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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.|
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
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."
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.
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.