2013 HOST Highlights Archive


Housing Opportunities Support Teams (HOST) provide flexible and adaptive services needed to help individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness obtain or maintain housing in the Fairfax-Falls Church community. *Please note: As of January 2013, human services regional updates from providers will be posted every quarter and exits to permanent housing will continue to be highlighted on a monthly basis.

October 16

According to Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data:

In July 2013, 77 people who were homeless (19 families and 55 single adults) moved into permanent housing when exiting emergency shelters and transitional housing programs.

In August 2013, 91 people who were homeless (16 families and 53 single adults) moved into permanent housing when exiting emergency shelters and transitional housing programs.

In September 2013, 91 people who were homeless (18 families and 48 single adults) moved into permanent housing when exiting emergency shelters and transitional housing programs. 

Quarterly HOST Highlights

Northern Region:

  • In 2014, Reston celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1964 along with the 100th birthday of the founder of Reston, Robert E. Simon. Also in 2014, the wider Reston community will have an opportunity to participate in the challenge of helping Cornerstones (formerly Reston Interfaith) (Region 3) meet a critical need in the community by raising $1 million to double its stock of affordable housing, which represents the commitment of Reston’s leadership to reach towards that which is the essence of Reston—the belief that everyone in the community should be able to experience the opportunity to live, work, play and serve. 

    SNAP logo.

    After Oct. 31, 2013, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients will have their benefits reduced (e.g., a family of three will receive $20-$25 less in benefits per month).  Meanwhile, the nearly $40 billion in cuts to SNAP recently approved by the House will, if signed into law, further negatively impact the most vulnerable participants, predominantly households with children, older adults and disabled members.

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) invites supporters to "Take the SNAP/Food Stamp Challenge." By accepting the SNAP Challenge, participants can get a sense of what life is like for millions of low-income Americans facing hunger by comitting to eat their meals from a limited food budget comparable to that of a SNAP participant - $1.50 per meal.

Please encourage your supporters to advocate for SNAP participants struggling to put food on their tables.

With the convergence of an anniversary, a need and an opportunity, the Best of Reston 2014 campaign has begun. On April 10, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Reston, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and Cornerstones will present the 23rd Annual Best of Reston Awards recognizing businesses, organizations and individuals for putting forth tremendous effort in their commitment to community service and improving the lives of others.

Best of Reston logo.

Nominations are now being accepted. Contact Catherine Hoskinson with Cornerstones for more information.

 

Central Region:

  • As of September, 12 of our neighbors identified on the risk index were housed through the efforts of Volunteers of America-Chesapeake/Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter (VOAC/BCCS) (Region 2). BCCS reports that creative case management and out-of-the-box ideas have been critical to VOAC housing a great number of 100,000 Homes clients this quarter.

  • One Man's Story: One month after his wife passed away, Mr. Jones entered the Shelter House (Region 4) Katherine Hanley Family Shelter (KHFS) with his son. Bouts of depression led to years of unemployment; however, he entered the program with a positive attitude and undeniable resiliency. Still adjusting to his new role as a single father, Jones was able to receive support in obtaining clothing and school supplies for his son through “Shop with a Sheriff.” Now in its 20th year, this program connects staff from the Sheriff's Office to shop at Target with school-aged children from the Katherine Hanley Family Shelter and the Patrick Henry Family Shelter.
    Shelter House staff and other participants at "Shop with the Sheriff" outside Target.
    Participants at "Shop with the Sheriff" outside Target
    Computer Room at KHFS.
    Computer Room at KHFS

    Jones was also able to benefit from Greg Ziegler’s Eagle Scout Project, which outfitted the Computer Room at KHFS with eight new computers. Within the first days that he arrived, he obtained his license and found a job, thanks to the availability of the computers. His case manager connected him to clothing resources to prepare for work and the mental health counselor helped connect him to a counselor in the community. Jones will be moving into his own housing next week, less than 45 days since he entered the shelter. He is just one of the 26 families that have moved into permanent housing since the start of the fiscal year in July!  

  • There's much progress in housing individuals identified through the 100,000 Homes survey. On July 31, FACETS (Region 4) was awarded a grant which enables them to provide permanent supportive housing for 18 individuals who are chronically homeless in our community. Modeled after their current housing program for individual adults, the 18 participants will receive intensive in-home case management services from FACETS. Additionally, access to financial, medical and employment resources and life skills courses designed to assist individuals in taking steps towards economic stability will be provided.

    Registry Week volunteers with FACETS’ Hot Spot teams at Mott Center.
    Registry Week volunteers with FACETS’ Hot Spot teams at Mott Center
    FACETS’ Amanda Andere with former board member Vivian Kelly.
    FACETS’ Amanda Andere with former board member Vivian Kelly

    Because of the community’s support during the 100,000 Homes Registry Week, the demand for affordable housing options was clarified, playing a tremendous role in FACETS' ability to secure this grant. Please stay tuned for FACETS’ updates on this project and ways you can support this new initiative. Volunteers, mentors and furniture donations will be needed to make this program a success.

    FACETS Executive Director Amanda Andere was recognized for her exemplary leadership within FACETS and the community on July 31. Chosen by a panel of independent business leaders, Andere was one of 25 top female CEO's in the DC Metropolitan area who were celebrated. Also included in those honored were former board member and major supporter of FACETS, Vivian Kelly. Please join us in congratulating Andere and Kelly in this tremendous honor.

    Each year FACETS is able to assist hundreds of families and individuals in leaving poverty behind. However, the lack of affordable housing remains a barrier. Many of the individuals FACETS works with have often obtained and maintained a secure position and upheld a budget, but because of either tarnished credit and/or limited options to increased income, these people still remain unable to secure a home. FACETS recognized this challenge and within their strategic plan, staff has identified specific organizational priorities and goals which will better assist community members battling the effects of poverty.

    FACETS’ Services to Families team recently underwent some changes to combat this barrier and two key staff members have transitioned into newly developed positions. These positions will focus on increasing housing opportunities by developing partnerships with landlords and realtors and assisting the people they work with in obtaining positions that will lead to better incomes and careers. With this slight shift in focus, FACETS has begun focusing on locating landlords and realtors willing to take a chance. This step is critical in assisting our community members living in poverty in achieving long-term stability and better economic futures. The income requirements and guidelines set to obtain and maintain safe, sustainable and permanent housing have left many hopeless.

Southern Region:

  • New Hope Housing (Region 1) staff and local volunteers have been onsite daily to host and welcome each new resident for Mondloch Place, which opened on Sept. 20. The local volunteers have been busy at work setting up linens in the bedrooms; dishes, pots, pans and coffee pots in the kitchenettes; and plenty more.  Read full story.

       

    Mondloch Place.

        Mondloch Place

August 23

In July 2013, 93 people (including 27 families) who were at Imminent Risk of becoming homeless received Local HOST or Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Prevention Services; enabling them to stay in housing, preventing them from entering the homeless system. Ninety-three people (including 41 families) who had entered our homeless system received Rapid Rehousing services, enabling them to move quickly back into permanent housing and avoiding long term stays in the shelter system.

In June 2013, 65 people (including 26 families) who were at Imminent Risk of becoming homeless received Local HOST or Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Prevention Services; enabling them to stay in housing, preventing them from entering the homeless system.  Sixty-two people (including 25 families) who had entered our homeless system received Rapid Rehousing services, enabling them to move quickly back into permanent housing and avoiding long term stays in the shelter system.

In May 2013, 63 people (including 23 families) who were at Imminent Risk of becoming homeless received Local HOST or Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Prevention Services; enabling them to stay in housing, preventing them from entering the homeless system. Eighty-eight people (including 29 families) who had entered our homeless system received Rapid Rehousing services, enabling them to move quickly back into permanent housing and avoiding long term stays in the shelter system.

July 17

During May 2013, 92 people who were homeless (24 families and 25 single adults) moved into permanent housing from emergency shelters and transitional housing programs, according to Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data.

Quarterly HOST Highlights

Drawing by a youth participant of the
Ragan Oaks Community Center.

Honored as the Best Community Life Program
On June 11, FACETS (Region 4) Education and Community Development (ECD) Program was honored by the Housing Association of Nonprofit Developers (HAND) for Best Community Life Program in front of a crowd of over 1,000 business, government and community leaders from all over the Washington Metropolitan region. The dedicated staffs at FACETS’ ECD program are able to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of individuals in our community every day because of the support of their compassionate volunteers, donors and community partners.

Celebrating the Accomplishments of our Youth
On July 24, an A/B Honor Ceremony was held and celebrated the accomplishments of 13 graduating seniors and 32 children and youth who achieved A/B honor roll for the 2012-2013 school year. These youth participate in ECD program and reside in one of three affordable housing communities located in Fairfax and Centreville. Staff, working along with generous donors and volunteers, offers a range of programming including homework help, boys group, college and career planning and healthy relationships. Special thanks to Mike Collins of Congressman Connolly’s office and also thanks to Ruby Tuesday, Olive Garden and Glory Days for donating delicious food for the event.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty One Youth at a Time
A 16-year-old youth participant at Barros Circle expressed an interest in becoming a junior volunteer firefighter with the Fairfax County Fire Department. Because of support from Jacob, his school and parents, the young man is one step closer to achieving his goal. Now serving as a probationary member of the Fairfax County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, this youth feels he has a better chance at securing a position as a firefighter once graduating from high school.

Growing up in the community center , this boy has participated in almost every program offered by FACETS. He now serves as a leader for younger community members. He is just one of several high school students taking monumental strides to ensure a successful and prosperous future for themselves.

Linda Wimpey, founder of FACETS, presenting at breakfast.

Opening Doors of Opportunity
On April 25, FACETS made tremendous progress towards securing a day where everyone in Fairfax County and Fairfax City has access to adequate and affordable housing and no one is homeless. Over 400 supporters of FACETS' mission attended the Opening Doors Benefit Breakfast and heard of FACETS' real impact directly from recipients of our services.

The Opening Doors Benefit Breakfast offered community members a snapshot of the daily obstacles individuals and families living in poverty must work to overcome. FACETS' impact is real: over the last 25 years thousands of individuals and families have been given an opportunity for a fresh start, a door of opportunity opened. We continue working towards achieving our mission and together we will end homelessness in Fairfax County and City.

May 15

On Jan. 30, 2013, there were 1,350 people who were literally homeless in the Fairfax-Falls Church Community. 603 of them were single individuals and 747 were people in families, according to Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data.

April 10

During February 2013, 58 people who were homeless (18 families and 16 single adults) moved into permanent housing from emergency shelters and transitional housing programs, according to Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data.

Quarterly HOST Highlights

Northern Region:

  • (Region 3)  Reston Interfaith Housing Corporation (RIHC) has been acquiring, preserving, rehabilitating and managing affordable housing since 1990. The organization is celebrating the acquisition of its 50th affordable townhouse unit to provide formerly homeless and at-risk individuals and families with a place of security and an opportunity to rebuild life.

Congressman Connolly and Reston Interfaith's Kerrie Wilson, visit with VITA staff, volunteers and individuals preparing their taxes at HNRC.

Congressman Connolly and Reston Interfaith's Kerrie
Wilson visit with VITA staff, volunteers and
individuals preparing their taxes at HNRC.

Local elementary schools are making an impact on Reston Interfaith’s programs by implementing the Fairfax County Public School Food Recovery Program. Six different elementary schools from our area collect unopened perishable and nonperishable foods that are not consumed during school lunchtimes, and donate them to the Embry Rucker Community Shelter. The snacks are also shared with the children at Laurel Learning Center. The donations of milk cartons, yogurts, fruits and snacks have reduced the shelter’s dairy order expense by almost $1,000 a month.

Congressman Gerry Connolly, Chris Neighbors with IRS-SPEC, Dave Macklin with the Computer & Communications Industry Association and Anthony Bedell with the Intuit Financial Freedom Foundation joined Reston Interfaith CEO Kerrie Wilson for a visit to Reston Interfaith’s Herndon Neighborhood Resource Center (HNRC) to highlight the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. In addition, U.S. Senator Mark Warner visited the Reston Interfaith offices where he met with representatives from diverse faith communities, advocacy groups, community leaders and students for a roundtable discussion on immigration policy. Warner noted that the talk was the first of a series of listening events to come.

Also, Reston Interfaith CEO Kerrie Wilson "calls a technical" on the impact of sequestration on homeless and low-income working families in her opinion piece published in the Connection Newspapers. Read full article.

Central Region:

  • Volunteers of America-Chesapeake/Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter (VOAC/BCCS) (Region 2) is proud to be involved with the 100,000 Homes Fairfax campaign. BCCS has a large donation base, which provides furniture and household items that have been specifically designated for clients housed by the 100K initiative. With this large amount of goods, these clients will benefit—not only from having a place to call their own, but also by being able to walk into a fully furnished and "ready to go" home. It is believed that having the comforts of home around them will help serve as a motivator to help these neighbors stay housed.
     
  • On March 25, Shelter House (Region 4) launched a new program that provides permanent housing with supports to three families. The Ives House program is run in partnership with the Falls Church Presbyterian Church (FCPC). FCPC has owned Ives House (a 6 bedroom, 3 bath historic home) for more than 40 years. The church wanted to use the house for a mission, and explored various possibilities before choosing Shelter House as a partner. HomeAid Northern Virginia then took on a $37,000 house renovation project with Van Metre Homes. The renovation included a remodeled kitchen and improvements throughout the interior and exterior.      

    The Ives House program offers permanent housing and supportive services including case management, assistance with life skills and budgeting support. The families moving into the program come from NOVACO, Shelter House’s Katherine Hanley Family Shelter and New Hope Housing’s Next Steps program. The property will house three sets of single mothers who have two children each. The mothers are all working, and the program will focus on increasing their earnings and self-sufficiency. FCPC will offer volunteer support, including family mentoring, after-school tutoring and special projects, in addition to property management.   

    When Shelter House staff informed one mother that she had been selected for the program, she said, "Now I can sleep at night!" 

    If you or your group, association, faith community, etc. are interested in supporting Ives House in any way or have further questions, please contact Laura Martin at laura.martin@shelterhouse.org. Support opportunities range from making designated donations to the program to joining in volunteer tutoring or mentoring.   

    FACETS' Board Chair John Martin and Executive Director Amanda Andere at Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce 2013 Awards Gala.

    FACETS' Board Chair John Martin and Executive Director
    Amanda Andere at the Dulles Regional Chamber of
    Commerce 2013 Awards Gala.

  • On March 9, FACETS (Region 4) was recognized as the Large Nonprofit of the Year at the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce 2013 Awards Gala. As we gear up to celebrate 25 years of positive impact in the lives of people in Fairfax County/City, this award could not come at a better time.

    Last summer FACETS received a grant from the Giving Circle of Hope that recognizes positive peer pressure can influence youth to make safe and healthy decisions. Because of this support, three youth from FACETS’ Education and Community Development program (ECD) attended the 28th Annual Youth Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP) conference at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.

    The youth that attended the conference last summer are currently running a 20-week long prevention program for fourth through eighth grade students at the Robinson Square Community Center. The group meets twice a week for an hour, and the topics include drug and alcohol abuse prevention, bullying, Internet safety and suicide awareness. Attendance ranges from 14-20 children. In addition, the teens have enlisted routine assistance from two other high school students who have expressed interest in attending YADAPP this summer.

    Over the past 10 winter seasons FACETS has partnered with more than 40 faith communities to offer overnight shelter and nutritious meals to our homeless neighbors through our Hypothermia Prevention and Response program. During the 2012-2013 hypothermia program, which concluded on March 16, 279 individuals received services with over 140 participating in case management services.

    The case management services we offer have led to an average of 10 hypothermia participants a year moving off the streets and into housing. This year we were able to house 12 hypothermia participants.

    The following success story is just one example of the impact FACETS has in the lives of the people we work with. After losing his job and having little to no income, a young resident became homeless. Moving from place to place with no success securing safe and sustainable housing, he decided to participate in FACETS’ Hypothermia Prevention and Response Program. Working with a FACETS case manager, he applied for food stamps, participated in life skills classes and gained employment. In November of 2012, he and his case manager applied for a Project Homes voucher through Fairfax County and this past month he moved into his new apartment.

    FACETS' client holding keys to his new apartment.

    FACETS client holding keys
    to his new apartment.

March 14

During January 2013, 100 people who were homeless (29 families and 8 single adults) moved into permanent housing from emergency shelters and transitional housing programs, according to Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data.

February 13

During December 2012, 85 people who were homeless (23 families and 11 single adults) moved into permanent housing from emergency shelters and transitional housing programs, according to Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data.

January 9

During November 2012, 72 people who were homeless (20 families and 11 single adults) moved into permanent housing from emergency shelters and transitional housing programs, according to Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data.

Quarterly HOST Highlights

   Northern Region:

  • Reston Interfaith (Region 3) has once again partnered with Fairfax County to operate the North County Hypothermia Prevention Program (NCHP), one of three hypothermia prevention sites in Fairfax County. The center works to prevent weather-induced illness and loss of life among unsheltered homeless adult men and women in our community. During the 2011-2012 season, NCHP served over 239 guests. NCHP began on Dec. 1, 2012 and ends on March 31. The program operates every night during this time frame, regardless of inclement weather and on all holidays. Volunteers from the community, businesses and congregations provide meals every evening of the program.

    Reston Interfaith experienced record-breaking success for the 2012 Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Season. More than 4,000 walkers joined in on the campaign (a 100 percent increase from 2011). And, the number of Help the Homeless (HTH) events supporting Reston Interfaith doubled from 2011! We have many significant contributors to our success, including the Reston Interfaith Board of Directors and staff, our HTH Walk Committee and the thousands of walkers from schools, congregations and businesses. Many Steps Make for a Successful Walk Season!  

Fox Mill Elementary students pose with the Fox Mill mascot during their 6th Annual Help the Homeless Mini-Walk on Oc. 25, 2012. Herndon’s Harbor House Retirement Community residents marched with Reston Interfaith’s Help the Homeless float during the Herndon Homecoming Parade on Oct. 13, 2012.

    Central Region:

  • On Nov. 1, 2012, Volunteers of America-Chesapeake/Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter (VOAC/BCCS) (Region 2) implemented an enhancement of the "Drop-in Program," including the new "Shower Program." The enhanced Drop-in Program now operates seven full days per week, adding Saturdays and Sundays to their regular schedule. By offering the extra two days, unsheltered clients now have continuity of services throughout the week, rather than having to find alternate services on the weekend. This is significant as self-care needs are daily, such as showers, meals, laundry and access to important information.

    The new Shower Program was implemented as a result of increasing requests from unsheltered men and women to take care of personal care needs at hours beyond those who drop-in from 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. daily. The program now provides open times in the evening (7 to 9 p.m.) and serves unsheltered clients who may work during the day or have other requirements that do not allow for the use of standard Drop-in Program hours. By utilizing the Shower Program in the evening, men and women can begin their next day feeling confident about their appearance and increase the prospect of employment and independent living solutions.

    Both of these programs have been very well received. VOAC/BCCS continually looks at current programs and opportunities for new services in order to provide for its clients in need.

 

  • Over the season, Shelter House (Region 4) was reminded of all the successes they’ve seen throughout 2012, in addition to the tremendous amount of community support that helped make it all possible. For example, one woman came to the Katherine Hanley Family Shelter after having to leave her housing due to domestic violence. She entered without a job, with few belongings and the challenge of learning to support her family on her own. In a few short months, she left with a full-time stable job and a rented residence that she could afford. Almost a year has passed since she has moved to her home, and Shelter House volunteers were thrilled to receive a picture from her family of their "first Christmas tree in their new life."

    Handing off gift wrapped model home.

This year also marks the second annual donation of toys from a local company. They became involved about a year after a former program participant, who started working there while living in the shelter, moved into her own home. She has kept the job ever since and found her own way to pay it forward. A new partnership was formed with a network of 60 business owners who provided a holiday party for the kids with Santa as the surprise guest. They provided each family with a gift certificate to purchase home goods online, with shipping included, so the families could choose what they needed as they moved to their own homes. With creativity and generosity of community support, Shelter House hopes that the new year brings continued progress towards ending homelessness in Fairfax County.  

  • The holiday season has truly proven to be a season of caring. With support from Our Daily Bread, Reston Interfaith and caring community members, FACETS (Region 4) provided Thanksgiving meals to over 160 families in November 2012. FACETS has also been able to brighten the holiday season for over 340 children, youth and adults in families living in poverty. Groups like General Dynamics, Bank of America, Alpha Omicron Pi, Deloitte, Brandywine Realty Trust, the Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Fairfax Rotary Club and all donors participating in the nonprofit's holiday gift drive and Adopt a Family program stepped up with a common goal – to support individuals suffering the effects of poverty during the holiday season. The donor and volunteer support received is the best gift volunteers could hope for as they continue working towards securing a day when no one is homeless.

    Southern Region:

  • New Hope Housing (Region 1) is proud to be providing hypothermia shelter to some of its most vulnerable community members again this winter. So far there has been a slight increase in numbers served over last year. The Kennedy Shelter has operated on a “no turn away” policy since Nov. 1. The Ventures in Community Hypothermia Outreach Program (VIC-HOP) program provides 25 spaces at Rising Hope United Methodist Mission Church and has been at, or near, capacity earlier in the season than in years past. The Falls Church Winter Shelter in the City of Falls Church provides 10 male and two female bed spaces and has been at, or close to, capacity since opening as well. The programs are currently serving an average of 48 people per night. In spite of the increased numbers, the programs continue to run smoothly and provide a much needed safe place for people when the temperatures get dangerous. 

    New Hope is also excited to be a part of the 100,000 Homes Campaign and is working hard to recruit volunteers and prepare staff for Registry Week, and the other activities associated with the campaign. They believe this effort will yield a great amount of information about who the most vulnerable homeless people are and what they need to end their homelessness.

Back to HOST Highlights annual listing.

View most recent HOST Highlights.

Read latest edition of Partner Update.

 


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