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.
Powerful Presence and Testimonies at Budget Public Hearings
As we are all aware, recovery from tough economic times during the past several years has been slow. While we are fortunate in the National Capital Region to have experienced a faster recovery than other areas, we are still experiencing significant economic challenges. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (BOS) and county executive had to face one such challenge as they developed the Fiscal Year 2014 budget for the county. With projected shortfalls in excess of $100M in FY14 and FY15, difficult choices had to be made.
The homeless population is particularly vulnerable during challenging economic times. The Fairfax-Fall Church Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness, including nonprofits, county agencies, faith communities, businesses and homeless consumers, wanted to convey a strong message to the BOS that emphasized allowing the Partnership to continue its important work. It is this same work that helped the number of homeless in Fairfax County decrease significantly since 2007.
At this year’s budget public hearings, more than 120 speakers and groups presented passionate pleas on a variety of topics and issues relevant to our community. Among those speakers were Michael O’Reilly, Chairman of the Governing Board of the Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness; Kris Amundson, Chair of the Advocacy Committee of the Governing Board; and two Consumer Advisory Council members, Jeff Lisanick and Peaches Pearson. The theme of their testimonies was to ask that the BOS continue our effort to prevent and end homelessness and support employment training and services because after affordable housing, employment and earning a living wage are the most critical factors in the homeless’ ability to obtain and maintain housing. View this powerful testimony by proceeding to the 2:59 mark. The testimony was very effective and the BOS found the testimony of Jeff and Peaches to be particularly moving. Moreover, their comments and stories made a difference. The BOS adopted the FY14 budget on April 30, 2013, which includes $200,000 of new funding for employment and training services.
County Housing Authority Scores as a High Performing Agency
The Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority (FCRHA) is an active member of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness, and helps identify homes for many
of our most vulnerable neighbors. The agency also provides self-sufficiency programs as part of its Bridging Affordability initiative, to help those who were homeless move along the path from homelessness to permanently housed. We are now honored to announce that the FCRHA is ranked among the best of the nation’s more than 3,000 housing authorities, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
HUD recently released the FCRHA’s scores for the Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, which found that the FCRHA is a “High Performer” in the management of its 1,060 federal Public Housing units. The FCRHA received a PHAS score of 94 out of a possible 100, including a perfect score for financial management. The assessment looks at the physical condition of the properties, the financial management of the program, and management operations.
“We are proud to once again be recognized for our commitment to maintaining a high standard for our residents,” said FCRHA Chairman Elisabeth Lardner (Mount Vernon District). “The FCRHA will continue to strive for excellence for both its residents and programs.”
FCRHA-owned housing is managed and maintained by the staff of the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development.