What We’re Doing

Decriminalize Mental Health and Addiction

VOICE is taking aim at the intersection of race, power, and recovery from COVID in Virginia by making sure people suffering from mental illness and addiction get treatment, not jail. A critical missing piece to ending mass incarceration is diverting those with mental illness and addiction to Crisis Receiving Centers (CRCs), facilities staffed by mental health and addiction experts to which law enforcement can take someone struggling with mental illness and/or addiction instead of to jail or the Emergency Room. Show More

In 2021, VOICE kicked off a campaign to create CRCs throughout our region and across the state. We have a number of efforts underway to build or expand CRCs in Northern Virginia counties and cities and are beginning work with allies on a plan to greatly increase the number of CRCs across the Commonwealth.

Hear Rev. Sessoms speak to a solution

Affordable Housing

The cost of housing in Northern Virginia has exploded in recent years, which has put homeownership out of reach for everyday people in our region. VOICE is developing a bold affordable housing strategy to meet the real needs faced by local residents, especially people of color and low-income renters. While VOICE has worked on affordable housing issues since our founding, we are developing plans to act around affordable housing on a bigger, more systemic scale.

VOICE leaders take on the big banks

Tenant Organizing

VOICE knows that healthy, safe and stable housing is critical for families’ welfare and income-earning opportunities, and has been organizing with tenants living in unhealthy, unsafe conditions in publicly subsidized multifamily housing in Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax. Our goals are to rid properties of rampant mice and mold infestations, improve air quality, replace broken appliances, address years of delay in basic maintenance, improve responsiveness to tenant requests, and ensure management treats tenants with respect and dignity.