2012 HOST Highlights Archive


Housing Opportunities Support Teams (HOST) provide flexible and adaptive services needed to help individuals and families who are homelesess or at risk of homelessness obtain or maintain housing in the Fairfax-Falls Church community.

November 14

During September, 49 people who were homeless (10 families and 17 single adults) moved into permanent housing from emergency shelters and transitional housing programs, according to Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data.

Regional Updates

    Central Region:

  • Shelter House (Region 4) hosted its Second Annual True Reality Sleep Out on Oct. 19 to raise funds and awareness about domestic violence and homelessness in our community. Shelter House board members, staff and community partners slept outside to represent the 250 families and 1,500 individuals that experience homelessness on any given night in Fairfax County. Dean Klein, director of the Fairfax County Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, along with Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins and Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross attended the event. United Community Ministries and Northern Virginia Family Service joined Shelter House this year as nonprofit partners.

    Northern Region:

  • For the second year in a row, Reston Interfaith (Region 3) created an award-winning float and held a Help the Homeless Walk as part of the Herndon Homecoming Parade. The parade theme was “childhood nostalgia.” Staff converted the food pantry van into a whimsical, old-fashioned ice cream truck with a message of “Serving Up Hope.” Promotional wristbands were handed out to parade participants featuring the message Reston Interfaith – End Homelessness. The result was amazing because this event allowed for increased community participation and promoted heightened community awareness by having more than 1,000 people learn about Reston Interfaith and the issues surrounding homelessness. Plus, more than 100 walkers took steps to end homelessness. The judges were wowed as the Reston Interfaith float passed by the stands as hundreds of people cheered, “Raise your hands up if you want to end homelessness!”
Parade participants in Walk for the Homeless. Food pantry van converted to "Serving Up Hope" ice cream truck.

October 17

During August, 70 people who were homeless (18 families and 13 single adults) moved into permanent housing from emergency shelters and transitional housing programs, according to Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data.

Regional Updates

    Central Region:

  • Volunteers of America-Chesapeake/Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter (VOAC/BCCS) (Region 2) continues its efforts to assist homeless men and women in this community by adding and augmenting services. Effective Nov. 1, the Monday through Friday drop-in program has been extended to seven days per week instead of five. This will add weekend days for those unsheltered to shower, have a meal, access services and relax in safety in the four-hour per day program. Within one year, the drop-in program has expanded from three to seven days each week. 
  • FACETS' (Region 4) Education and Community Development Program at the Ragan Oaks Community Center received second place in the Youth Individual or Group Effort of the Year category at the Virginia Statewide Neighborhood Conference. The Ragan Oaks community planned a special open house to demonstrate the importance of after school programs, including a variety show, youth artwork and a video. The variety show was hosted and acted out by the youth of the community center. It featured skits, talent segment, comedy routine and a dance competition between audience participants. The participants also showed how after school programs can strengthen leadership skills within the community and adds a lasting impact on relationships within the community.

    FACETS’ Services to Families Program housed eight families in August and prevented four evictions. This same program also has 12 families leased up in the Bridging Affordability program.

    Northern Region:

  • Reston Interfaith (Region 3) is taking big steps to end homelessness through the Fannie Mae Walk to End Homelessness program. With a goal of 4,000 walkers, community involvement is paramount. To encourage the younger members in Reston and Herndon to get involved, a challenge was issued to team up to end homelessness.

Supporters of Homecoming Challenge to End Homelessness on HHS football field.

Supporters of Homecoming Challenge
to End Homelessness on HHS football field.

On Sept. 7, South Lakes High School (SLHS) and Herndon High School (HHS) put aside their "rival" status to team up for a Homecoming Challenge to End Homelessness. During halftime, SLHS Principal Kimberly Retzer and HHS Principal William Bates announced the friendly competition along with Hunter Mill District Supervisor Catherine Hudgins; Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust; Foust’s Aide Jennifer Boysko; School Board Members Jane Strauss and Pat Hynes; Reston Interfaith’s CEO Kerrie Wilson; and Dean Klein, director of OPEH. Each high school will host a walk as part of their homecoming week celebrations in mid-October with support from the aforementioned VIPs.

Stay tuned for an update to learn how we are getting the local elementary schools and the School Age Child Care (SACC) programs engaged in our goals to increase awareness around the issues surrounding homelessness.

(L to R) Pictured in photo on left is Kerrie Wilson, Dean Klein, Pat Hynes, Jane Strauss, Jennifer Boysko, Supervisor Catherine Hudgins, Kimberly Retzer and William Bates.  

 

 

September 12 - 10-Year Plan Update

August 8

During June, 77 people who were homeless (25 families and 8 single adults) moved into permanent housing from emergency shelters and transitional housing programs, according to Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data.

Regional Updates

Central Region:

  • Volunteers of America-Chesapeake/Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter (VOAC/BCCS) (Region 2) and Shelter House’s Patrick Henry Family Shelter (Region 4) participated in the annual Goodwin House Community Services Information Panel. Goodwin House residents turned out in large numbers to listen to presentations about Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter’s five programs and 14 services available to clients. The participants then had a chance to visit various program information booths and engage staff with a myriad of questions.

    Goodwin House has over 55 communities with 400 residents, and many volunteer and support both BCCS and Patrick Henry.
  • Congratulations to VOAC for its award of $395,439 to serve 80 households in Northern Virginia! The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced awards of over $2.5 million in homeless prevention grants to four community agencies (including VOAC) serving the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. The grant will aid approximately 1,400 homeless and at-risk veteran families as part of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program.

July 11

Did you know that 52 percent of homeless families became homeless in their current episode as a result of domestic violence? These families include 40 percent of all persons in families experiencing homelessness, representing a five percent increase from 2011. In addition, the 2012 Point-in-Time count collected new information on persons with a history of domestic violence and 56 percent of all families (44 percent of all persons in families) have experienced domestic violence at some time, either currently or in the past. Overall, however, the number of families who were counted as homeless decreased by six perecent (16 families) since 2011.

Did you know that among single individuals, the number identified as chronically homeless increased from 39 percent to 51 percent in 2011? A major factor in the increase was a more extensive outreach effort through the Intensive Community Treatment Teams to better identify persons in the community who meet the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) definition of chronically homeless. Sixty-four percent of all single individuals who were homeless suffer from serious mental illness and/or substance abuse, an increase from 60 percent in the last few years, and many have other chronic health problems. In spite of the high incidence of disabilities, 20 percent of single individuals work at least part-time and 58 percent reported having some type of income from employment, disability or other benefits.

Regional Updates

Central Region:

  • WUSA Channel 9’s JC Hayward featured the Katherine Hanley Family Shelter on June 11 through Hero Central and shared the story of a program participant who was rehoused in 26 days. After losing hours at her job, the former client was not able to maintain her apartment and was evicted. However, during her stay in the shelter, she was able to increase her income and find a landlord that was willing to work with her and her four children. She was one of six families from the shelter that moved to permanent housing during the month of May. The average length of stay for all of the families that exited was 54 days.

    This report noted that the success of Shelter House, the organization that runs the Katherine Hanley Family Shelter, comes from the generosity of many groups including corporate and community partners, businesses, local volunteers and the Fairfax County Government. "If I had to boil it down to one word, it would be 'partnerships,'" said Ronald Redmon, president of the Shelter House, Inc. Board of Directors.

Please note that while the Katherine Hanley Family Shelter has not physically changed locations, the address has been changed to 12970 Katherine Hanley Court, Fairfax, VA 22030.

  • Volunteers of America-Chesapeake/Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter (VOAC/BCCS) is pleased to announce that the Safe Haven program, located at the First Christian Church in Falls Church, has joined forces with VOAC/BCCS. Through funding provided by the Fairfax County Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, and managed by the BCCS team, the program will continue to provide much-needed access to meals and services. The program operates one day per week and extends to two days per week during the hypothermia season.

    The staff and many loyal and dedicated volunteers of Safe Haven do an exceptional job and we look forward to continuing to provide that standard and level of care to homeless men and women in the Baileys Crossroads and Falls Church area.

June 6

During April, 80 people who were homeless (18 families and 20 single adults) moved into permanent housing  from emergency shelters and transitional housing programs, according to Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data.

Regional Updates

Central Region:

Baileys is always excited to be a part of the local public schools as it provides an opportunity to engage younger generations and educate them about the challenges homeless men, women and youth face each day. These students may become leaders in the fight to prevent and end homelessness in the future.

  • On May 10, FACETS and nearly 300 caring and committed community members came together to make a difference at the 10th Annual Opening Doors Benefit Breakfast. Presentations were made by Congressman Gerry Connolly and several members of FACETS’ Board of Directors, along with FACETS Executive Director Amanda Andere and two clients. The program focused on the county's successes with its 10-year initiative to prevent and end homelessness and the concerns that remain for those community residents who are faced with the challenge of obtaining safe and affordable housing. Congressman Connolly expressed his appreciation for FACETS and explained how vital community support is to ending homelessness in the Fairfax-Falls Church area.
                 
    Additionally, 10 out of the 11 youth who graduated from high school in FACETS’ Education and Community Development program are going on to higher education.

May 9

During March, 66 people who were homeless (15 families and 15 single adults) moved into permanent housing from emergency shelters and transitional housing programs, according to Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data.

 April 11

In February, 54 people who were homeless (12 families and 11 single adults) moved into permanent housing from emergency shelters and transitional housing programs, according to Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data.

Regional Updates

  • Northern Region: On April 26 from 3 to 5 p.m. Reston Interfaith will be sponsoring a Laborers Union Job Fair Orientation at the Herndon Neighborhood Resource Center. This job fair will provide information about jobs in construction, demolition, carpentry, truck driving, brick layering and more. Get answers for all general questions regarding construction employment and learn how to get certified as a laborer. For more information or to RVSP, contact Rodolfo Nogales.
  • Central Region: Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter (BCCS) participated in the George Mason University School of Social Work Intern and Job Fair on March 9. Prospective interns in the Master of Social Work program were interviewed as possible candidates for a one-year field study with BCCS. There are currently two students who will complete their placement in May. Students are provided a comprehensive focus on relevant social issues pertaining to homeless men and women and receive supervision and grading from Baileys Program Director Tom Nichols. BCCS is excited to have the opportunity to work with the "social workers of tomorrow" who will be the new leaders in the fight to end homelessness.
  • Southern Region: New Hope Housing moved seven clients from the Eleanor Kennedy Shelter into permanent housing during the past month. We have aggressively identified housing subsidy options at intake to move clients from homelessness to a new start in housing through the use of the Housing Opportunities Support Teams (HOST) program, Bridging Affordability Housing Choice Vouchers and Project Based Vouchers. Clients at the Kennedy and Next Steps shelters who are seeking employment have taken advantage of assistance from New Hope Housing employment specialists and local business professional volunteers to create resumes and identify employment opportunities. Nine clients have secured employment during the month of March.

March 7 - Special Edition

February 8

In December, 47 people who were homeless (9 families and 22 single adults) moved into permanent housing from emergency shelters and transitional housing programs, according to Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data.

Regional Updates

  • Central Region: In the first 20 days of the New Year, five families moved out of the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter into housing below market rate with the help of HOST (Housing Opportunities Support Teams) Short Term Financial Assistance. The average length of stay in the shelter for those families was 59 days.  

Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter is proud to offer clients and community members the Fairfax County sponsored Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP). The WRAP program involves an educational and planning process that is grounded in mental health recovery concepts such as hope, education, empowerment, self-advocacy and interpersonal support and connection. This is a valuable tool for homeless persons as it provides insight and education to help individuals address issues that may contribute to being homeless, and outlines a clearer path to more permanent, stable housing. For information about the WRAP program, contact Cicely Spencer with Fairfax-Falls Church Community Service Board.

In December, students from the Woodson High School Pajama Club donated and delivered 77 pairs of pajamas to children living in Robinson’s Square, a public housing community. FACETS manages the community center at Robinson’s Square and offers programs for youth and adults.

January 25

In November, 11 families and 14 single adults who were homeless moved into permanent housing from emergency shelters and transitional housing programs, according to Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data.

Regional Updates

  • Central Region: Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter (BCCS) received a flood of donations throughout the holiday season. Christmas was celebrated by current clients receiving services including shelter, overflow and Hypothermia Program services, as well as a number of men and women who walked in for Christmas Dinner. Thanks to the generous donations of many churches, organizations and individuals, all residents received warm clothing, a delicious meal and a gift. Special thanks to Falls Church area supporters for their generous outpour of support. 

FACETS’ Education and Community Development (ECD) program offered a Citizenship Course at the Ragan Oaks Community Center. The course was designed to teach attendees the civics lessons necessary to obtain U.S. citizenship. Participants learned a great deal about American history and government, including lessons on the Declaration of Independence, the branches of government, U.S. geography and more. The session concluded last December and one of the participants has already obtained her citizenship.

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