Suezette Steinhardt, executive director of Family PASS with clients of the organization, which helps families facing homelessness. Family PASS will host a major fundraiser Tuesday, April 30 at Riverbend Country Club in Great Falls.
Great Falls A mother of four children, Josephine Rivera didn’t have many options after becoming a victim of domestic abuse. After her husband was arrested, she was forced to support those children, ages 8 to 18, on an $8 an hour salary, and she soon found herself homeless.
That’s where Family PASS (Preservation and Strengthening Services) came in. A nonprofit serving families around the county, Family PASS helps provide housing, and later training, education and other services designed to keep homelessness from happening again.
“Our goal is to help families find a better situation, which allows them to become productive, educated, trained members of society,” said Erin Brahms, a volunteer with Family PASS. “More than 1,700 people in this county are homeless, with a third of them children under 12, and to get families out of those situations, it requires training and education.”
Rivera was able to obtain stable housing after getting in contact with Family PASS. Soon she was able to enroll in English for Speakers of Other Languages and a GED program, and later personal care assistant training.
She currently works full time at a nursing home as a personal care assistant, and works an additional 24 hours a week for another home care service agency, receiving health insurance for her family and receiving no welfare assistance.
Family PASS will host its first major fundraising event Tuesday, April 30, at Riverbend Country Club in Great Falls from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at The Spring Soiree and Silent Auction.
“We’ve done events like this before on a much smaller scale, but we have a lot of families on our waiting list trying to get into the program, and we’re limited only by our funds,” Brahms said.
The event’s silent auction will include items such as a one week villas rental in Tuscany, a golf threesome with former Redskins player Charles Mann at RTJ Country Club, a beach house rental in the Outer Banks, four seats in the owner’s suite at a Washington Redskins game and more. The soiree will also feature door prizes and goodie bags for the first 200 people to arrive.
Allan Steinhardt, board member and co-founder of Family PASS, said that in the six years since the organization’s founding, they have served more than 200 clients from more than 70 families. More information about Family PASS and the April 30 event can be found at www.familypassfairfax.org.