2011 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.  

December 14

In October, six families and 10 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

  • Northern Region: The Fairfax County’s Hypothermia Prevention Program was recently given a boost by Deltek, Inc. On Dec. 2 they held their annual “Helps for the Holidays” employee program which benefited six area nonprofits. Funds were raised at the event to provide goods to area charities. This year the Fairfax County Office to Prevent and End Homelessness and Reston Interfaith's Embry Rucker Community Shelter were chosen as recipients. The employees of Deltek prepared hypothermia kits consisting of cold weather gear including sweat suits, socks and hand warmers to be given out to our hypothermia residents. Deltek employees purchased clothing then assembled and loaded more than 100 kits during the one-hour event. Many thanks to Deltek for their generous donation to the county’s winter programs!
  • Central Region: Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter (BCCS) kicked off its hypothermia season on Nov. 1 by providing 10 overflow beds. This overflow provides extra shelter (beyond the 50 existing resident beds) and allows providers to reserve spots for future nights. Dec. 1 marks the first day of the Hypothermia Prevention Program where the regional sites are operating under a "no turn-away" status to clients seeking refuge from freezing temperatures. Clients will be transported to participating local churches and offered dinner, breakfast and facilities use at the BCCS designated sites. BCCS feels privileged and excited to have this program and looks forward to serving those most in need. 
  • Southern Region: New Hope Housing is ready for the winter season and hypothermia programs. Since opening the overflow program at the Eleanor Kennedy Shelter on Nov. 1, they have been serving an average of 30 additional residents each night, even with relatively mild weather. The Falls Church Winter Shelter and the Ventures in Community Hypothermia Outreach Program (VIC-HOP) have opened in December and have a capacity for an additional 37 single adults combined.

The Mondloch House II building officially closed its doors on Nov. 30. While residents were relocated to scattered site apartments (now called the Next Steps Family Program) in October, staff had continued to use the location as their base. Staff will be temporarily housed at the New Hope administrative offices until moving to their permanent location sometime after the New Year. The Mondloch House II building will be renovated to provide studio apartments for chronically homeless adults.

United Community Ministries’ (UCM) housing programs are experiencing continued success this fiscal year. Since July 1, four families have graduated from UCM’s programs and moved into permanent housing. An additional five families have made significant progress towards transitioning out of homelessness. Currently, 17 families and five single individuals are receiving weekly case management and support services that enable them to acquire the skills and resources needed to achieve long-term self-reliance.

November 16

In September, 18 families and 28 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) is geared up for the 2011-2012 hypothermia season. Sites have been confirmed and staff is being recruited. Nov. 1 marked the beginning of our Over Flow Program. Ten extra spaces will be added for homeless men and women. Also, Volunteers of America Chesapeake (VOAC) has awarded BCCS the Program of the Year! The ceremony was held Oct. 22 at the annual VOAC picnic.
            
    Shelter House hosted its first ever "True Reality" Sleep Out, when members of its Board of Directors, partners, donors, volunteers and staff experienced a dose of homeless reality. They were limited to four supply items apiece and provided with only water and restroom access; slept in cars, under tarps and in sleeping bags to raise awareness and funds for the families in need in our community. The event was held outdoors at Shelter House’s Administrative Office in Herndon from 9 p.m. on Oct. 14 through 7 a.m. on Oct. 15. To illustrate the plight of homelessness, each Sleep Out participant was provided profiles of homeless individuals and families, created signs depicting their personal message for help and constructed a display of 1,501 hearts to honor the more than 1,500 men, women and children who are homeless on any given night in Fairfax County. "When you think of Fairfax County, you think of a thriving region. What we don’t see are the nearly 300 homeless families in our community. More than 60 percent of adults in these families are employed. Domestic violence is a contributing factor in 35 percent of the families we serve," said Ron Redmon, senior vice president & market executive, First Citizens Bank, and president of Shelter House’s Board of Directors. "Our Sleep Out was merely a glimpse into the trauma and uncertainty a homeless family may face, and was an important event for raising awareness in our area. The community’s support, whether through volunteering or donations, furthers our progress toward eliminating homelessness and empowering families to reach their full potential."

    Four clients in FACETS’ Education and Community Development program worked with counselors from Northern Virginia Community College's NOVA Pathways program to enroll in classes and apply for financial aid. Through NOVA Pathways, our clients are eligible to receive ongoing educational support and case management for three years.

October 19

Real People ~ Real Results

In August, 13 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 is expanding the drop-in day hours from 3 to 5 p.m. In addition, Monday through Friday we welcome unsheltered clients into the building from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to do laundry, access services, dine, shower and more. Bailey's also completed a series of the "Event Dinner" in which clients and staff recognize individuals who are supporters of our program. This month, we honored Minister Lugenia Carnell who has been caring for the spiritual needs of clients for 13 years on a volunteer basis.

 September 14

Real People ~ Real Results

In July, 18 families and 61 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: During August, Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter hosted the first Advisory Board meeting of Fiscal Year 2011-2012. The synopsis of the previous year included new programs and enhanced current programs -- a total of 11 client-based programs. In addition, Baileys secured housing for 12 homeless men and women in July! 
  • Southern Region: New Hope Housing is all geared up and ready for school. Thanks to numerous donations of backpacks and school supplies, our students are too. And, two of our class of 2011 high school graduates successfully enrolled in college this fall and we are very proud of them!

    New Hope Housing and United Community Ministries (UCM) are partnering for an ongoing Job Readiness Workshop group, held every Tuesday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Sacramento Community Center on Richmond Highway. Employment specialists are facilitating groups including, but not limited to, resume writing, workplace ethics and networking. The groups are open to any job-seeking adults. For more information, or to sign up, contact Courtney Canty at ccanty@newhopehousing.org), Stacie Thomas at sthomas@newhopehousing.org) or Kim Ashby at kim.ashby@ucmagency.org). New Hope Housing and UCM are also partnering with SkillSource and Catholic Charities for a job fair on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at the South County Building. It is open to the public and we are expecting up to 20 employers to accept applications. There is a pre-event workshop Monday, Sept. 19, to prepare for the interviews. To register for the pre-event workshop, contact Myra Mobley of the South County SkillSource Center at myra.mobley@fairfaxcounty.gov.

August 24

Real People ~ Real Results

In June, 68 people who were homeless (15 families and 18 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: Reston Interfaith is pleased to announce that Terra Harris has joined the Embry Rucker Community Shelter (ERCS) as their new director. Terra’s first day with ERCS was Aug. 3 and she possesses a rich background in homeless services—with experience in serving clients in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Baltimore and Maryland. We welcome her as she continues her journey to engage the homeless population in the Fairfax-Falls Church community. 
  • Central Region: Western Fairfax Christian Ministries, Shelter House, and Fairfax County employees met with members of the community at Centreville Baptist Church on August 4 to educate them on HOST and how to access emergency services in Region 4. We encourage all members of the community to contact their local homeless service provider or the Fairfax County Office to Prevent and End Homelessness to coordinate more round-table discussions regarding HOST.    
  • Southern Region: New Hope Housing has successfully begun the transition from sheltering families in a community shelter environment to providing emergency housing in a clustered apartment setting. While the motivation for this move stems from the redevelopment of the current Mondloch House II shelter location into a housing program for single adults, the change has provided the opportunity to truly think about the most ideal program model in which to serve homeless families. This model, which includes three tiers, will allow families to transition from homelessness to next-step housing while living in an environment that replicates the independent housing they strive to achieve. This model helps families build on success and acquire increased independence and stability by starting with intense services and requirements. As the residents achieve the goals on their service plan and develop concrete housing plans, the intensity of services decreases and the expectations begin to more closely model that of living independently in the community including meal planning, budgeting and preparation as well as paying a portion of their income to a program fee. There are currently seven families being served in five apartments in the new model. The remaining families in the current shelter building are expected to transition out of the program or into additional housing units by Nov. 1.

July 20

Real People ~ Real Results

In May, 52 people who were homeless (11 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

  • Northern Region: The Emergency Homeowners’ Loan Program (EHLP) kicked off on June 20, to help homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure in 27 states across the country (including Virginia) and Puerto Rico. There are a number of local housing counseling agencies authorized to determine eligibility for applicants, including Reston Interfaith, Boat People S.O.S., and others. Pre-applicants have until July 22 to apply. For more information contact Bill Threlkeld at bill.threlkeld@restoninterfaith.org.
  • Central Region: Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter (BCCS) housed eight individuals in the month of June. This is a record number up to this point.

June 23

Real People ~ Real Results

In April 2011, 25 people who were homeless (4 families and 14 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 June 3, the North County HOST team had its first meeting of administrators and direct service providers. At this meeting, members agreed to a group charter outlining the purpose, scope, goals, membership, roles and structure of the group. The scope of the group is to work with families and individuals who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness. The next meeting is scheduled for Aug. 5 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Reston Interfaith. If any members want to be placed on the agenda to staff a case, please contact Denise Taramasco at Isabel.Taramasco@fairfaxcounty.gov
  • Central Region: On May 19, Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter (BCCS) hosted the first of a series of celebratory dinners honoring individuals who have made a difference in the lives of homeless men and women at BCCS and Fairfax County. Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross, a long-time supporter of the unsheltered, was in attendance and was presented a framed photo of Baileys' main entrance with signatures from all of the clients and staff.
  • Southern Region: Eighteen service and solution providers met for the second time on May 24. A review of the county’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness and a discussion on how all the providers can work collaboratively was the focus. A case staffing was also held with many excellent solutions provided by the group. 

May 11

Real People ~ Real Results

In March 2011, 50 people who were homeless (12 families and 18 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: North County HOST team will hold its first meeting on June 3, 1:30 to 3 p.m., at Connections for Hope, 13525 Dulles Technology Drive, Herndon, VA. The meeting will include introductions and networking, discussion on the purpose of a regular monthly meeting, establishment of meeting norms, and development of the agenda for the next meeting. If you have any questions, contact Jody Tompros at jody.tompros@restoninterfaith.org. This forum is designed primarily for those who provide clinical services to people who are homeless. The purpose of a regular monthly meeting is to: 
    • Network with colleagues who work in homeless services.
    • Learn and share information about new resources.
    • Identify barriers to homeless services.
    • Discuss and find solutions to barriers.
    • Invite speakers who can address new ideas, resources and concerns.
    • Staff cases.
  • Central Region: Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter (BCCS) has entered into a partnership with the Fairfax County Public Schools to provide shelter to high schools students 18 years or older who are homeless but continue their commitment to receive their diploma. Additionally, BCCS has entered into a partnership with America Works that will provide employment services on-site to men and women who currently receive Supplemental Security Income/Social Security Disability Insurance (SSI/SSDI), or who are U.S. military veterans.
  • Southern Region: The HOST model is coming into fruition with the first regional HOST meeting in Region 1. Bringing together several service and solution providers who work in the region afforded all involved to meet and understand how all the organizations are part of the process to end clients’ homelessness. Working collaboratively, this group will meet monthly to staff cases and to understand how together we can make a difference.

April 13

Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Update
In just 14 months, more than 95 percent of the financial assistance available through the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing (HPRP) program has been expended. While this is a reason for concern, it also presents an opportunity to shift our focus from implementing HPRP to realizing HOST. In Oct. 2009 when the implementation of HPRP was being planned, the conversation centered on how to spread the word about available HPRP resources throughout the community. No one would have believed that in just 14 months we would be planning how to run the program with all of the financial assistance dollars expended. That is, however, exactly where we are today. Efforts are underway to cultivate new funding sources as the demand for assistance within our community continues to be great.

Regional Updates

  • Northern Region: Chris Scales, regional services and center operations manager for Region 3, social worker Anne Hockstrasser with Coordinated Services Planning and Reston Interfaith’s Director of Transitional Services Jody Tompros met on March 28 to discuss the possibility of having a Region 3 direct service providers meeting. It has been loosely discussed as a meeting for providers to learn about regional and countywide resources, to network with other professionals providing housing and related services, and to staff cases. The next step will be to meet with supervisors of direct service providers to get their input regarding such a meeting. We anticipate an early May meeting to be scheduled.
  • Central Region: The Hypothermia season is officially over and Baileys Crossroads Community Shelter hosted a total of 454 unduplicated men and women. This year has been a great success with an extensive number of clients who were provided shelter from the cold. With the assistance of the Baileys housing locator, six more people transitioning into permanent housing.
  • Southern Region: HOST is in the formation stages and the first planning meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 26. The purpose of this initial meeting is to identify the service and solution providers who will be integral parts to implementation of clients’ plans to end their homelessness. Working collaboratively with all the partner agencies along with Coordinated Service Planning and the Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services, Region 1 is looking to play a stronger role towards the solution of ending homelessness in the Fairfax-Falls Church community. 

View HOST Highlights annual listing.

View most recent HOST Highlights.

Read Partner Update.

 


 

 

 

 

 


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