A Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness
For the past two years, Cornerstones, formerly Reston Interfaith, has engaged in an effort to change the face of homelessness forever in our local community.
The Face of Homelessness in Fairfax County
Fairfax County is one of the wealthiest counties in the nation yet the rate of homelessness is second in the region only to the District of Columbia.
The 2011 point-in-time survey reported 1,549 homeless men, women and children. This number includes working single adults and adults with children who hold steady jobs but who may not earn a living wage, or who may not have the skills to find better paying jobs in industries needed in our changing economy.
There are over 500 homeless children comprising 34% of all homeless persons in Fairfax County – a number that is unacceptable in a community with our resources.
Change is Happening
The good news is despite some of the most challenging economic times in recent history, for a second year in a row, the total number of homeless persons in the county did not increase. Our county has maintained a 14% decrease in family homelessness and an even larger drop in the number of chronically homeless singles accessing shelter since this plan was adopted in 2007.
This is a significant achievement and is due primarily to two contributing factors: the decision by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to declare an end to homelessness and the availability of federal stimulus funds to support those in crisis.
These positive results come from a partnership of all levels of government, businesses, people, and organizations from all sectors. You can read more about these efforts on the Fairfax County Partnership website.