2014 HOST Highlights Archive
Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness is a broad coalition of nonprofits, faith-based communities, philanthropic organizations, businesses, health care organizations, public safety and government agencies, schools and individuals.
Housing (covers Region 1) welcomes our new director of family
programs, Alba Morales Mathewson. We are very excited about
Mathewson’s leadership for the programs and look forward to finding new
and improved ways to rapidly re-house our homeless families while
providing the best services possible.
As of today, we have rapidly re-housed 15 families as part of the National Alliance to End Homelessness Learning Collaborative Rapid Rehousing Challenge.
Mondloch Place has been open for three months and we are thrilled with the progress the residents and staff are making. It is truly amazing to see how some people who have lived outdoors for the past year or more are now decorating their apartments and simply enjoying having a safe, beautiful place to call home!
Volunteers of America-Chesapeake/Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter (VOAC/BCCS) (covers Region 2) continues to focus its efforts towards singles that are homeless. This quarter, BCCS has served 145 unduplicated clients between October and December 31, 2013. Recently, BCCS has partnered with NovaSalud, Inc. to provide monthly Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) testing and counseling to our residents. This diverse organization brings awareness, counseling and referrals for treatment to homeless clients in Fairfax County.
VOAC's Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter has had a successful hypothermia season to date. We have increased collaboration with new faith providers to ensure our clients have a warm place to sleep during these frigid temperatures. The Fairfax County Office to Prevent and End Homelessness and our homeless service partners have worked together tirelessly to make this happen.
Additionally, starting November 2013 our Safe Haven program at First Christian Church increased its drop-in services from one day a week to two during the hypothermia season. Safe Haven serves lunch; provides haircuts; hosts English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes, and offers Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board (CSB) and community case management outreach on Tuesdays and Thursdays to singles and families who are homeless.
The support received over the holidays truly highlights the spirit of
giving and the heart of the Fairfax County community. Shelter House's (covers Region
2 and 4)
As we reflect on the successes of the year and the support over the holidays, KHFS continues to emphasize the need for more landlord partnerships so each family that experiences homelessness can quickly return to a home. Here are some of the latest success stories:
- A family of seven became homeless again in November 2013. The mother of six had been previously served at Shelter House’s Patrick Henry Family Shelter (PHFS), KHFS, FACETS and Cornerstones. When she returned to shelter, PHFS staff organized an intensive professionals’ meeting to address some of the issues related to repeated returns to homelessness. PHFS staff worked with the client on creating a chore chart to better involve her children in helping to maintain the unit. The client’s brother co-signed a lease for her and the family moved out of shelter and into permanent housing with no financial assistance from Shelter House! She and her family were in shelter for less than a month.
- A family of six had been living in a small Home Depot shed. A predatory homeowner had rented them the small, dangerous space for $700 per month. All family members were sleeping together on one mattress in the structure. Fairfax County Police discovered the family and brought them to PHFS. PHFS staff immediately had concerns about the family’s well-being based on observations of the mother’s capacity/inability to properly care for her children. During the family’s stay in shelter, PHFS staff engaged Child Protective Services and worked with their staff to assure the children's safety while advocating for a thorough assessment of both parents. The family moved out into safe, stable, permanent housing in under one month. They will continue to receive support from Child Protective Services.
- One family was rapidly re-housed from shelter in less than two weeks! The family had been referred to shelter when the trailer they were living in became uninhabitable due to health and safety concerns. During the family’s brief stay in shelter, Shelter House staff focused on working collaboratively with the Department of Family Services, the Health Department, Fairfax County Public Schools and the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board. This collective effort led to the family getting necessary repairs in their unit, which allowed them to return to a permanent housing situation.
FACETS Programming Offered in Annandale — FACETS'
Education and Community Development Program (ECD), which covers Region
4, has expanded and now offers its award-winning program, in
partnership with Fairfax County, to the residents in Annandale's
Wedgewood apartments. Programming began on Oct. 28 and includes
homework hotspot, adult access to the computer lab, literacy
events, holiday parties, community meetings and more. With a focus on
creating a stronger community and increasing family economic stability,
FACETS’ ECD Program offers one-on-one case management services and
well-developed children’s programming. FACETS is thankful to all
individuals that have volunteered their time helping people with
academics; building self-esteem; preventing substance abuse; developing
healthy relationships; and providing college and career
planning/development. If you are looking to join their generous
community please visit FACETS
for more information.
FACETS Receives a Nonprofit Excellence Award – In 2011, FACETS received a pro bono key messages service grant from the Taproot Foundation where a group of marketing professionals spent six months learning about the issues of homelessness and poverty in our community and understanding FACETS' programs. They then assisted FACETS in developing a set of compelling messages to better communicate their story to supporters, partners, clients and prospective donors. This great experience with Taproot was followed in 2013, when FACETS received an advanced volunteer management service grant. A team of human resource professionals spent six months examining their volunteer program and developing recommendations that will help them grow their volunteer base so it more closely matches the racial, ethnic, age and religious diversity of their clients while meeting program needs. Working with the Taproot Foundation has set FACETS on a continued path towards success and has been a wonderful and rewarding experience. On Oct. 23, in celebration of Pro Bono Week at the Up!Root celebration, FACETS was recognized for their commitment to Taproot's mission and acknowledged as a high-performing nonprofit. This was truly an honor.
Hypothermia Program Kicks-Off – With the below-normal cold temperatures kicking off the winter season, FACETS is thankful for its partnership with over 30 faith communities and Fairfax County, which enables them to offer shelter from the bitter cold and nutritious meals to men and women who are homeless. The program, which lasts for 16 weeks, began on November 24th and gives guests the opportunity to obtain a variety of support services through one-on-one case management and life skills workshops. Examples of these services include housing counseling, résumé preparation assistance, dental care, health education and legal services. Because of the personalized services offered, FACETS has seen a 50 percent increase over the past year in the number of individuals successfully taking steps to break the cycle of poverty. Last year, more than 270 community members were served with 26 individuals moving off the streets and into housing. This increase, and the prevention of deaths from hypothermia, are only possible because of their community partners and the over 1,500 volunteers that play an essential role in coordinating the shelter program and welcoming their guests. Learn more about the Hypothermia Prevention and Response Program.
FACETS’ TRIUMPH II Program Begins in January – Beginning this month, a new program at FACETS entitled TRIUMPH II will house 18 of Fairfax County’s most vulnerable community members identified through the 100,000 Homes Fairfax Campaign. Modeled after their current housing program for individual adults, 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. In order to ensure the startup of TRIUMPH II, FACETS is currently reaching out for volunteers to join their Moving Crew, as well as to community members willing to donate furniture. Visit FACETS for more information on this program and how you can help.
The 2014 Best of Reston Honorees were formally announced on Jan. 16 at the Best Kick-off Reception held at Google Headquarters, Reston Town Center. Mark Ingrao, President & CEO of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, Kerrie Wilson, CEO of Cornerstones, and Judy Redpath, VISTA Wealth Strategies and Selection Committee chair, recognized the honorees for their tremendous commitment to community service and improving the lives of others in the greater Reston area. The reception was generously catered by Clyde’s of Reston.
Community members submitted nominations between September and November 2013. An anonymous committee panel reviewed all nominations and this year eight winners were chosen. Honorees will be formally recognized at the 23rd Annual Best of Reston Awards Gala on April 10, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency Reston.
This year’s awards event features three important Reston milestones—Founder Robert E. Simon’s 100th birthday; the 50th anniversary of Reston’s founding in 1964; and the Best of Reston 2013-2014 campaign goal of raising $1 million to help Cornerstones double its stock of affordable housing to meet a critical need in the community. Simon, for his second consecutive year, is serving as honorary chair of the Best of Reston event. He, along with Simon Fellows, Bill Bouie, Karen and Jim Cleveland, Joe Ritchey, and Chuck Veatch have led the campaign charge raising nearly $750,000 of the goal. This campaign provides the opportunity for individuals and businesses to join the legacy of the lives that will be impacted for years to come with additional affordable housing in this community
In additon, Cornerstones, which covers Region 3, partners 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 adult men and women who are homeless in our community. The North County Human Services Building is located at 1850 Cameron Glen Drive in Reston. Please ask your supporters to call the police non-emergency line of the local police if they see anyone in need of help. Learn more about Cornerstones’ Hypothermia Prevention Program.