April 23, 2019

VHDA’s Role in Providing a New Lease on Life to Vulnerable Populations in Richmond

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Pastor Mike McClary knows what it means to be down and out and on the verge of despair. But he also knows what it takes to turn his life around, and for more than 30 years he’s been helping others do the same with theirs.   

Pastor Mike was a runaway at 13, a self-described rebellious Army private at 18 and a homeless vagrant fighting a losing battle against substance abuse soon thereafter. But in 1982 he discovered religion in a Norfolk, Virginia, mission, and three years later he was ordained a Baptist minister. He subsequently served as pastor of several congregations in Richmond, and it was there in 1987 that he founded Good Samaritan Ministries, where he now serves as executive director, working with his wife Nita.

Good Samaritan is a lifeline for people fighting poverty, homelessness and addiction. It serves hot meals to the hungry and distributes clothing to the needy, and it operates a thrift store and an auto donation center. It also owns approximately 100 affordable rental units, all of them financed through VHDA.

Good Samaritan’s discipleship program for recovering addicts is perhaps its signature activity. Participants – usually 60 to 70 at any given time – spend the first six months living in a dormitory, coping with drug withdrawal and learning to accept responsibility for their circumstances. During the next six months they’re taught job skills as well as how to accept authority and get along with others. They live in apartments, including those VHDA has financed, during this stage.

It’s after graduation that the reality of finding a place to live kicks in, because very few of these people are creditworthy enough to find a lease on the open market.

That’s where Clopton Manor Apartments come in – the most recent Good Samaritan property financed by VHDA. When the sale closes in March, its 44 units will house discipleship program graduates as well as low-income households that qualify.

Good Samaritan Ministries is a beacon to people whose lives are threatened by darkness. VHDA is proud that our financing opportunities can support this program, and we salute Mike and Nita McClary for being difference-makers in Richmond.

For more information about VHDA’s rental financing, please visit vhda.com/multifamilyfinancing.