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Artis Transitions is filling a gap helping people

For years, Susan Artis-Venable has paid it forward, quietly helping the people she comes...
For years, Susan Artis-Venable has paid it forward, quietly helping the people she comes across. She’s still paying it forward, but now she’s seeing people through their worst times.(WVIR)
Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 10:34 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WVIR) - In the Shenandoah Valley, one woman has made it her life’s mission to help others. A behind the scenes player, in recent years she’s upped her game with a nonprofit hoping to help even more people on a bigger scale.

For years, Susan Artis-Venable has paid it forward, quietly helping the people she comes across. She’s still paying it forward, but now she’s seeing people through their worst times.

“If you are homeless and you have no support, none, zero. How can you pull yourself up without someone extending a helping hand,” asked Artis-Venable.

Artis Transitions is that helping hand, founded by Artis-Venable, it’s a fill-the-gap program.

“Where social services and all the others do their thing. I’m right smack in the middle,” stated Artis-Venable.

Named for her activist parents, the nonprofit is designed to provide sustainability for families and individuals while they’re trying to get on their feet.

“I plug them into the workforce, get them hooked up with a job coach. Things like that,” said Artis-Venable. “And then I monitor the families from two months to two years.”

“Oh my God, my son gotta go to school. I don’t have money for laundry. How am I gonna get the clothes washed for him to go to school,” asked Lisa Patterson-Allen who lives in Staunton. She knows what it’s like to feel the desperation of poverty. With chronic health issues and no support system nearby, she cannot get ahead.

“She was the example of what I’m talking about when people are out here on their own and they do not feel as though people care about them,” said Artis-Venable.

“I feel like I’m failing my son, because if he can’t go to school to get the education for him then if he’s failing that’s my fault,” said Patterson-Allen.

Artis Transitions has helped Patterson-Allen with those needs -- money for laundry, help fixing a car that’s broken down. For others it’s been help covering a co-pay for dental work or making sure there’s food in the fridge.

“Susan reaches out to you and she makes you feel like everyone is going through something in life and everybody needs someone at some point,” said Patterson-Allen.

“There are a lot of people who are not doing well. We need to take care of one another,” said Artis-Venable.

Artis Transitions is run on donations and could always use support. More information is available here.

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