Board Endorses Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness


Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director of Public Affairs
703-324-3187, TTY 711, Fax 703-324-2010
Media Pager: 703-324-NEWS (6397)
publicaffairs@fairfaxcounty.gov

Feb. 26, 2007

Board of Supervisors Endorses Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors at its regular meeting today endorsed the 10-year strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness in the Fairfax-Falls Church community. The board also approved establishment of a committee to develop the implementation plan for the strategic directions.

“Homeless individuals and families remind us they are homeless, not hopeless, and their hope reflects ours — to make homelessness a thing of the past. We are one community, which means their need is also ours,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly. “This plan identifies the strategic elements necessary to accomplish the goal of ending homelessness in the next decade.”

Writing of the strategic plan was led by the Community Council on Homelessness and the Planning Committee to End Homelessness, in partnership with the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, faith communities and local businesses. The four strategic directions aim to:

1.) Prevent homelessness due to economic crisis and/or disability.
2.) Preserve and increase the supply of affordable housing to prevent or remedy homelessness.
3.) Deliver appropriate support services to obtain and maintain stable housing.
4.) Create a management system for plan implementation that ensures adequate financial resources and accountability.

In 2006, more than 2,000 people in the Fairfax-Falls Church community are homeless, of which more than 700 are children. The strategic plan highlights the challenges facing the community:

“The Fairfax-Falls Church area is an affluent community with abundant resources, high median income, and expensive housing. However, the supply of affordable housing to meet the needs of the lowest income families and single adults is sorely inadequate. Lack of sufficient income puts market housing beyond the reach of many families and single individuals. Disabling conditions, such as serious mental illness, substance abuse disorders, chronic health problems, and physical injuries, limit earning potential while creating the need for ongoing supports to maintain stable housing. Domestic violence disrupts family life to an extent that the housing is lost. All of these factors contribute to homelessness in our community. It is often hidden from view, with single adults camped in wooded areas and families moving among relatives and friends or in and out of motels until they are able to enter the homeless shelter system and begin the long road back to being housed, a process that may take years.”

To meet these challenges and to make the strategic plan a community reality, the implementation committee will be appointed in March. This community-based group consisting of nonprofit, business and government representatives will include three work groups – prevention, housing options and support services. These work groups will develop action steps, identify roles and responsibilities and develop a monitoring and evaluation process for each set of strategic directions. Planning is scheduled to be completed in June, with the overall implementation plan scheduled for presentation to the Board of Supervisors in July.

For more information about preventing and ending homelessness, including the full strategic plan and other resources, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/homeless.

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