Meet Karen Barnes, Board Member

Karen Barnes has served on Piedmont Housing Alliance’s board of directors since 2016. Karen is a lifelong resident of Charlottesville, and a current resident of Friendship Court. Karen first moved to Friendship Court (then called Garrett Square) when she was 17, and lived there for several years. She later returned as a resident in 2007.

Karen first became involved with Piedmont Housing when she testified before City Council in support of funding from the City of Charlottesville for the Friendship Court redevelopment project, and was subsequently asked to serve on the board. Karen is the mother of three children. Her middle daughter, Quanelius Tinsley, is a recent graduate of Charlottesville High School and has been serving on the Friendship Court Advisory Committee. Having seen many changes at Friendship Court over the years, Karen is excited about the proposed redevelopment plans – in particular, that the neighborhood will be better connected to the surrounding community.

Karen credits her open-mindedness for making others feel comfortable around her and seeking her help and advice. For 16 years Karen ran a home day care center, and has also worked in group homes and a day center for the disabled through Arc of the Piedmont. She currently works as a private duty nurse. Her strong connections with others inform her caregiving professional work: “It’s hard to not get attached if have empathy,” she says. Karen attended Charlottesville High School, and received her Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) license in 1987.