Impact Areas

Education and Youth Enrichment

  • Early Childhood Care: extremely expensive and limited slots
  • K-12: only 4 of 12 schools received full accreditation in 2014
  • Postsecondary: 76.1% of students continue education after high school

Child Care Options and Prices:

Child Care CenterEarly Head Start/Head StartFamily Child Care
Infants (0-3): $10,028 Free for those who meet federal poverty guidelines Infant: $12,272
4 year olds: $7,696 4 year olds: $6,656
School Aged: 4,958 School Aged: $4,173

Health, Aging and Disability


  • Low-income residents of Buena Vista, Lexington, and Rockbridge County are labeled a Medically Underserved Population.


  • Significant proportion of elderly (26.6% in Rockbridge County) deal with increased need for medical and social services and are at risk for social isolation and disconnection


  • Correlation between poverty and disability seen in BV percentages

Disability Rates:*

  • Rockbridge: 10.9% of population with one or more disability
  • Buena Vista: 13.5%
  • Lexington: 6.1%
  • Virginia: 7.6%
  • United States: 8.4%

*Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015

Food and Shelter

Food Insecurity:

  • 4,570 individuals in the Rockbridge Area are food insecure
    • Rockbridge County: 10.7%
    • Buena Vista City: 14.1%
    • Lexington City: 17.5%
  • Much of Rockbridge County is in a food desert, a major contributor to food insecurity

Housing Problems:

  • Substandard quality: detrimental to physical, mental, and social well-being
  • Lack of shelters in our area
  • 1,492 low-income households pay more than 30% of their incomes on housing costs.

Community Development


  • Unemployment rate is decreasing (5.6%), but underemployment continues to affect 1,719 people.


  • Immigrants account for 21% of all low wage work, deal with long documentation process, barriers to healthcare, and limited support services in the area


  • Public Transportation provided through the Rockbridge Area Transportation Services (RATS) and Maury Express (however, the limited routes & inconvenient hours leave most of the county disconnected

Strong Returns

Why Prison Reform?

  • Americans care: "the criminal justice system should try to rehabilitate criminals, not just punish them."
  • Prison system has not been held accountable for rehabilitation results
    • Potential is squandered
    • Families are fractured
    • Communities are left open to recidivism risks.

We want Strong Returns: prisoners reentering their communities with a second chance at life and the necessary connections and personal tools to find success!