About Us

The Haven, formerly known as the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless (TJACH), works to reduce homelessness by initiating creative solutions and coordinating regional resources and services. The Haven serves many roles in this community. The Haven is a multi-resource, day shelter for the homeless and people in need in Central Virginia. The Haven provides office space for other service providers in order to create a central spot for homeless community members to get the help they need. The Haven is the HUD-designated coordinator of the Continuum of Care for this community, supporting system improvement and collaboration to ensure a secure safety net for the homeless and very poor. The Service Provider Council, a committee of The Haven’s Board of Directors, provides a forum in which providers share information and address concerns. Contact executivedirector@tjach.org for more information.

Our Vision

The Haven is working toward the day when everyone in our region has a decent, safe place to sleep at night. Our belief is that a region which exhibits and enjoys such wealth should not tolerate the conditions that place our residents at risk of homelessness.

The issue of homelessness in the Thomas Jefferson Planning District has been growing both in terms of the number of people identified as homeless and the recognition that the area must address the issue in a systematic way to eliminate homelessness. A brief history of efforts to address homelessness includes these milestones: 

  • In 1998, the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless (TJACH) was founded. TJACH is a broad-based coalition of individuals and organizations working to end homelessness in our region through strategic planning, coordination of services, and public education/advocacy on the causes and impacts of homelessness. TJACH functions as the region’s HUD-defined Continuum of Care Committee, conducting the required activities for establishing a strategic planning process and plan for addressing the area’s homeless needs. TJACH has submitted an annual Continuum of Care proposal since 1999.
  • In July 2002, TJACH created and distributed the “Street Sheet”, a two-page guide to agencies and services in the region. It includes locations, contact information, services offered and maps. The Street Sheet is updated periodically to provide current information to the homeless and service providers.
  • In January 2003, TJACH conducted its first Street Census in conjunction with the statewide Point In Time count scheduled by the Virginia Inter-Agency Coalition for the Homeless. This annual census has been conducted each year, providing valuable data on the number of homeless in the region and their characteristics. Results are included in this Plan.
  • In 2003, the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) launched a regional Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). HMIS is a web-based tool for data collection, case management, and program management.
  • On March 30, 2004, over 140 participants representing local service providers, faith-based organizations, concerned citizens, government workers, and homeless individuals joined TJACH and TJPDC to discuss homelessness in the Thomas Jefferson Planning District. Click below for a report from this event:

             Homelessness in a World Class City

  • On January 20, 2005, TJACH launched the ID Ride as part of the Re-entry Initiative for ex-offenders. The ID Ride is offered periodically, approximately once a month. The Salvation Army van picks up people at Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR), who also handles referrals, and transports them to the Bureau of Vital Statistics in Richmond to obtain birth certificates. A volunteer mentor accompanies the riders. The ID Ride was originally planned to meet the needs of ex-offenders, but is open to others as well.
  • The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) adopted the charge to the Task Force to develop the 2012 Plan to End Homelessness at its regular meeting on April 7, 2005 and made formal appointments to the Task Force on June 2, 2005. The Task Force held its first meeting on July 1, 2005 and met regularly over the course of a year to develop this plan. The Task Force was created to raise homelessness to a community issue, with the involvement of all localities and additional stakeholders, building on TJACH’s planning and initiatives. Click below for the Community Plan to End Homelessness:

             Community Plan to End Homelessness

  • The Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless merged with the First Street Church Project to take advantage of the parallel missions of the two organizations, and opened The Haven at First & Market in January 2010.
  • The Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless achieved 501 (c) 3 status with the IRS and hired a full-time Executive Director in September 2009.
  • The Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless Board of Directors determined that the local community identified most strongly with The Haven and not with TJACH; as a result, TJACH began doing business as The Haven.


Establish and implement short to long-range practices and strategies that conceptualize and address these problems in a united, regional effort. The Haven will demonstrate the benefits of improved collaboration and centralization.

Define current resources and needed capacities within the existing continuum of care of homeless providers, and advocate for gaps to be filled and duplication to be avoided.

Advocate and organize on behalf of homeless persons in a coordinated, fair, and representative manner.

Collect data on the at-risk and homeless populations of the region to demonstrate the needs of our community.

Privacy Policy

Your privacy is very important to us. Accordingly, The Haven has developed this Policy in order for you to understand how we might collect, use, communicate and disclose and make use of personal information.

  • In general, The Haven does not collect or use personal information of visitors to its website or blog for any use whatsoever. If and when a visitor donates funds to The Haven using the online donate button, personal information is collected, as described, by our vendor for the sole purpose of completing the donation transaction. Donors are given the opportunity to provide relevant information to ensure that The Haven may send a suitable acknowledgement of the donation, consistent with IRS expectations. Donors may opt-out of this process completely and forgo said acknowledgement.  
  • In the event that The Haven does collect or use personal information, before or at the time of collecting personal information, we will identify the purposes for which information is being collected.
  • The Haven will only retain personal information as long as necessary for the fulfillment of the stated purposes, but will NEVER use any information to be passed on to a third party, shared with anyone or use to market things or services to you.
  • The Haven will collect personal information by lawful and fair means and, where appropriate, with the knowledge or consent of the individual concerned.
  • The Haven will protect personal information by reasonable security safeguards against loss or theft, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification.
  • The Haven will make readily available to customers information about our policies and practices relating to the management of personal information.

One Response to About Us

  1. Harmony - Page 7 - Interfaith forums on May 9, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    [...] Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay. The Haven The Haven at First & Market is a safe and welcoming place for the homeless and very poor of [...]

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