Governor McAuliffe and Katie Fessler talking

Honoring Altria






Thriving neighborhoods are the result of people and organizations that care and are willing to invest. The Jefferson Davis corridor is a creative example of needed investment in an area that brought together a diverse group of organizations. Altria Group, Virginia LISC, the City of Richmond, Virginia Community Capital, project: HOMES, and Southside Community Development and Housing Corporation worked together to reinvest in the neighborhood housing and businesses along Jefferson Davis, between Bellemeade Road and Walmsley Blvd.
“This was a multi-leveraged project that could not have been done without the dedication of Altria, the City of Richmond and nonprofit partners working together,” said Schirra Hayes, the Virginia LISC loan officer.
The Altria Group provided grant funding to Virginia LISC to help stabilize and rehabilitate housing along the Jefferson Davis corridor as a way to give back to the community where the organization is located.
“This was a collaborative strategy,” said Katie Fessler, the Director of Corporate Citizenship at Altria. “The Jefferson Davis corridor was a city priority and we at Altria felt a sense of ownership in helping to bring more opportunities into the Jefferson Davis area,” she said.
Virginia LISC leveraged the grant funding from Altria with LISC grant and lending capital, as well as city resources, and partnered with two nonprofit housing organizations–Southside Community Development and Housing Corporation (SCDHC) and project: HOMES–to work towards stabilizing the home-ownership base in the area. Project: HOMES provided critical safety and mobility repairs to 29 homes and SCDHC provided complete renovations to two vacant houses, selling them to first-time homeowners.
“For the community, home ownership establishes a reliable tax revenue, which allows a locality to provide the public services needed to care for its residents,” said Hayes.
It is also important to have corporations take a lead in investing in their communities. Altria’s early investment in the Jefferson Davis area will help draw support from other philanthropic, corporate and government entities and serves as an example of how corporations can give back.
Virginia LISC is proud to call Altria a corporate partner on the Southside and was proud to honor the organization at the Celebrating Community Leaders event.