There are over 20,000 households on the verge of homelessness in Fairfax County

Spring Newsletter

Delegate Mark Keam Addresses Homelessness 
at Family PASS Recognition Breakfast

In talking about the barriers families face, Guest Speaker Delegate Mark Keam recalled his own uncertain childhood -- and potential homelessness -- when his family fled from Vietnam back to Korea where there was little family to support them and no jobs. He also recalled his first meeting, years later, with Family PASS founders Allan and Suezette Steinhardt. It was his first attempt at running for office and he was going door-to-door to find out what constituents felt were important issues. Then he knocked on the Steinhardt's door. Suezette Steinhardt proceeded to educate the young candidate on the state of homelessness and near homelessness in Fairfax County -- in his own district. It was an eye-opener and a situation the candidate could relate to.
Delegate Keam, speaking to over 120
guests at the Family PASS Recognition Breakfast on April 25th, urged attendees to look around, to be pro-active, to do something when they see a family, a child, or an individual who may need help. He said that homelessness and near homelessness in the community is everyone's problem.
Mark Keam has represented the 35th district in the Virginia House of Delegates since 2009, a district that includes the Town of Vienna as well as parts of the surrounding communities in Tysons, Dunn Loring, Oakton, Penderbrook and Fair Oaks.
Family PASS President Lauds Fairfax 
for its Focus on Homelessness

Michael Waddell, President of Family PASS Board of Directors, told the Breakfast audience that while the count of actual homeless in Fairfax County has dropped consistently over the past ten years, there are an alarming number of households - nearly 20,000 -- on the verge of imminent homelessness. Citing a recent article in The Washington Post, he said that the exodus of poverty from cities into the surrounding suburbs and increase in residents living in poverty- is due in some part to gentrification of inner city neighborhoods. That exodus has risen to over 60% in recent years and yet, the article said, most suburban governments have failed to establish the resources that had been in place in cities to help the working poor. Mr. Waddell noted, however, that Fairfax County was not one of those governments. He said the county had the foresight to establish a ten year plan to prevent and end homelessness in 2008 and helped form a coalition of nonprofit and public agencies to address homelessness and the county's working poor. Family PASS, he noted, is one of those nonprofit agencies.

Mr. Waddell noted that Fairfax homeless numbers had decreased to 964* last year. However, he cautioned that  the really important number is the 20,000 plus high at-risk population in Fairfax that could could easily become homeless with the loss of a job, a broken car, illness - or a downturn in the economy as happened in 2008.   Family PASS is one of the organizations in Fairfax there to help these people - these families - these working poor and their children --avoid becoming homeless by supporting their efforts to earn a living wage.

There are two realities, Mr. Waddell said -- not only in Fairfax County but across the country --  income disparity and a lack of affordable housing. It is a national problem but especially evident in Fairfax, where the median wage is in the $120,000 range and the median cost of a home is over $500,000; where the working poor are earning $10-$15 an hour. Even at $20 an hour, annual income would be $38,400. Far below the poverty level and certainly far short of the estimated $70,000 it takes a family of four just to stay above water.

*Update: Down But Up: 2018 Homeless Count down nearly 50% from 2008 but up from 2017

During the  annual  2018   Point in Time Count,   987 people were reported as being homeless . During the 2008 Point in Time Count, there were 1,835 people who were reported as experiencing homelessness.

There was a slight increase this year from the 2017 Point in Time Count.
  • 987 people were reported homeless, including 488 in families and 499 single adults.
  • For families who were homeless due to domestic violence, the number of families increased 18 percent, for a total of 71 families in 2018, compared with 60 families in 2017.
  • 221 single adults, or 44 percent total, were reported as suffering from serious mental illness and/or substance abuse. This was similar to 2017.
  • 146 singles adults were more than 55 years old, a decrease from 155 older adults counted in 2017.
Kids Today - They Are Awesome!
Outstanding Service Award to Area Students

Nearly seven years ago, a local student in the Vienna-Oakton area, Kevin McMahon, decided to do something to help others during the Lenten season. He recruited his friends to help prepare a special dinner for their parents who were then asked to donate to a charity.  Two years later, his brother Michael took over and then, two years ago, little sister Caroline, a sixth grader at the time, decided it was her turn.  Since this tradition began, these students have raised nearly $24,000 for charities, including Family PASS.

From Left: Del. Keam, Caroline McMahon, Natalie Becht, Ethan Norman, Norman Boykin and Family PASS President Michael Waddell
On April 25th Family PASS President Michael Waddell and Delegate Keam presented awards to the fifteen eighth grade students involved in this year's Lenten Dinner for their Outstanding Services and Commitment to Prevent and End Homelessness in Fairfax County.  Caroline McMahon, Natalie Becht, Ethan Norman and Norman Boykin attended the breakfast to receive the awards on behalf of their group.

Honorees unable to attend were: Melanie Boyle, Samantha Brohoski, Maya Koebke, Emily Martin, Erin Garvert, Bella Bray, Logan Beahn, Aidan MacGregor, Eli Trax, Tom Katsakos, and Cassie Sweda.  Below is a photo of the group with a cardboard cutout of their Chief Chef, Papa Francesco.

Family PASS Recognition Breakfast Photo Montage
Photos: Courtesy of Tim Coburn Photography

Vienna Council Member Carey Sienicki and FPASS Board member Patti Cooksey(right)

Event Chair Jodi Bentley (right) with Steve Fox of First Savings

Special Guest Shanetta Hagler spoke to attendees  about her personal experiences going from
homelessness to success.

Board Treasurer Lori Wood with guests Nia (left) and 
Max Rubin of 
Maximum Technologies
Shanetta Hagler, center, with daughter Jade and mother Robin.

Board Member Mark Sweeney Introduces Delegate Keam

Guests at the Family PASS Recognition Breakfast

Special thanks to the Breakfast Committee for their outstanding work in organizing Family PASS's First Annual Breakfast. Committee members are : Chair Jodi Bentley, Avery Austin, Gabrielle Bezou,  Elisse Brunori,  Patti Cooksey, Debi Dicks, Lee Ellis and Ann Richardson.
Paying It Forward

April 28th was Pay It Forward Day so we wanted to share a little pay it forward one of our client's received.
Allana, a domestic violence survivor, and single mom, has been working as a health care provider and is dedicated to overcoming barriers to financial independence.  In the past year, with Family PASS's help, she has taken computer coding courses and is making the transition into management and  with it goes viable access to achieving a living wage. Until last week, however, Allana was without transportation. In the last year, with Family PASS support, she has taken driver's education courses, passed her driving test and is now a licensed driver!  One more obstacle remained: Allana still was unable to afford a car.   Enter Elaine,  a generous donor who offered her car to Family PASS.  Now Allana is thrilled to be able to drive her young son to daycare, commute to and from work, make trips to the grocery store, and to her computer
 courses rather than transferring from bus to bus, with 2-year old and grocery bags in hand.   Driving is an every day convenience most of us take for granted.  Thank you Elaine!

If you have a reliable auto that you would like to donate to Family PASS please contact the office at 703-242-6474.
Family PASS is grateful to the following for their recent contributions to help Family PASS families
William & Karen Becht, Tanja & Thomas Beahn, Mark & Lynn Koebke, Peter & Cynthia Brohoski, Kelly & Joseph Boyle, Jason & Rebecca Sweda, James & Michele Boykin, Priscia MacGregor, Richard & Jennifer Martin, Steven & Jennifer Trax, Michael Bray & Karen Kealoha Bray, James & Terry Garvert, Paul Norman & Eleane Paixao Norman, Paul & Germaine Greer, Lora Wood, Charles Allen, Luncinda Stewart, Tom & Maria Barba, Ed  Baranoski and Jill Crisman, Beverly Bolden, David & Elisse Brunori, Nick Brunori, Elena Brunori, Joanne Burke, Scott Butler, Kris Carpenter, Vanessa Chandler, Michael Waddell, Barb & Mike Choutka, Nadine Cilluffo, Susan Comey,Patti Cooksey, Kevin Davis,  Laurie DiRocco, 
Janine Doran, Russell Ekanger, Lee and Sonny Ellis, Steve Fox, John Geiling, Bette & Vernon George, Ethan Gill, Stephanie Granlund, Sharyn Horowitz, Rick Hurwitt, Christina James, Margie Johnson, JJ Johnson Head, Sharron Jones, Mark Keam, Shaheen Shurana, Kathe King, Paul Kohlenberger, Gary Lange, David Levine, Tom Lubnow, George McAndrews, Tim McCarthy, Susan McKenzie, Chris & Stephanie McMahon, Ray Mehra, Joe Meyer, Lisa Moffett, Dan & Christine Moore, Mark & Barbara Morneau, Diane Naughton, Jim Nelson, Bethany Reisinger, Regina Richardson, Mary Romagnoli, Lori Rowen, Nia & Max Rubin, Andy & Wendi Schoka, Kimberly & Mark Schuler, Carey Sienicki, Nancy Socher, Patty Sparrell, Roger Valliere, Burton White, Kim Ziergelbauer, Kurt & Carol Dieterle, Rodger Charin,
Greater Washington Community Foundation/Claude & Nancy Keener Charitable Fund


Temple Rodef Shalom Ohel Ya'acov (Tent of Jacob) Fund 
Trinity United Methodist Church of McLean
The Closet of Greater Herndon
The Vienna Women's Club

Family PASS is supported in part with grants from the Consolidated Community Funding Pool of Fairfax County and the Semi and Ruth Begun Foundation.

Consider making an automatic monthly donation of $10, $25 or more to help us help others.
Donate directly to Family PASS    undefined