Stability is about meeting critical human need when it is on your doorstep — shelter, hunger, eviction, utility shut-off, illness, unemployment and abuse — by offering control to clients in times of crisis.
The Embry Rucker Community Shelter (ERCS) continues to welcome those who find themselves without a roof over their heads and needing assistance to obtain stability. In FY 2015, 589 individuals were provided shelter at ERCS or during the coldest winter months through the hypothermia prevention program. Those individuals comprised 417 singles and 52 families, with 107 children.
While our goal is to prevent homelessness and help shelter residents find stable housing options as soon as possible, there are chronically homeless individuals who for a variety of reasons resist efforts to secure shelter or housing. Cornerstones connects with these individuals through its Outreach program, visiting wooded and street sites to conduct welfare checks and invite them to ERCS where they can bathe, do laundry, receive medical check-ups and a good meal.
Cornerstones’ Assistance Services and Pantry Program (ASAPP) is the largest food pantry in northwest Fairfax County that is open to the public 37 hours per week and one Saturday morning a month.
In FY 2015 ASAPP provided 7,239 individuals in 2,353 families (3,927 children) with food and critical services. Services included the provision of 17,048 bags of supplemental food and toiletries, 904 packets of diapers/wipes, 786 vouchers for clothing, and $16,904 in rent and utility assistance. Cornerstones appreciates the generosity of the community which donates almost all the pantry food and 2,461 seasonal gifts, from back-to-school bags and Thanksgiving food baskets, to holiday gifts for kids.
In FY 2015, 45 families in Cornerstones’ low-income Housing Counseling Program were able to avoid foreclosure of their homes. In a county that has a dearth of affordable housing, Cornerstones’ Housing Counseling program is one of the only options for low-income Hispanic households to obtain professional services to help them save their homes and reestablish their finances.