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New Hope Housing - Newsbriefs

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Newsbriefs Rethinking Homelessness since 1977

New Hope Housing, Administration Office 8407-E Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA 22309 703-799-2293

Volume 22 Issue 13

January 13, 2017

The Journey Beyond ‘Three Hots and a Cot’ in Mount Vernon Eleanor U. Kennedy Shelter helping homeless for 30 years. By Tim Peterson In late August, Mount Vernon resident “Maria” was released from the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center after being incarcerated for one year. Maria is in her late 20s and asked to remain anonymous. Due to her convictions, she couldn’t go back to live with either her mother or father. After getting out, she first went to live in a motel. Maria’s probation officer recommended she contact the Eleanor U. Kennedy Shelter for the Homeless on Richmond Highway. On Sept. 13, she got a bed at Kennedy. “They welcomed me with open arms,” Maria said. At Kennedy, Maria met with a case manager and employment manager. Within two weeks, she secured a job in the Merrifield area. She takes public transportation for a commute that lasts 45 minutes each way, but she loves having the work. Now, Maria said she’s been clean of drugs and alcohol for one year and five months, and is pursuing several leads for independent housing. The road hasn’t been easy. Recently, she said, “I was on the verge of giving up on everything, about to quit.”

The Kennedy Shelter off Richmond Highway in Mount Vernon is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It opened Dec. 14, 1986 as the South County Community Shelter and was renamed for Eleanor U. Kennedy in September 1989.

But Maria called her mother, who told her she had come too far to do that. “I shook myself, I didn’t want to relapse, I’ve gotta move on,” she said. Maria said she has a strong support system, and owes much to the staff at Kennedy, who provide her with dinner and a bag lunch, and a lot of encouragement. “They’re not here to shut you down and judge you,” Maria said, “but help you get back to the real world. They’re very positive. I see all these people here and I don’t want to let them down.” The Kennedy Shelter is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It opened Dec. 14, 1986 as the South County Community Shelter and was renamed for Eleanor U. Kennedy in September 1989. But the building dates back further than that. The single-story rectangular building housing Kennedy was built in 1918 and served as the Camp A. A. Humphreys Pump Station and Filter Building — water treatment — until 1970 when the treatment equipment was removed and it was effectively abandoned. Fairfax County began leasing the former water treatment facility in 1986 for housing homeless people, which required significant exterior and interior renovations. The shelter has been run by the Mount Vernon-based nonprofit New Hope Housing, which staffs it with seven case managers and former shelter director-now director of programs for single adults Tonya Golden. New Hope Housing executive director Pam Michell said that in the 1970s and ’80s, just getting people safe in a shelter was the priority — to provide them “three hots and a cot.”

By Tim Peterson

The Journey Beyond ‘Three Hots and a Cot’ in Mount Vernon Eleanor U. Kennedy Shelter helping homeless for 30 years.

Now, Michell said, “the shelter is a tool, we’re more focused on finding housing than ever before. And always the emphasis is on employment.” To that end, Kennedy has these figures to show since their fiscal year began on July 1:

     

65 clients moved to market rate housing; 8 clients moved in with family, thanks sometimes to mediation from New Hope Housing; 7 clients moved to permanent supportive housing (PSH); 2 clients moved to public housing; 1 client moved with a Housing Choice Voucher (HCV); 1 client moved to assisted living.

Overall, Kennedy has housed 84 clients since July, 12 of whom were veterans. Since the end of November, Kennedy has also been a no turn-away site for Fairfax County’s hypothermia prevention program each night. Do to the already strained size of the shelter, the men must go into a trailer off to the side of the main building and the women sleep on the floor of the dining area. “There’s not a lot of space here,” Golden said, pointing out what is immediately clear walking through the shelter. Michell described Kennedy as “bursting at the seams.” Not to mention the historic building isn’t Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant and more closely resembles a fallout shelter than emergency housing. Those seams will eventually get some relief, however, thanks to the Human Services and Community Development bond that was passed by voters in the November election. The $85 million out of a total $312 million for all the bond questions is dedicated for a couple purposes according to Fairfax County: replacing the Sully Senior Center and building a new Lorton Community Center ($37 million), and to “renovate, expand or replace four emergency shelters for people who are homeless: Patrick Henry, Embry Rucker, Eleanor Kennedy and Bailey’s ($48 million).” Unfortunately for Kennedy, the historic and environmental significance of the current structure and land upon which it sits make it impossible to either expand or tear down and rebuild on the same property. Which means Fairfax County needs to find a new location for the shelter. Michell said the search is underway. Finding the right balance, she said, will be difficult. “What’s important is to be close to public transportation and access to things you need, like the South County Government Center, mental health facilities and shopping centers,” Michell said. That means not being in the middle of a neighborhood, which also presents problems due to the ever-changing population at Kennedy. “We do have some clients with numerous barriers: We provide service to sexual offenders, violent offenders,” said Golden. “So we have to consider that in being close to schools, daycares.” What Michell and Golden are certain of is that the new Kennedy should include a combination of both shelter space and temporary to permanent housing — think efficiencies and one-bedroom apartments — critical for helping individuals transition from shelter life. Both women said this model has been extremely successful at the Bailey’s Community Shelter in Falls Church and Mondloch Place, which has 20 efficiencies housing 20 chronically homeless single adults who now pay rent and have signed leases. For now, though, Golden said the clients feel safe at Kennedy. “We’ve been making it work all these years,” she said. “But I do feel hopeful, we’ll be able to find a property and build on it.”

New Hope Housing Honors the Memory & Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968


On Call RSS Eleanor U. Kennedy Shelter

Interesting & Fun FactsI love to help people in need and I am excited about joining the New Hope Housing Team! In my spare time I love to read comic books and attend local Cosplayer for Comic Con and Anime conventions!


On Call RSS Eleanor U. Kennedy Shelter

Interesting & Fun Facts

I was born in 1991 and graduated HS in 2009. I write poetry. Enjoy hanging out with friends and spending time with my grandmother.

Article Courtesy of Diabetes Self Management Magazine

Staff Quarterly Meeting

Tuesday, January 24th 12:30pm - 3:30pm Aldersgate Church (Guback Hall) 1301 Collingwood Road Alexandria, VA 22308 RSVP Your Attendance With Your Supervisor

Webinar Available On Demand January 17, 2017 at 12:00pm

Maintaining Personal and Fiscal Resiliency During Tough Economic Times Learn how to develop a "stress plan" to visualize a more positive financial future. Understand the process of prioritizing your needs and exploring the full extent of your assets.

To View Webinar On Demand visit the INOVA EAP Website: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Click on “Member Login” Enter Username: newhopehousing Enter Password: Mondloch To access webinar, on homepage click on “Online Seminars” link.

You no longer need to register in advance to attend Online Seminars at a set time. Seminars will be prerecorded and uploaded on the third Tuesday of each month. If you have questions, type them into the "Ask a question" box. You will receive an e-mailed answer within five business days. All questions and answers will be posted on the FAQ tab. Please get prior approval from your supervisor if you will view webinar during work hours.

New Hope Housing congratulates Development Team Special Projects Coordinator Nicole Dillon and her husband Michael on their exciting news !

LaKesha McGuire sends Kudos to:

Ollie Dawson sends Kudos to:

HUGE shout out to Pam, Jo, and Shawn Valentine for making the NHH IT overhaul happen. We are well on our way to creating a more efficient and collaborative workspace. Change is good!

Byrd- Great training and thanks for all your input and support.

Jan, I appreciate your listening ear and I value the countless times you roll up your sleeves to get your hands dirty. You are always eager to help, and you are one of the most selfless people I know. You have no idea how much I’ve learned from you. I am also very inspired by your ideas. You help me to see life through a different lens and have influenced my perspective on numerous occasions. Shawn aka “Mr. V” I am truly thankful for every time you go the extra mile to break things down. You never cease to help me understand how decisions are made. Thanks for the non-profit finance 101 sessions. There is nothing like a free education, and because of you I learn something new each and every day. Thanks for the seat at the table.

William- Thanks for continuing to ask questions and for a great training. Lorraine- Great job with the training and sharing your ideas. Sara- Great job with the training, for all your questions, and input. Keep up the good work! Dexter- Thanks for all the updates, questions, and all of your dedication to the job.

Kenneth Smith sends Kudos to: West for always lending a helping hand.

Latasha for making her self available to staff. Jo, you are doing an exceptional job of leading from behind. Because of your confidence in me, I’ve grown stronger, wiser, and more competent in so many different areas of expertise in the organization. We are a great team, and with your guidance I am prepared to take on anything. Shaun aka “Jr.” my days are full of tears from laughing so hard because of you. We worker bees get it done and with quality. I enjoy collaborating with you and admire your skills. You know your stuff and are always on top of it. You go girl!

Simajah for always helping staff with the needs of the clients. Jo for always pointing me in the right direction

Chavon Bell sends Kudos to: Vince! Thank you for putting up with me not knowing the correct program and grant codes to put on my disbursements and other documentation. You are awesomely helpful!

Yvonne Kedoin sends Kudos to:

Tek- Thank you for always responding immediately whenever I have a question.

The entire Kennedy team for their help during my transition here. But, especially to Anthony, Bernatria, Chandra, Luis, Melissa, Ollie, Priscilla, Qui'va, Rosa, Shanice, Steve L., and Tonya Golden!

Sami- Thank you for always checking with us to make sure that the Case Managers have what they need. Shawn V- Thank you for making sure that we always have what we need to function.

Nicole Dillon sends Kudos to:

Dana- Thank you for having the answers.

Bahira thank you for the work that you are doing for our veterans in Alexandria.

LaKesha- Thank you for keeping us oiled and running!

LaKesha thank you for your work in implementing the new copiers, box, and the new computers.

Nicole- Thank you for always making a way for our clients.

Sharina thank you for all that you do for the NHH families. Your passion and commitment does not go unnoticed.

Martha- Thank you for making sure my client’s needs are met.

Jan- Thank you for always being a positive spirit. Reed- Thank you for handling my clients repairs in a timely manner. Shaun D for submitting our payroll and always letting us know in advance if there is an error.

Outreach Counselor (Full Time)-Max's PlaceProvide case management and house coverage 8am-4pm Monday-Friday at Max's Place. Max's Place is part of New Hope Housing’s Permanent supportive housing programs, serving single adults with severe and untreated mental illness. Applicants must have a BA/MA degree and considerable experience working with adults with serious mental illness; ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing; experience with chronically homeless adults; strong counseling and crisis intervention skills; flexibility, creativity, and leadership skills; able to make decisions independently and work autonomously and as part of a team. Some evening hours are required. Microsoft Office experience. Must have a valid driver’s license and be able to drive agency vehicles as needed. $42,000/ EOE/ADA employer that values diversity! On Call Resident Service Specialists- Kennedy Shelter Responsibilities include monitoring the shelter, answering the phones, greeting visitors, and importantly interacting in a positive manner with our residents. Must be flexible, dependable, and havethe ability to work with a diversified group of individuals. A High School diploma or GED is necessary, and previous experience with the homeless mentally ill a plus. Successful candidates will be called to duty when we are short staffed. Hours are flexible, not scheduled, and you must be willing to cover shifts at a moment’s notice. $14.13 an hour. EOE/ADA that values diversity. If interested, please send resume to New Hope Housing is proud to be an EOE that values diversity!

If you have moved, please remember to update HR with your new mailing address by filling out the “Change of Address” form in ADP (located on the main page) and submit to LaKesha McGuire at the New Hope Housing admin office.

Lastly, if you have moved to another state, it is very important that you complete a new state tax withholding form and submit to payroll accountant Shaun Dean. Otherwise, you could end up with a tax liability at tax time.

New Hope Housing - Newsbriefs


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NHH Quarterly Mtg.


Board Meeting 30

Team Meetings




Location ACS EUKS

ACS Team EUKS Team

Times 2pm 1pm

Every Wed Every Thu

Every 1st and 3rd Tuesday Rotating Locations of each month

PSH Team

Community Services Team

Name Yvette Roberts Tonya Henderson Lorene Lawson Yvonne Kedoin Celestine Chew Katrina Fleet Londrea Dudley LaKesha McGuire Kimberly Kardelis Samantha Smyth


Month January January January January January January January January January January


Birth Day 5 9 9 12 12 13 17 20 23 25


Every 1st Monday of each month






Stephen Maxey




Veronica Letsinger




Anthony Defreitas




Paul Smith




Qui'va Burroughs




Tomarr Brash




Dana Murray-Tonks




Celestine Chew




Sharina Jagoonanan




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