Housing and Community Development - Public Affairs

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION:

703-246-5100
TTY 711

3700 Pender Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030

Ben Boxer,
Marketing & Outreach Manager

Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness Newsletter

OPEH

 

SEPTEMBER 2020 NEWSLETTER

The Office to Prevent and End Homelessness – now part of the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development – is committed to eliminating the disproportionality of people at-risk of or experiencing homelessness from communities of color and other marginalized populations by providing equitable paths to safe, stable, affordable housing.

COVID-19 UPDATES

COVID-19

Thanks to the ongoing dedication of numerous partners, the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness has continued to address the needs of those at risk of and experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. The following is a summary of activities from the past month:

  • Temporary Shelter Available During COVID-19: The availability of Quarantine, Protection, Isolation, and Decompression (QPID) Hotels as a temporary resource for those who meet the eligibility criteria and are unable to safely practice infection control was announced to the broader community.

    More than 450 people have transitioned into QPID Hotels since April 16th with locations now operating in Falls Church, Herndon, and Alexandria. The QPID Hotels are managed by several non-profit partners, including Shelter House, Cornerstones, New Hope Housing, and FACETS. Northern Virginia Family Service operates a Central Intake to triage referrals to the various QPID Hotels.
     
  • Supporting Return to School (SRS) Program: Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) is providing full-day on-site programming for elementary school students in Fairfax County and the City of Fairfax. This is part of the county’s and FCPS’ joint commitment to One Fairfax, to ensure that all families have equitable access to the services they need to support their children’s virtual learning. Students will be able to have their social, emotional, and physical needs met, while still abiding by the CDC guidelines. Classrooms will have no more than ten students. This program is available at thirty-seven schools. Registration is open now.

Thank you to the many providers that are serving people in our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each and every one of you are sincerely appreciated.

 

PARTNERSHIP UPDATES

Partnership

  • The Office to Prevent and End Homelessness (OPEH) would like to welcome Amber Smith. As a Program Manager Amber will oversee the contracts with Artemis House which were transferred to OPEH on July 1, 2020.  Amber has over 14 years of experience in the social services non-profit sector, serving in both programmatic and leadership roles. Amber’s professional experience has shaped her into a detail-oriented, mindful, continuously-learning, “catalyst of hope” who is dedicated to ensuring program efficacy within the social services field.  Prior to joining OPEH, Amber worked specifically in rapid rehousing program development and oversight, assisting the District of Columbia in implementing their first adult singles rapid rehousing program. Her academic background is in psychology and obtained a degree from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Amber shared that in her spare time, she enjoys yoga, thoughtfully curated cups of tea, and Broadway musicals (pre-COVID-19 pandemic.) She can be reached at amber.smith2@fairfaxcounty.gov.
     
  • Sharon Price Singer, the Families Programs Manager of OPEH since 2016, started her new role as a Senior Program Specialist at the Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) office at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Her last day at OPEH was on Friday, August 14. Families can call Coordinated Services Planning for assistance Monday-Friday 8:30-4:30 at 703 222 0880. For assistance with other issues, please contact Diana Pina at diana.pina@fairfaxcounty.gov
     
  • CoC Annual Membership Invitation: OPEH strives to ensure that membership and participation in the Continuum of Care (CoC) includes a diverse and broad representation of all the necessary voices needed to accomplish the goal of making homelessness rare, brief, and one time. This annual invitation is open to any organization or individual connected to Fairfax County that is also interested in preventing and ending homelessness in our community, including but not limited to, the representatives outlined in 24 CFR § 578.3 DEFINITIONS.  

To change your email address or unsubscribe please visit https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/mailinglist/. Additional staff can also sign up to receive the monthly newsletters and other CoC announcements distributed through this website. For questions about CoC membership, please contact michael.willson@fairfaxcounty.gov

  • 2020 Census Workers to Count Population Experiencing Homeless in September: The U.S. Census Bureau has announced the new schedule for counting people experiencing homelessness in the 2020 Census. The operation was originally scheduled for March 30 through April 1, but health and safety concerns due to COVID-19 forced a delay. The Census Bureau now plans to send specially trained census takers to count people at shelters, soup kitchens, regularly scheduled mobile food vans, and locations previously identified by the Census Bureau where people are known to sleep outdoors. People experiencing homelessness will be counted where they are staying between September 22 through 24. Census takers will follow the latest local public health guidance regarding the use of personal protective equipment and social distancing.   For more information, visit 2020census.gov.
     

TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

Training


Please register for the following trainings if you have an interest in attending. By registering, we will be able to inform you of any adjustments or cancelations due to COVID-19. 

  • 2020 HomeAid Annual Housing Forum: 
    Thursday, September 3, 2020
    10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
    Guest Speakers: Keynote - Kevin Hines
    Mind-body practitioner - Gina White

    The Webinar will focus on suicide prevention, trauma-informed care, mental health and wellness, mindfulness, and overall self-care for providers who work with clients experiencing homelessness.
     
  • Fair Housing Seminar, Virginia Fair Housing Office 
    Wednesday, November 18, 2020
    10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
    At the Jefferson Center (541 Luck Ave SW, Ste 221, Roanoke, VA 24016)
    Enter “DPOR” in the Keyword Search and follow the prompts. There is no cost to attend.  
     
  •  Virginia Fair Housing Training 101: 
    Two sessions are available. Register below:
    • Wednesday, September 9, 2020 
      1 - 5 p.m.
      Register here.
    • Wednesday, October 7, 2020
      1 - 5 p.m.
      Register here.

      It is highly encouraged that any staff who have not taken a VA Certified Fair Housing Training in the past two years signs up and completes the class. By completing this class attendees will be eligible to apply for their Fair Housing License through DPOR. Fair Housing Laws apply to anyone working in Housing to include Finance Associates, Security, Vendors, and Volunteers. The term “housing” refers to all housing covered by the Fair Housing Act (FHA), including apartments, condominiums, cooperatives, single family homes, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, group homes, domestic violence shelters, emergency shelters, homeless shelters, dormitories, and other types of housing covered by the FHA.
       
  • Trauma Awareness 101 Training-FC CoC: 
    Two sessions are available. Register below:
    •  Friday, September 18, 2020
      10 - 11:30 a.m.
      Register here.
    • Wednesday, September 30, 2020
      10 - 11:30 a.m.
      Register here.

      Bobbi Mason, Fairfax County Department of Family Services, will be presenting this impactful training. This training will increase attendees’ professional capacity understand and address clients and others that have experienced traumatic events. All CoC partners especially front line and support staff team members who work directly with the public and clients will benefit from attending this training. Trauma awareness training covers three key areas: 1) Recognizing the signs of trauma 2) Understanding how the effects of trauma may influence the people you work with 3) Knowing your role in working with people affected by trauma.
Fairfax Virtual Assistant