Jenni has been a Fairfax County resident for more than 10 years. She has maintained employment as a health aide for more than twenty years. Jenni, who is in her sixties, became homeless after the rent on her apartment increased to an amount that she could no longer afford. The rent increase, plus the cost of caring for her disabled son and managing her own physical disabilities, created a financial burden that quickly spun out of control.
Although she has maintained full-time employment throughout her period of homelessness, Jenni was evicted from the unit and went to sleep in her car until she entered Embry Rucker Community Shelter in December 2012. While at the shelter, she received guidance on housing opportunities and met with the Employment Specialist to review additional income options.
Because of the 100,000 Homes Fairfax campaign which helps identify the most vulnerable homeless individuals, the Department of Housing Community Development offered four homes for 100,000 Homes candidates, including Jenni who is employed near one of these units.
Jenni has signed her new lease and is no longer homeless!
Reston Young Professionals, a new affiliate of Reston Interfaith, is a group of professionals between the ages of 21-40 who work to give back to the greater Reston community through a variety of social and volunteer activities. Their goal is to help the community and have fun while they give back. While not solely affiliated with any one organization, Reston Young Professionals helps extend our mission through their engagement with other nonprofit partners in the region. They also provide for young professionals who have a connection or affinity with the mission of Reston Interfaith the opportunity to connect with an organized group of other like-minded young professionals in the region.
The Reston Young Professionals only require that you have a good attitude, like to socialize and are passionate about volunteering.
To find out about upcoming events – start by joining them at a monthly meetup. They meet every third Thursday from 6pm – 9pm at a Reston restaurant. Click here to learn exact dates and times of volunteer and social events.
More than six months ago, a single mom of a seven-year-old daughter, was struggling to make ends meet. As the sole bread-winner with part-time employment and no family support, she and her daughter found themselves homeless and seeking refuge at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter. Thanks to the support of HomeAid Northern Virginia, BOWA and their trade partners, this mom and daughter are now living in a newly renovated transitional housing condominium which includes all new flooring, new kitchen cabinetry, granite counter tops, microwave range hood, painting throughout plus plumbing and maintenance repairs. When signing the lease and receiving the keys to her home, this humble and grateful mom was moved to tears. HomeAid completed the $19,000 renovation of Reston Interfaith Housing Corporation’s (RIHC) condo unit, for which RIHC only had to pay about 30% of the costs. HomeAid builds and renovates homeless shelters, transitional houses and other facilities that help homeless people gain stability and a roof over their heads. HomeAid’s partners and resources help to significantly reduce the construction costs to shelter organizations, thereby allowing the shelters to redirect those dollars back into programs and services for their homeless clients.
Nate King, Reston Interfaith’s Community Resource Associate was recognized with the 2013 Outstanding New Professional award at the annual Northern Virginia Association for Volunteer Administration (NVAVA) luncheon held on May 16th. The purpose of NVAVA is to promote professionalism of volunteer administration; offer educational opportunities for members and provide a forum for mutual exchange of ideas; provide networking opportunities among members; and increase awareness and cooperation among organizations utilizing volunteers.
Nate’s philosophy of volunteer administration is best described as being a professional detailed connector. He provides staff the support they need and he links them quickly to resources. Nate links people in our community to the volunteer opportunities which best fit their current situations. He works well with individuals and large groups. Most of all, he takes time to listen and he methodically works to ensure all the details are covered. His approach results in a win-win for everyone involved. Volunteering is in Nate’s DNA. Before he started working for Reston Interfaith, he volunteered for many years with Reston Interfaith’s Embry Rucker Community Shelter.
On May 22nd, the Reston Citizens Association (RCA) presented Greg White, Reston Interfaith’s Chief Operating Officer, with the Community Partner Award which recognizes individuals who show exceptional support for RAC’s advocacy. Greg was awarded for his consistent, generous support of the Reston Accessibility Committee (RAC), his advocacy for all people with disabilities, and for his leadership of Reston Interfaith’s co-sponsorship of RCA community forums on accessibility in 2010 and 2012.
Working in teams, RAC members conduct accessibility assessments of public accommodations and commercial facilities in Reston. With that document in hand, RAC reaches out to owners and managers, explaining how their properties can be modified to be barrier-free and thus welcoming to customers with disabilities. The “3Gs” intent of the outreach is to partner with owners and property managers with good will, in good faith, for the common good.
The efforts have resulted in accessibility improvements at a neighborhood community center, a hospital, three office parks, and six shopping centers. The modifications include accessible parking spaces, van accessible parking spaces, access aisles, accessible parking signs, curb ramps, detectable warnings, traffic crossings, and automatic entrance doors.
Ken Fredgren, Chairman of RCA, said of the award recipients, “To the members of RAC they are the face, heart and hands of their organizations.”
By Kerrie Wilson, CEO
I am so pleased to announce that on May 29th, Reston Interfaith was awarded the “Nonprofits Doing More with Less” award at the 2013 Apollo Awards sponsored by our local partner HeliosHR. The Apollo Awards recognize and honor organizations and leaders who are focused on the future by using employee learning and development as strategies to drive business impact and engagement.
HeliosHR challenges its partners to recognize the importance of providing a collaborative environment for thought leadership, encouraging employees to stretch themselves, and most of all – to build a culture of intention within the organization.
Reston Interfaith was nominated alongside Northern Virginia Family Service, The Women’s Center, Ashby Ponds and the Washington Humane Society – all of whom understand the importance of the people behind the mission.
This award highlights the significant work and care of Jeanette Phillips, Vice President, Administration & Facilities, who is always working to find that balance, to create the culture. Supported by a great team, she works with each of us, with supervisors and leaders to understand needs, hold us to our mission and values (it is not just “what” we do, but “how” we do it that is important), and ensure that we are prepared and renewed to do this important work.
- A-1 Cycling for donating the labor and materials to repair four bikes, which gave our clients transportation to work.
- AOL’s 30 volunteers who came to Embry Rucker Community Shelter to clean, and landscape during their Monster Help Day.
- Beloved Yoga and Kerry Elam for providing lunch time yoga instruction to Reston Interfaith staff.
- Deloitte Volunteers who came out and provided supplies and manpower to landscape around some of the Reston Interfaith town houses.
- Dulles SHRM for a generous donation to assist with shelter needs.
- Fairfax County Public Schools Librarians for creating a library of children’s books at Embry Rucker Community Shelter.
- Fannie Mae for providing assistance with landscaping and cleaning projects at the shelter.
- First Baptist Church of Herndon for providing a Mothers’ Day Craft project for our children to make for their moms .
- Floris United Methodist Church—MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and Kathy Brennan of Wee Play for providing childcare and coordinating a night out in celebration of Mother’s Day for our shelter moms.
- Girls Scout – TOGA Service Unit 56-1, Girl Scout troop 5644 and Brownie Girl Scout Troop 5787 for donating and coordinating Mother’s Day baskets.
- JBG Companies for two days of intensive labor and several service projects at Embry Rucker Community Shelter.
- Keller Williams Realty for donating the evening’s “purse” from Night at the Races Fundraiser to Reston Interfaith, and for their annual Red Day event to collect wish list items for Embry Rucker Community Shelter.
- The Merritt Group for providing their expert knowledge to support Reston Interfaith communications and marketing efforts.
- Outback Steakhouse of Sterling and Aaron Mines, Proprietor, for hosting our moms for a pre-Mother’s Day night out to dine.
- The volunteers who came out to help during the Annual Community Day at the Herndon Neighborhood Resource Center on May 11th .
- The Volunteers on May 13th who helped pick up, sort and move donations collected by the USPS during Stamp Out Hunger food drive.
- The tutors at the Herndon Enrichment Program. The children in this program benefited from your support. 90% of the 36 students showed improvement over the school year.
For Providing Food and Catering: