Nearly 10,000 residents representing 130 businesses, Fairfax County agencies, schools and organizations pulled on their favorite jeans Friday, Dec. 14 for the second annual Jeans Day—a powerful community initiative that aims to “Put the ZIP on Homelessness” through building awareness and fundraising.
“This is a fun way to dress, but a serious challenge for our community,” said Sharon Bulova, Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors during the Jeans Day 2012 ceremony held at the government center.
Bulova noted the county’s longstanding commitment to the issue by establishing the Office to Prevent and End Homeless (OPEH) in 2008. OPEH supports the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness which engages nonprofits, businesses, faith-based communities and county agencies in its efforts to implement the 10-year plan, which focuses on rapid re-housing and prevention by increasing the availability of permanent affordable housing.
“It’s not okay to have people living in tents or in their cars. . . . We have it within our power to end homelessness as we know it in Fairfax County, and Jeans Day is just one of many great ways we are doing just that,” Bulova said.
The day of community give-back was facilitated by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce (Fairfax Chamber), Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness, The Connection Newspapers and Apple Federal Credit Union. Participating organizations allowed employees or members to wear jeans to work Friday in exchange for a $5 contribution to the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent & End Homelessness.
Facts about Homelessness in Fairfax County
On Jan. 25, 2012, there were 1,534 people who were literally homeless in the Fairfax-Falls Church Community. Six hundred and ninety-seven of them were single individuals and 837 were people in families.
During the past year, the number of people who were homeless in the Fairfax-Falls Church Community declined by one percent (15 people) from the number counted in January 2011. Persons in families decreased by 5.2 percent (46 people) compared to 2011. The number of single adults increased by 4.5 percent (30 adults) compared to 2011.
The majority of the homeless are families and many work full time:
Close to 60 percent of homeless persons are in families.
More than 75 percent of children in homeless families are under the age of 11.
Nearly 60 percent of adults in homeless families work.
Lack of affordable housing is the main cause of homelessness.
Monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,134.
A family must earn $22.25 an hour to afford a one-bedroom apartment.
Eighty-two percent of homeless families earn less than $14.24 an hour.
More information about homelessness in Fairfax County, and the partnership to end it, is available at http://www.fairfa...>
“Jeans Day is an especially vibrant example of the meaningful impact we make when businesses, non-profits and government come together to raise awareness about an important issue and take action to help prevent it,” said Fairfax Chamber President and CEO Jim Corcoran. “The chamber and business community are proud to be a part of this powerful initiative."
Corcoran, who typically wears business suits as president of the Fairfax Chamber, said he went into a detailed explanation earlier that morning about his casual attire when he was speaking to a group of high-powered business executives. “The reason I went into such detail was to save my job,” he joked. “Please, don’t anyone suggest wearing a skirt next year.”
“By God, if we have to wear a skirt next year, we’ll call it a kilt,” joked Michael L. O’Reilly, Chairman of the Governing Board of Fairfax-Falls Church Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness. O’Reilly told the crowd that the Fairfax community is especially passionate and committed to the cause of ending homelessness. “For there to be one family, one child who is homeless is simply unacceptable.”
Dean Klein, the executive director of OPEH, said he was energized by the success of this year’s effort. “We have heard so much goodwill and positive feedback about our effort this year. The number of participants really is amazing and we are so pleased we have been able to increase our reach and impact this year. We have had such amazing collaborations from each sector of our community, including business, nonprofit, government, schools, faith and individuals.”
About the sponsors:
The Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce (Fairfax Chamber), the Voice of Business in Northern Virginia™, represents more than 625 member companies with nearly 500,000 employees throughout the region. Since 1925, the chamber has been working to build a strong business community by providing unparalleled access to business development and thought leadership opportunities; professional development and mentoring; business advocacy and strategic community partnerships. Learn more at www.fairfaxchambe.... See more Jeans Day 2012 photos at the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce flickr page: http://www.flickr...>
In 2008, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors established a 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness and the Office to Prevent and End homelessness (OPEH) to manage, coordinate and monitor day-to-day implementation of the community’s plan. A governing board governs the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness and, along with OPEH, engages community partners from nonprofits, businesses, the faith-based community, and county agencies in its efforts to implement the 10-year plan. More information is available at www.fairfaxcounty...>
The Connection Newspapers’ award-winning group of 15 weekly newspapers and online sites in Northern Virginia reaches more than 170,000 home and business readers every week. Last year, The Connection won the Virginia Press Association Award for Journalistic Integrity and Community Service for coverage of homelessness. The Connection provides targeted marketing tailored to individual business objectives, including print, web and social media. Visit www.ConnectionNew.... Free digital subscriptions are available at www.connectionnew...>
Through a lifelong partnership with anyone touched by education, Apple Federal Credit Union has been helping members achieve their dreams by offering competitive financial solutions, with dedicated personal service, since 1956 in Fairfax County. Apple has 21 branch locations in NOVA (more than any other Credit Union), access to 53,000-plus ATMs nationwide and offers a full suite of mobile solutions. Apple ranks in the Top 100 Credit Unions nationally in terms of asset size.
“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.”
Participating businesses, non-profits, civic organizations, and Fairfax County government offices and agencies include:
Apple Federal Credit Union
Asian American Chamber
Brain Injury Services, Inc.
Burdette Smith & Bish LLC
Centreville Eye Care Center
City of Fairfax Regional Library
Congregation Olam Tikvah
CPS Professional Services
Cultural Care Au Pair
Dominion Virginia Power (Springfield)
DSS, Office of Special Education Instruction, Assessment and ESY
Ernst & Young
Fairfax Church of Christ
Fairfax County Attorneys Office
Fairfax County Chairman's Office
Fairfax County Department of Administration for Human Services
Fairfax County Department of Code Compliance
Fairfax County Department of Family Services
Fairfax County Department of Information Technology
Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood & Community Services
Fairfax County Department of Planning & Zoning
Fairfax County Department of Purchasing
Fairfax County Department of Tax Administration
Fairfax County Dept of Housing
Fairfax County DPWES Land Acquisition Division
Fairfax County DSWCR
Fairfax County Family Services
Fairfax County Government DAHS
Fairfax County Government Department of Human Resources
Fairfax County Government
Fairfax County Health Department
Fairfax County Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court
Fairfax County Office of County Executive
Fairfax County Office of Elections
Fairfax County Office of Emergency Management
Fairfax County Office of Braddock District Supervisor, John C. Cook
Fairfax County Office of Dranesville Supervisor, John W. Foust
Fairfax County Office of Hunter Mill District Supervisor, Catherine Hudgins
Fairfax County Office for Women Domestic & Sexual Violence Services
Fairfax County Office of Public Private Partnerships
Fairfax County Office to Prevent and End Homelessness
Fairfax County Police Department
Fairfax County Retirement Administration Agency
Fairfax Presbyterian Church
Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board
Falls Church Housing and Human Services
FCPL Pohick Regional Library
Fairfax County Public Schools
FCPS After-School Program
FCPS Fairview Elementary
FCPS Fine Arts Office
FCPS Homeless Liaison
FCPS IT Service Desk
FCPS Parent Resource Center
FCPS Transportation Offices
FCPS Westbriar Elementary
FCPS Westgate Elementary
FCPS Due Process and Eligibility
FFXCO, Dept. of Tax Administration
First Christian Church, Falls Church
First Virginia Community Bank
FXCO Dept. Purchasing
Good Shepherd Housing & Family Services
Graham Road Elementary
Griffin-Owens and Associates
Group Z, Inc.
Hidden Creek CC
Holland & Knight LLP
Homewood Suites Dulles South
IT Solutions, LLC
Keller Williams Realty Reston/Herndon
Kositzka, Wicks & Company
Law Office of Margaret A. O'Reilly, PC
Louise Archer Elementary School
Marshall High School
Northern Virginia Family Service
Northern Virginia Mediation Service
Office of Braddock District Supervisor, John C. Cook
Office of Senator Mark R. Warner
Office of the County Attorney
Office of the Fairfax County Executive
Office to Prevent and End Homelessness
Our Daily Bread, Inc.
Parent Resource Center
Professor Miners Class GCH 411
Queenb Creative, LLC
Rotary Club of Centreville & Chantilly
Rotary Club of Falls Church
Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church
Shelter House, Inc.
Springfield Beauty Academy
Springfield Estates Elementary School
St. Katherine Paideia Preschool
St. Mary Orthodox Church
Steve Gladis Leadership Partners
Study Group of Northern VA Women CPAs
The Arc of Northern Virginia
The FCPS Parent Resource Center
The ILEX Group
The O'Reilly Law Firm
TRAINING SOLUTIONS, Inc.
Tysons Corner Center
Virginia Commerce Bank
Virginia Cooperative Extension
Vy Nails llc.
Willow House Jewelry by Sara Blaine
Workhouse Arts Center
WSP Environment & Energy