Valley Support Group Builds Housing for the Mentally Ill

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

STAUNTON -- A valley community support group is renovating an old Staunton house for adults with mental illnesses.

Rising property costs and the closure of affordable housing options like the Beverley Hotel in Staunton, have left people with low incomes very few options.

Clarke Banta is the director of Valley Area Community Support in Staunton. He says it took a year to find this place, and it will be home to three people with mental disabilities who are often forced to live in unsafe or unsanitary conditions.

He says this type of person is easily taken advantage of, and that's where he comes in.

"If you don't have all the savvy you need to have, or know how to ask the right questions, you can be taken advantage of. So, we like to think we're helping them not be taken advantage of, we're giving them a really good deal on their rental. And that's very satisfying," Banta says.

Not only is Banta the director of the support group, he is actually helping build this house himself.

He hopes his time and sweat will improve the quality of life for the people he works with.


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