Homeless Survey Highlights Urgent Need
for Supportive Housing

 

The Lamb Center and leading nonprofit affordable housing developer Wesley Housing announce a strategic partnership to create much-needed supportive housing in the City of Fairfax. In the immediate term, the partners are applying for a Special Use Permit application with Fairfax City officials for the redevelopment of the Hy Way Motel site (9640 Fairfax Blvd, Fairfax, VA) into a five-story residential/mixed-use community with 54-studio apartments and office spaces on the ground floor of the building. The property will house residents with very low incomes, at or below 30% of the Area Median Income ($29,910 for a single person, HUD 2022). 

Fairfax County Point-in-Time Survey released today affirms the urgent need for supportive housing. The survey shows there were 1,191  people experiencing homelessness in Fairfax County on the night of the 2022 Point-in-Time Count. This is a slight decrease of 3 percent (31 people) from 2021. Addressing the challenges of homelessness is a priority need in our community, as highlighted in the housing goals of the Fairfax County Five-Year Consolidated Plan. Developing a minimum of 5,000 new affordable housing units over the next 15 years is a critical focus area of the County’s action plan.  

“It’s good to see homelessness in the county trending down, but the long-term solution is supportive housing,” said Lamb Center Executive  Director Tara Ruszkowski. “Our project in Fairfax City will provide critical supportive services centered in human dignity. Supportive housing  provides stability that decreases the recurrence of homelessness and reduces the draw on public resources.” Ruszkowski added.   

Residents at the new Fairfax development will receive on-site case management and other wrap-around support. Case managers will help each tenant formulate and achieve individual goals such as securing income or work, improving physical and mental health conditions, and maintaining housing. Case managers will also provide skills training to improve individuals’ ability to budget, manage medication, maintain employment, and develop positive social supports. 

“Amid a housing crisis, we have to get creative when it comes to boosting permanent supportive housing options for vulnerable community members,” said Wesley Housing President/CEO Shelley Murphy. “Pairing Wesley Housing’s development experience with The Lamb  Center’s expertise in serving the homeless population will ensure a high-quality property that meets the needs of very low-income members of the community and supports Fairfax County’s overall housing goals.”  

About Wesley HousingWesley Housing, a leading nonprofit developer in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia, has been working to provide affordable rental housing for individuals and families for nearly 50 years. Since its founding, Wesley Housing has emerged as a  premier developer of affordable housing. Wesley Housing has acquired or developed over 2,700 rental units, providing quality housing for thousands of at-risk individuals and families each year. Wesley Housing supplements housing with supportive services to build up the lives of its residents, including low- and moderate-income families, older adults, and individuals with disabilities and/or chronic diseases. For more information, please visit www.wesleyhousing.org and follow @WesleyHousing on social media.

About The Lamb Center – The Lamb Center is a daytime drop-in center for homeless individuals in the central Fairfax area. Since opening its doors in 1992, thousands of guests have been welcomed and served. The Lamb Center provides a variety of services without cost to its guests, including breakfast, lunch, showers, laundry service, case management, Bible studies, housing and job counseling, AA meetings, a nurse practitioner clinic, a dental clinic, and much more. The Lamb Center partners with both Fairfax City and Fairfax County to provide approximately 20 guests each week with paid jobs maintaining city parks and public spaces. The Lamb Center is sustained through generous community support from over 100 churches, more than 2000 individual donors, dozens of local businesses, and hundreds of volunteers. For more information, please visit www.thelambcenter.org and follow us on Facebook.