.) Currently the two homes are owned by Barbara Lester, President and Founder of Joy House RVA. Attempts to find additional landlords or rooms in apartment complexes have not yet been successful. Joy House RVA has a 5-year plan to transition to ownership of its own properties.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of households that obtain/retain permanent housing for at least 6 months

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program


Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

In 2022, 4 women occupied one home for 6 months. That house sold, but two others became available for the second half of 2022, with 5 women occupying the rooms.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Joy House RVA provides the stability and resources for each woman to grow in her skills and confidence so that she may maintain a safe and secure home of her own.

Joy House RVA strategies for enabling a previously homeless woman to move to a home of her own:

Very low cost housing $350 - $450 per month for one to two years
Support services through a Social Worker and volunteer friends
Moral Reconation Therapy
Joy Talks on relevant subjects as determined by the women in a Joy House home

Keeping a strong Board of Directors
Making connections with other similar non-profits
Maintaining strong connections with Joy House RVA's donor base and friends

Joy House meets its goals through the volunteer work of a dedicated and active Board of Directors, the staff Social worker and a core of 4 - 5 essential volunteers and many generous donor/friends.

Since Joy House started in 2017, 29 women have lived at Joy House:

19 moved to a stable, safe home (apartment, with family or friends or subsidized housing).

Of the 19, At the most recent count 10 were still stable after one year. In addition, least 6 were still stable after 2 years. (One was invited to join the Joy House Board, but recent illness prohibits that for now). Joy House has not been able to track every woman’s progress after leaving.

3 women were evicted for serious transgressions or threatening mental illness (sent to another nonprofit who had mental health workers).

4 returned to homelessness or went back to shelter.

Joy House has not been able to maintain contact with every woman, but our goal is to improve communication and to provide some resources as necessary for every woman for at least three years.
Joy House would like to serve more women, obtain more housing, improve the programs, improve maintaining relationship after women move on, grow donor support, strengthening the Board of Directors and add staff.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Single, unaccompanied women experiencing (or at risk of) homelessness. Most women are referred to Joy House by local organizations working with homeless or at risk people. The goal is that each Joy House RVA woman will develop a sense of self-worth, confidence and ability to successfully maintain good relationships and her own home. Joy House RVA values the input of the women to help resolve problems and create new or better ways to work together and improve services and relationships.

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Joy House originally planned for women to stay for one-year (a one-year lease agreement with landlord) and continue month to month for up to 18 month. Based on feedback and success rates, that time has been extended to two years (and that is flexible depending on the needs/potential of the woman.) Based on follow-up with women who have moved onto stable housing of their own, Joy House is working on ways to continue relationships through opportunities to provide some helps/coaching and recruiting "graduates" to help/mentor other women who are at one of the Joy House homes. Seeing the need to improve relationships, coping skills, decision making and dealing with possible trauma led Joy House to implement the Moral Reconation Therapy program, which has been very helpful.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Joy House President and Social Worker talk with the residents at least weekly.


Joy House RVA

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.


Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Joy House RVA

Board of directors
as of 02/16/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Barbara Lester

Catherine Jones

Randy Rowlett

Paulette Wilson

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/20/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


No data

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data


No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/27/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.