2014 Partnership 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.  

Janary 29

100,000 Homes Fairfax - 2.5 Percent Club
Nearly one year ago, the Fairfax-Falls Church partnership kicked off its local 100K Homes campaign with Registry Week, during which more than 200 volunteers created a registry of the most vulnerable and chronically homeless people in our community. The registry was the first of its kind for the Fairfax-Falls Church community and helped put a real face on homelessness.

A recent email from Becky Kanis, director of the national 100,000 Homes campaign at Community Solutions, welcomed Fairfax County to a group of the highest performing communities in the country, called the “2.5 Percent Club.”  Our community is now housing at least 2.5 percent of our chronic and most vulnerable homeless neighbors each month, which puts us on a path to move everyone from the streets into housing. You can find Fairfax County on the campaign’s national map of partners with our local results highlighted on the 100,000 Homes “See the Impact” page.

FACETS staff members celebrating the 2.5% Club.

Linda Kauffman, national field organizer of the 100,000 Homes campaign at Community Solutions, helped train volunteers during the local Registry Week. Upon hearing the news that Fairfax-Falls Church is joining the 2.5 Percent Club she said, “The 2.5% club is all about real commitment and movement toward ending chronic and vulnerable homelessness in your community. You are on a three-and-one-half to four-year trajectory to end chronic homelessness. That is stunning. And once you get started, the sky is the limit.”

Credit for this achievement goes to many people working to prevent and end homelessness in our community, most especially the five not-for-profit organizations in the campaign: Cornerstones, FACETS, New Hope Housing, Pathway Homes and Volunteers of America Chesapeake, along with the staff of the Fairfax County Office to Prevent and End Homelessness (OPEH), the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board and Fairfax County Department of Health. Congratulations and thank you all for your tremendous efforts since Registry Week! We are making demonstrable steps towards ending homelessness.

Our community’s goal for the first year of the campaign is to house 50 of the 157 vulnerable individuals identified during Registry Week. As of the end of December 2013, we have currently placed 34 of these individuals in housing. By the end of February 2014 we expect to reach our goal of housing an additional 17 of the most vulnerable individuals, thanks in large part to the opening of FACETS’ new TRIUMPH II permanent supportive housing program with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Community Development’s Continuum of Care program.

Campaign partners are not wasting any time to plan for the next year of the campaign. Creating housing opportunities for the chronically homeless and vulnerable will be especially difficult as many federal resources have diminished. It will take the whole community’s commitment and partnership to maintain our momentum.

Questions about how you can help? Contact one of the campaign partner organizations or email Tom Barnett.

Keeping Our Most Vulnerable Out of the Cold
The 2013-2014 Hypothermia Prevention Season began on Nov. 24 with FACETS opening its faith community doors that evening and serving up hot meals and a place to lay heads and bodies in warmth. Cornerstones, New Hope Housing and Volunteers of America Chesapeake followed with centers opening on the evening of Dec.1. 

Young man who is homeless sitting on crate surrounded by snow. The season began as a challenging one, meeting the critical requirements of building and fire code compliance and still having the amount of capacity needed to serve those in need across the county. We pulled together as one working team including staff from fire, building and Faith Communities in Action staff; OPEH; nonprofit provider staff; faith community members; community partners and county staff to make it happen. There were challenges that made it seem impossible at times, but we found sites and locations that were able to accommodate those in need and other participating locations stepped up to take on more. For example, St. John Neumann’s maxed their capacity allowance to meet the needs for the week they were serving.      

Tremendous efforts have been made in the last few weeks to ensure the safety of so many vulnerable men and women who are homeless during some of the coldest temperatures we have seen in nearly two decades – during what is being called the “polar vortex.” Based on reporting, it appears that we as a community were able to meet the need for hypothermia prevention shelter and ensure that no individual had to suffer the extreme cold for long, given the choice. Many of our nonprofit partners along with their paired faith community provided additional transportation options for individuals who were homeless to and from overnight and daytime shelters. Many of these nonprofit providers, faith communities and county program partners extended and flexed the usual hours of operations, leveraging additional resources. These efforts to bridge one site and organization to another, paired with the county’s warming centers, provided 24-hour shelter from the elements for so many individuals needing it.

These “out of the box thinking” roles were an essential part of our community-wide response to what was certainly a life-threatening weather event. We appreciate the collaboration in thinking creatively and acting proactively to make the necessary preparations and meet the needs. We will surely see similar situations again in the future and it is comforting to see our partnership rise to the challenge of a difficult situation and meet and exceed the expectation. Together we can do so much for those in need.

As we approach our one year mark at the end of February for the 100,000 Homes Fairfax Campaign efforts, we are excited to announce that we have been able to stay on target with our goal of housing some these most vulnerable and chronically homeless individuals at an average rate of 2.5 percent per month and are on target to meet our annual goal of housing 50 for the first year. We continue our efforts as one big team to serve the most vulnerable and chronically homeless in our community daily – please join us in our efforts if you haven’t already done so. Contact Debbie Scaggs with questions about the Hypothermia Prevention Program.

Jan. 29: Annual Point-in-Time Count
Number maze. The Point-in-Time Count (PIT) will be conducted this year on Jan. 29, 2014. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development mandates that each jurisdiction enumerate people experiencing homelessness in their community annually during the last ten days of January.

On the federal level the data is utilized to produce a nationwide snapshot of homelessness in our country. Just as important, this data is used to demonstrate the positive outcomes of our county’s shared efforts to prevent, reduce and end homelessness in our community, as well as guiding us as we determine local strategic priorities and directions. All Fairfax-Falls Church homeless service providers participate in this major undertaking. Our county coordinates the PIT count with all other Metro D.C. jurisdictions through our participation on the Homeless Services Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, which publishes the PIT results in a region-wide report each spring. Results of our local PIT count will be released in April 2014. For more information contact Julie Maltzman. View previous Point-in-Time Counts.

2013 CoC Program Competition Update
The Notice of Funding Availability for the 2013 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Competition was released on Nov. 22, 2013, and the Collaborative Application is due to HUD on Feb. 3, 2014. The Fairfax County Office to Prevent and End Homelessness and all HUD CoC grantees have been working hard to meet all interim deadlines and competition requirements.

Our CoC will be submitting a request for funding in the amount of $6,624,848 including 29 project applications. Twenty-six are Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) and Transitional Housing (TH) renewal grants, two are new grants, and one is a grant to support CoC planning and development. There is no new funding available during this grant cycle; the two new PSH projects targeting chronically homeless individuals were created by reallocating existing TH funding. As was the case last year, all projects are required to be ranked and placed in two tiers. The CoC Committee of the Partnership’s Governing Board, as well as the Ranking Committee, worked diligently to authorize reallocations, select a sponsor for one of the new projects, and rank all of the projects placing one in Tier 2. This project is at risk of defunding, depending on the results of the competition and amounts requested throughout the country.   

As per HUD requirements, the ranking process and results are publicly available on the Community Partnership’s website. In addition, the entire application will be available on the website prior to official submission on Feb. 3. For more information contact Julie Maltzman.

Together We Put the ZIP on Homelessness
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova and Governing Board on homelessness member Stacey Kincaid celebrating Jeans Day 2013.                 The Jeans Day collaborative partnership, which includes the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, Phillip L. Graham Fund, Apple Federal Credit Union, Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, Connection Newspapers, Dulles Regional Chamber and the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness, appreciates and acknowledges the Fairfax community’s participation in Jeans Day 2013. Over 212 businesses, county agencies, public school employees, civic, faith and community based organizations, community leaders and individuals engaged in Jeans Day 2013. Together we raised over $57,900!

This third annual homeless awareness campaign and fundraiser reached a new level of involvement and resources raised with the Philip L. Graham Fund Challenge for a $25,000 match. Special thanks to Governing Board member Ted Lutz for his leadership with the challenge grant that would match $25,000 if we could raise $25,000 with Jeans Day 2013.

Here are some highlights:

  • Over 212 companies, organizations and individuals participated at the $25 or more contribution level.
  • Over 10,000 employees were represented.
  • New and existing partners rallied to meet the challenge in new and different ways:
    • The Fairfax County Chamber, our premier sponsor, hosted Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova at their Board meeting in September to make the ASK to their business members and present the Jeans Day 2013 proclamation.
    • Deltek, our first Jeans Day for the Homeless sponsor, hosted a kickoff breakfast at their extraordinary facility the morning of Jeans Day Oct. 18.
    • Dulles Regional Chamber shared their Buy A Brick Digital House fundraiser to add fun and funds to the kickoff and challenge.
    • Helios HR and ABC Consulting provided executive and staff volunteer assistance providing the campaign extraordinary leveraging and engagement for the kickoff and the campaign.
    • Our financial partners Apple Federal Credit Union and the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region partnered to provide support and financial process assistance for the campaign and the challenge.
    • The Connection Newspapers provided excellent coverage and publicity for Jeans Day and the 100,000 Homes Campaign.
    • The Fairfax County Office of Public Private Partnerships provided leadership, recruitment and partnership engagement.
  • Jeans Day top donors:
    • Philip L. Graham matching grant-$25,000.
    • Foundations-The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region-$1,500.
    • Companies-Virginia Commerce Bank-$2,000.
    • County agencies-Fairfax County Department of Family Services-$617 plus.
    • Nonprofit-Volunteers of America-Chesapeake-$1,000.
    • Faith Group-Centreville United Methodist-$564.

These funds will ensure persons in the Fairfax-Falls Church community are able to access appropriate affordable housing and services needed to keep them in their homes. Specifically, Jeans Day 2013 funds will support the most vulnerable, our chronically homeless, through the 100,000 Homes Fairfax Campaign. We have joined this national movement of communities working together to find permanent homes for 100,000 of the most vulnerable and chronically homeless individuals and families by July 2014. We will house 150 individuals over 3 years serving 50 each year.

View Fairfax Chamber Jeans Day 2013 photos. We look forward to you joining us in our continued efforts to end homelessness in our community by 2018 and our next Jeans Day 2014. Please contact Glynda Mayo Hall for more information. Again, thank you for helping to Put the ZIP on Homelessness with over $57,900!

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