Grant awarded to Loudoun Family Transitional Housing Program!
The Volunteers of America Chesapeake Loudoun Homeless Services Center seeks to provide shelter and supportive services to men, women and children facing homelessness in Loudoun County, VA.
Located on Meadowview Road, LHSC is home to 4 programs: an Emergency Shelter, A Drop-In Center, A Cold Weather Shelter and a Transitional Housing Program. Recently, the Freddie Mac Foundation provided a grant of $50,000 towards general support for the Transitional Housing Program. We sat down with Ms. Brandy, a resident in the program to discuss how it has helped her and her family.
Ms. Brandy: I came here [to the Family Transitional Housing Program] thorough the Emergency Shelter. I wasn’t able to afford the bills and lost my home. When I arrived I had the opportunity to put my name on a waiting list for a spot in the Program.
VOA Chesapeake: How does the process work after you put your name on the list?
Ms. Brandy: Well, when a space becomes available, the next step is an interview and they ask you about your credit, previous renting history, your job history, mental health, incarceration. You have to be really honest, they’re here to help you but you have to be ready to get help and follow the rules.
VOA Chesapeake: What appealed to you about the program?
Ms. Brandy: Well it was an opportunity for my whole family to be together and I knew from being in the shelter that there were programs on the transitional side that would benefit all of us.
VOA Chesapeake: What are some of those programs?
Ms. Brandy: They have tutoring and things for the kids and on Tuesday nights there are groups for parents. I personally enjoy the nutritionist because we can give her suggestions or ask questions and she’ll go do the research for us and then discuss when she comes back. We try foods we’ve never tried before, that’s always interesting.
VOA Chesapeake: What is the next step in the program?
Ms. Brandy: Well, since I’m here I’ve been looking for a better paying job and part of the program requires you to save a certain amount of money each month, so its teaching me how to budget so when I’m on my own I’ll be ok. I have my name on the waiting list for the off-site transitional program as well so that’s the next step.
The Loudoun Family Transitional Housing Program offers 8 on site units as well as 7 vouchers for off-site housing. Residents are required to continue saving each month, meet regularly with their case manager and attend groups targeted to their specific life skills needs.
VOA Chesapeake: What are your goals after the program?
Ms. Brandy: It feels good to talk about “what’s next” for me and my family! We’re going to get our own place and just continue to grow and get better as a family. My son is doing well in school; I have a new baby so I really have to be ready to take on all these responsibilities again. We’re getting there.
To learn more about the Loudoun Family Transitional Housing Program or any of the other programs offered at the Loudoun Homeless Services Center please visit our HOMELESS SERVICES section at www.voachesapeake.org