APRIL 2022
IN THIS ISSUE
Preservation of the Future
Turnover of the New
Lake Anne House
Resident Life
Google Nest Donation Recognized
Volunteer Appreciation Month
Christy's Corner
Welcome New Board Member
Knights of Columbus Continues Their Support
How YOUR Workplace Can Help!
Caring Connections
SAVE THE DATE …
architects rendering of building entrance
“Preservation of the Future”
Ribbon-Cutting Celebration and Tours

Come See the New and Improved Hunters Woods Fellowship House!

Saturday, June 18, 2022 | 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
(Light refreshments will be available.)


Join us for the grand re-opening of Hunters Woods Fellowship House as we conclude our $24M modernization and renovation of this 43-year-old building.
GETTING READY FOR THE BIG MOVE!
Turnover of the New Lake Anne House
group tour in kitchen
On Friday, April 22, a handful of board members, donors, volunteers and other partners were treated to an up-close and personal look at the new Lake Anne House which is 99% complete! Residents will begin moving into their new homes in early May when the building is ‘turned over’ to management… a long-awaited and highly anticipated event.
group tour in gym
RESIDENT LIFE
Celebrating Spring and New Beginnings
Group of people at table
Lake Ridge
Fellowship House

On April 22nd, residents celebrated Earth Day by planting seeds and learning about ways to improve the environment. Presentations were led by Megan Krenz, Program Intern (pictured), Nicole Harrison, Service Coordinator, and Shelby Holloman, Resident Retention Specialist. 
Group of people outside
Lake Anne
Fellowship House

As part of the Lake Anne Fellowship House Farewell Tour programming, Service Coordinator Curtis Whitlow helped residents plant flowers that represented the uniqueness and diversity of everyone at Lake Anne Fellowship House. 
people seated outside at tables holding up small bottles of wine
Hunters Woods
Fellowship House

On April 27th residents learned about the benefits of a healthy environment during an Earth Day seminar and workshop. Presenters included Dr. Clisha Taylor, American Healthcare Professionals; Binbin Yang, Fairfax County Health Department; Michael Giger, Fairfax County Watershed Department; Katie Shaw, Nature Center; and Cater Marris, Reston Association.  
two people wearing hats working outside at a garden box
Largo Landing
Fellowship House

On April 26th Largo Landing residents enjoyed a day of gardening for Earth Day. Service Coordinator Shawnisha Hester spoke about the importance and benefits of gardening.  


Pictured: Ms. Virginia W. and
Ms. Allirea M.  
THANK YOU!
Christy standing behind table with logo and pamphlets on it at event
Knights of Columbus Continues Their Support

A HUGE THANK YOU to the Knights of Columbus of St. John Neumann Catholic Community in Reston, VA for once again making Fellowship Square the recipient of funds raised at their pancake breakfast earlier this month. 

We are grateful for their ongoing support!



Fellowship Square’s CEO, Christy Zeitz, sharing information at the recent Knights of Columbus breakfast.
Support Us Through Workplace Giving!

It's easy to support Fellowship Square by organizing an event that can benefit seniors in the Fellowship Square community. Need fundraising ideas or want to find out how your organization can support us, contact Judy Singer, Senior Director at jsinger@fellowshipsquare.org or 703-860-2536.
FELLOWSHIP SQUARE IN THE NEWS
Google Nest Donation Recognized
The recent donation of 428 Google Nest devices to our residents was featured in Prince Williams Living.

The article highlights the many ways these devices can improve resident's daily lives by allowing them to connect to loved ones via video chat and facilitate tasks using the voice assistant technology.

See our March issue to read more about this generous donation.
WE LOVE OUR VOLUNTEERS!
April is Volunteer Appreciation Month
lilac flowers and quote that says I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder G K Chesterton
Did you know that in 2021, nearly 200 individuals from several organizations and countless walks of life volunteered more than 1,200 hours with Fellowship Square?  Hundreds of helping hands delivered food to individual apartments, lead programs for residents, assisted with packing or helped with administrative tasks. We are so appreciative of all those who have served and those who continue to serve.  We couldn’t do it without you! 
 
Visit our website to sign up for the monthly volunteer emails and review current opportunities.
One of the ways volunteers serve our seniors is by leading group exercise classes at each of our communities.  
group people dong chair exercise
Participant Rochella M., leading the warm-up with Judy O. and Rose G. during Rise and Shine exercise sessions at Lake Ridge Fellowship House.
group of people in exercise class
Volunteer David Park leading Hunters Woods Fellowship House residents in weekly wellness classes at the Reston Community Center.
group of people in exercise class
Kevin Barbera leading Lake Anne Fellowship House residents in Chair Yoga.
Participants in a chair exercise class
"Wake up and Shake up" exercise classes are popular at Largo Landing Fellowship House.
Did You Know with a large question mark

The average rent in Prince William County is now $1714/month. This is an increase of 14.2% since 2019!

Fellowship Square is one of the leading providers of affordable housing and services to seniors, operating 670 units in the metro region. The organization has contracts with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to subsidize housing expenses associated with caring for our aging population, ensuring that the rental cost to the resident of living at a Fellowship Square House is never more than 30% of his or her annual income, making our homes some of the most affordable in the region.
CHRISTY'S CORNER
Our Solution to the Problem
Earlier this year, the Board of Directors approved a new five-year Strategic Plan that focuses on growth, resident services and a “best in class” governance structure. We know that sustaining a strong organization like Fellowship Square, it is vital to meet the future needs of seniors who struggle with rising housing costs and daily living expenses. 

In 2020, we celebrated our 60th Anniversary – and reflected on the vision our founder, Rev. Dr. John A. Scherzer. Fundamentally, we are still the same organization – but we have surpassed the simple notion that affordable housing solves the problem. We know that housing, when combined with supportive services is the essential combination to ensure a higher quality of life, and to keep older adults feeling empowered and independent throughout their remaining years. This enhanced vision for the future stems from a dynamic organization that embraces change, strong leadership and doing our best for some of the most vulnerable – and undervalued – people in our society.

In the next five years we intend to expand our footprint in both housing and services. We believe there is more to do – and we will continue to be a part of the affordable housing solution for seniors in the Washington DC area.

Similar to our last 62 years, in the coming five years, Fellowship Square will have:

  • Vibrant affordable housing communities that provide a variety of activities and services for older adults.
  • Expanded services and support that focus on four areas of wellness: physical, spiritual, social, and intellectual, and that includes new technologies, information and activities that meet residents’ needs.
  • Strategies to maintain diverse and reliable income streams that support the lives of our residents and the organization overall.
  • A “best in class” organizational infrastructure that allows Fellowship Square to have a greater impact on those we serve.

We are putting in place aggressive – but achievable – strategies that will enable us to accomplish these goals. I hope you will be part of this journey – and be there to celebrate our success. Thank you for your support.

With gratitude,
Christy Zeitz
CEO
WELCOME!
Meet New Board Member Kristin Norris
Headshot Kristin Norris
Kristin Norris is a Commercial Lender and Vice President at John Marshall Bank, specializing in residential and commercial real estate financing for local builders, developers, and investors, with an emphasis on residential acquisition, development, and construction financing. She first joined John Marshall Bank in 2018 as a Portfolio Manager and was promoted to Commercial Lender in May 2019. Prior to that, she gained experience across other areas of the banking industry at The Business Bank, Cardinal Bank and United Bank.
 
She received her Master’s Degree in Real Estate Development from George Mason University in 2019. During her time at George Mason University, she was selected to be a member of the 2019 NAIOP Capital Challenge Team, a real estate case study competition. In addition, she was also a fund manager for the Patriot Real Estate Fund, where she underwrote transactions and managed existing investments of funds contributed by GMU’s Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship Board Members. She remains involved with the GMU Masters in Real Estate Development Alumni Group.
 
In her spare time, she also manages a social sports league and enjoys working out at Orangetheory and spending time with her dog, Sasha.
BEING SUPPORTIVE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Caring and Connections Can Help Prevent Self Harm Among Older Adults
closeup of clasped hands
Did you know that while suicide rates are highest among Americans ages 52-59 years, the rate among Americans 65 and older is still higher than the national average? The CDC reports that in 2019, the suicide rate for Americans of all ages was 13.93 per 100,000. For individuals 65 and older, the rate was 16.98 per 100,000. When we look at men over 65, their rate is very high – 32.51 per 100,000. 

In the general population, for each death by suicide, it is estimated that there are 25 attempts. However, when an older adult attempts to end their life, those attempts more often result in death. Some of the reasons for this include things such as isolation, greater access to lethal means, and the increased likelihood of a serious health condition that would make them less likely to survive an attempt. 

While there is no one reason why someone may attempt to take their life, for individuals 65 and older, certain life circumstances can feel like a downpour of stressful events. An accumulation of biological, financial, and social hardships over time may leave some feeling hopeless. However, it is also essential to understand that depression is not a natural part of growing older. It is an illness, that if left untreated can become fatal. For example, many seniors who live alone have an increased feeling of isolation. They are also more likely to have experienced the loss of a life partner, close friends, or family member. For many, especially those living alone, losing a pet can be a significant loss as well. Changes in their health can keep them from doing activities they’ve spent a lifetime enjoying, leading to a loss of independence and making them more reliant on others. Major role changes such as retiring can also put older Americans at risk, especially men, who are more likely to define who they as a person are by their professional career.

When these life changes and stresses occur, the things we do to be supportive can make a difference. Helping the person to stay connected is critical. Reach out to show you’re thinking of them and that you care- by phone, online or in person. Ask how they are doing, and genuinely listen. You don’t have to have all the answers or fix anything, you just need to be there with them. If their health conditions are limiting their ability to do the things they used to enjoy, together you can discover new interests and hobbies. Most people who experience life changes will not become suicidal but those with the risk factors we mentioned earlier might, so it is important to stay alert about mental health and stay connected.

For more resources, visit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

By Jessica Lincoln, Programs Intern
Reminder: If you have a Thrivent account, please designate Fellowship Square for donations
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