50 Years of Hope

50 Ways to Help Your Community

See the many ways we bring hope to the greater Fredericksburg region

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50 Years of Hope

A brief glimpse of how services have evolved over five decades


Setting the scene

The Virginia General Assembly passed legislation authorizing local governments to establish community services boards to be established at the local level to best meet the special needs of each locality.

And so it begins

With a staff of less than ten, the Rappahannock Area Mental Health and Mental Retardation Services Board was established.



A Day Support Program is established for adults with intellectual disabilities through a partnership between The ARC of Rappahannock and Stafford County Public Schools.

Becoming RACSB

When the agency began providing staff support to local alcohol and drug prevention programs, the name changes to Rappahannock Area Community Services Board in reflection of changes in the agency’s scope of services.


A little lift

The Parent Education - Infant Development Program is introduced, serving children ages birth to three with developmental delays.

More Support

A Day Treatment Program for Adults with Severe and Persistent Mental Illness opens at 1008 Prince Edward Street in Fredericksburg


Help in a Crisis

An Emergency Services program established to provide crisis intervention services 24-hours a day, 365-days a year.
Also that year, the Wolfe Street Group Home opens, serving adults with intellectual disabilities in the City of Fredericksburg.

The Rappahannock Area Kids on the Block (RAKOB) is formed, providing awareness of disabilities through the use of puppets.


The Sponsored Placement Program is established, matching individuals with families who provide room, board and general supervision and teach independent living skills. Also, Project LINK is established to help pregnant and parenting women with risk factors for substance abuse or personal histories of chemical dependency.  

River Place Supervised Apartments open, serving adults with mental illness.


Rappahannock Regional Drug Treatment Court is established, which was not only the first regional drug court in the country, but the first to accept juvenile drug offenders.

The Mental Health Crisis Stabilization Program opens a six-bed house at 1512 Princess Anne Street in Fredericksburg to provide a safe, therapeutic residential program for adults experiencing acute psychiatric crisis.


The Sunshine Lady House for Mental Health Wellness & Recovery, a new 12-bed crisis stabilization facility, opens with help from philanthropist Doris Buffett.

In partnership with The Sunshine Lady Foundation, RACSB has established a Respite Care Facility in Stafford County for adults with a developmental disability.


RACSB opens two Intermediate Care Facilities in Spotsylvania County. Individuals currently residing at state-run training centers are able to return to their home communities. The agency will open a third one in Fredericksburg a few years later.

RACSB opens a Crisis Assessment Center at Mary Washington Hospital.


Executive Director Ron Branscome retires, and Jane McDonald Yaun takes the helm of RACSB. Also that year, the agency launches a Medication Assisted Treatment program to address the opioid epidemic.

RACSB begins offering permanent supportive housing to help individuals with severe mental illness who are at risk of homelessness.


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