Helping and Housing Fairfax Homeless, One Family at a Time
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One Homeless Person Is One Person Too Many - Family PASS Panel Tells Business Community

Those were the words of moderator Kathy Albarado, founder and CEO of Helios HR, as she introduced panelists representing Fairfax County, temporary shelters, the Fairfax County school system, and Family PASS to the business community. The panel urged the business community to reach out, recruit and hire the homeless.

Panelists focused on a wide range of homeless issues including the county's 10-year plan, the lack of affordable housing, the number of homeless students, the plight of domestic violence victims, and collective goals as members of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness. 

Key points in the discussion included the following
  • Lack of Affordable Housing. Tom Barnett, Program Manager at the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness and who helped form the Community Partnership, said that minimum wage workers are living on the edge, paying 30-50% of salary to rent.  The loss of a job, car or an illness can push them into homelessness.
  • 40% of homeless are victims of Domestic Violence. "Domestic Violence doesn't shout, it whispers," Danielle Colon, Director of Domestic Violence (DV) programs at Shelter House told the audience, talking about how difficult it can be sometimes to recognize someone who is a victim of DV. When a victim is interviewed prior to acceptance at the shelter, the team has to ask: How likely is this person to be killed?
  • 2315 students in Fairfax public schools are homeless. Kathi Sheffel, Homeless Liaison for the Fairfax County school system, said 800 of the 2314 are living apart from their families.           
  • Education and Job Skills Training are Critical. Sou-Yeon Han, Senior Case Manager at Family PASS said these two factors provide footing for homeless families to become economically self-sufficient. 66% of homeless are working homeless and may hold several jobs, usually at minimum wage, which does not equal a living wage for families in Fairfax.
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Our Client Spotlight: A Rose Blossoms


A recent client who came to Family PASS as part of our collaboration with Shelter House's Domestic Violence (DV) program is a determined young mother with two children from Ghana. We will call her Abal, which means Wild Rose in Ghanian.

She came to the US with her husband and two young children seven years ago but the promise of a better life disappeared when her husband began to abuse her. She remained in the home for her children but in reality she felt she had nowhere to go. Her spouse, as is the case in many domestic violence situations, used control of the finances to keep her confined.  Finally, fearing for her safety, Abal fled with her children and was temporarily housed in Shelter House's 24-hour emergency shelter for DV victims.

When you cannot read you are blind

Abal is illiterate. When Family PASS took her as a client, we first found a safe home for her family. Once Family PASS houses a family, the focus is on their immediate needs and the path that will help them become independent and successful. Currently, Abal works as a housekeeper at a hospital but, due to her illiteracy, opportunities are limited.

Family PASS found a tutor for Abal and after her first week of tutoring, Abal became a dedicated student.

"This is why I came to the US--to make a better life for me and my children.  
Once I can read and write, I can do everything and will have so many opportunities.  Not being able to read feels like being blind; I see signs everywhere but have no idea what they say or mean. Having the ability to read will be like being able to finally see."

She is now studying for her citizenship. We know there's a bright future for Abal and her family.

Thanks to all of you who support our program!
Family PASS First Annual Golf Tournament
Slated for October 6


This is going to be a great afternoon out on a beautiful course, swinging the clubs to support Family PASS programs. Board member Michael Waddell has assembled a committee of friends and colleagues to organize this event and we hope any and all - from 2 handicappers to duffers - come out. It will be a Captain's Choice format so it will be a team effort. It's never too early to register. And there are sponsorship opportunities at all levels so please take a look at the Registration form and Sponsorship form.
Community businesses and groups have been tremendous supporters of the work Family PASS does.  In June Karin's Florists dedicated a floral arrangement with part of the proceeds dedicated to Family PASS. We hope many of you had the opportunity to support that generosity.
 
Another key partner in the community effort to help the homeless has been SHARE, which provided
Family PASS with a grant again this year in support of our work. Thank you to all the volunteers at SHARE who made this possible.
 
Thanks again to Vienna Presbyterian Church, Edward Baranoski, Charles Allen, Church of the Good Shepherd UMC and Vic and Patricia Kimm for their generous donations.
Volunteer Corner

To Ann Marquis, for gathering, keeping and helping to distribute household items and clothing for our clients and their families;

To Patti Cooksey for always responding to our last minute call for volunteers;

and

To Linda Karanikas for making sure the Pantry at St. Mark's is always full for our clients.



Remember, Family PASS's Friends in Deed volunteer group is looking for people who would like to help out with our clients' occasional special needs. If you are interested in learning more, our FAQ is located here.  To sign up, send an email to friendsindeed@familypassfairfax.org.  
Last but not least -
a little pat on our collective backs:

Family PASS receives Award at Northern Virginia Chamber Event -
Oh Yes We Did!


Family PASS was nominated this spring for the Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Non-Profit of the Year Award presented by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce. At the June Awards ceremony Family PASS was named one of only six finalists in that category. It was a tremendous honor to be recognized and a great opportunity for the corporate community to learn about Family PASS and other organizations dedicated to helping those in need. At the same program, Joe Meyer, CEO and Executive Director of our collaborating partner, Shelter House, received the award for Outstanding Emerging Leader. Congratulations Joe!

 
  Family PASS's United Way# is 8371.
  
  Family PASS's CFC# is 43287.
FamilyPASS | 703-242-6474 | www.familypassfairfax.org 
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The work of Family PASS is supported in part with a grant from The Consolidated Community Funding Pool of Fairfax.