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Marching Against Homelessness

In an effort to raise awareness and money to fight homelessness in Reston, more than 400 volunteers from local faith communities and youth groups marched on Sunday afternoon.

Starting at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, the marchers finished at St. Anne's Episcopal Church, helping to raise $10,000 for Reston Interfaith, which runs the shelter and the Reston food bank.

"We hope that this is the first of many annual walks where we can all turn out and make a difference for so many people in our community," said Kerrie Wilson, Reston Interfaith's executive director.

At a similar fund-raising walk last month, Reston Interfaith brought in $3,580, largely from a Comstock Homes contribution.

Del. Ken Plum, who marched alongside the volunteers on the walk, said poverty and homelessness are bigger problems in Reston and Fairfax County than most people realize. But with efforts like the march on Sunday, he said, the plight of homelessness can be lifted.

"Eventually we'll eliminate homelessness as we should, being the richest nation in the world," he said.

Reston Interfaith estimates there are approximately 2,000 homeless people in Fairfax County, 39 percent of whom are children. Last year, the organization served 13,000 low-income people overall. Also, more than 500 homeless families stayed in the Embry Rucker Shelter last year, said Amanda Andere, Reston Interfaith's director of development.