From left, Tiffany Ngoc Thuan Thai, 11, Trung Anh Van Thai, Phoung Nga Thi Tran, Stewart Trung Thang Thai, 9 and David Trung Tien Thai at the Reston YMCA Saturday, March 10. The family was one of several that were awarded YMCA memberships through the YMCA and a partnership with Reston Interfaith.
Photo by Alex McVeigh.
Reston Reston Interfaith and the YMCA Fairfax County Reston have teamed up in an effort to assist those transitioning out of homelessness. The YMCA donated 35 memberships to Reston Interfaith clients who are in the transitional housing program.
Reston YMCA Board Chair Boofie O’Gorman said this partnership was a result of the YMCA branching out in the community.
"This came as a result of a board member’s idea that we really need to think of ways to work with the many organizations that serve this community," she said. "This partnership, and any future ones, will be about bringing in as many ideas as we can with the idea of helping as many people as we can."
Scott Shannon, board member at the Reston YMCA, said that in his previous experiences with Reston Interfaith, "it’s clear that we have many goals in common."
The donated memberships will allow families to access the facility’s fitness and aquatic center, as well as have access to childcare services. Gene Jones, vice president of operations for YMCA of Metropolitan Washington, said he and Reston Interfaith CEO Kerrie Wilson spent a lot of time figuring out how their two organizations could work together.
"We’re so thrilled with this partnership. Kerrie and I have been brainstorming for quite a while about programs we could do together," he said. "And we’re hoping this will lead to many other future partnerships."
Several families who will receive memberships came to the YMCA Saturday, March 10 for an introduction and tour of what the facility can offer. Davenia Boyer, who along with her daughter Adrianna, 16 and son Jamil, 2 were among the recipients.
"It’s a beautiful facility, and I think the kids are especially excited to learn how to swim here," she said. "They’ve never had that opportunity before."
Reston Interfaith currently provides transitional housing assistance to 22 families. Their Embry Rucker Community Shelter is one of six shelters in Fairfax County designed to provide emergency housing for men, women and families.
Greg White, CEO of Reston Interfaith said he appreciated the YMCA’s "very generous gesture."
"When you walk into this YMCA, you see a sign about how they aim to change lives," he said. "That’s what we’re about too, which is why we’re so pleased with this arrangement."