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Human ‘Jean’ Therapy Helps Homeless

Fairfax County kicks off second annual Jeans Day on Dec. 14.

The Board of Supervisors designated Dec. 14, 2012, as Jeans Day in Fairfax County at their Dec. 4 meeting. (Center) Jim Corcoran, president of The Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, holds the proclamation with Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova.

The Board of Supervisors designated Dec. 14, 2012, as Jeans Day in Fairfax County at their Dec. 4 meeting. (Center) Jim Corcoran, president of The Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, holds the proclamation with Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova. Photo courtesy of Fairfax County

Everyone knows that gene therapy can help scientists treat a number of debilitating diseases, but what about human “jean” therapy?

More About Jeans Day 2012

-- Interested organizations can register to participate in the initiative any time between now and Dec. 14, and can do so at http://jeansday20...>

-- More information about homelessness in Fairfax County, and the partnership to end it, is available at http://www.fairfa....

The homonyms might have more in common than you think, which is why the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors proclaimed Friday, Dec. 14 “Jeans Day,” an innovative approach to alleviating chronic homelessness in Fairfax County.

On Jeans Day 2012, Fairfax County is asking businesses, schools and community residents to pull on a pair of their favorite jeans to demonstrate their support for ending homelessness.

The day of community give-back is hosted by The Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness, The Connection Newspapers and Apple Federal Credit Union.

photo

Front, from left: Patricia Stevens, executive director of OP3; Michael O’Reilly, chairman of governing board, Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness; Jim Corcoran, president, Fairfax Chamber of Commerce; Dean Klein, director, Office to Prevent and End Homelessness (OPEH); Bill MacMillan, COC lead manager, OPEH; Shannon Steene, executive director, Good Shepherd Housing and Family Service; Stephanie Berkowitz, VP of Supportive Family Service, Northern VA Family Service; Glynda Mayo Hall, partnership development manager, OPEH. Second Row: Tom Barnett, program manager, OPEH; Mike Finkle, Family Housing and Homeless Services manager, OPEH; Julie Maltzman, COC manager, OPEH; Debbie Scaggs, Singles Housing/Hypothermia Prevention manager, OPEH; Jewell Mikula, executive director, Shelter House; Wendy Lemieux, communications specialist, OP3; Angie Carrera, partnership developer, OP3; Dianne Quebral, CSR program manager, OP3; VeeVee Coleman, Administrative Assistant, OPEH Back Row : Nikki Thomas-Campbell, information systems manager, DAHS; Dixon Martin Bowman Systems.

A popular fundraiser for homelessness and other causes nationwide, Jeans Day is a relatively simple idea. Companies go casual for a cause, inviting employees to wear their jeans to work in exchange for a $5 contribution to fight homelessness. Last year, more than 100 employers representing 3,000 employees participated in the initiative.

“We’re proud to partner with the county, through the Office to Prevent & End Homelessness, The Connection Newspapers and Apple Credit Union to provide an opportunity for businesses and their employees to participate in the robust work to end homelessness going on in our community,” said Fairfax Chamber President & CEO Jim Corcoran. “Northern Virginia businesses step up every day to support our community in many ways, but we’re especially excited about this opportunity because it’s a chance for employees to get involved directly.”

“Now, more than ever, we need you to get involved as we move forward with the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness. Everyone is in need of some type of help at one point in time or another,” said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova. “Now, we need your help and Jeans Day is a great way for you and your business to get involved to prevent and end homelessness in our community as we know it.”

Nearly 3,000 children, women and men face homelessness and the threat of severe temperatures and hunger today in the Fairfax County-Falls Church community, according to Dean Klein, executive director of Fairfax County’s Office to Prevent and End Homelessness (OPEH).

The majority of people without homes in our community are children and working families. Homelessness affects everyone, with social and economic costs to the community, including increased public costs for medical care and education.

“In Fairfax County, it’s easy to forget that there are homeless families here, homeless children in the schools, and that many people who are homeless here are actually working, but don’t make nearly enough money to afford housing,” said The Connection Publisher Mary Kimm. “The Connection is committed to raising awareness of homelessness and the need to provide permanent shelter, and to recognizing the good works of individuals and businesses in Northern Virginia.”

"I’m excited because Jeans Day is an easy avenue to get employees and their companies, and people of all ages, involved in learning about the challenges and solutions in preventing and ending homelessness,” Klein said. “Raising resources will provide opportunities to support permanent housing solutions for the homeless in our community.”