Alexandria Column: And So Much More

Alexandria Column: And So Much More

Commentary–Community Lodgings

This is the first in a five-part series about Community Lodgings’ programs and services to the Alexandria community.

Pop quiz! Complete this sentence: Community Lodgings offers...

A. Affordable housing

B. Transitional housing

C. Youth programming/education

D. Adult/Community services at our Fifer Learning Center

E. All of the above

While “All of the above” is a safe bet for any multiple choice question, it’s also the correct answer.

“I had no idea you do all of those things” is a common response we hear from attendees of our one-hour Open Doors tours, held twice monthly at our Fifer Learning Center. The tour offers an overview of our programs, a walk-through of one of our transitional housing apartments and personal stories from staff members who attended our programs before joining our team.

Founded by eight Episcopal churches in 1987 to combat the rise in family homelessness, Community Lodgings is now the only nonprofit in Alexandria that offers both housing and youth education to the low-income families of Alexandria. Today, as we near our fourth decade of service to our community, we are proud of our accomplishments while knowing we have more work to do.

Here is a quick overview of our services, in case you are quizzed again:

  • Affordable housing – we rent 44 one, two and three bedroom apartments, housed in five buildings in the Arlandria area of Alexandria, at below-market rates. Prospective tenants must provide proof of income to qualify.

  • Transitional housing – six of those 44 apartments are earmarked for families transitioning from homelessness. Families accepted into our two-year transition program must be referred by the city’s Department of Community and Human Services and comply with all of our program requirements.

  • Youth Education Programs – our year-round program includes after school tutoring and a summer enrichment program for children enrolled in Alexandria City Public Schools, as well as mentoring for students in grades 6-12. Our trained staff and volunteers work closely with the child’s teachers to reinforce classroom instruction and prepare them for the Standards of Learning tests.

  • Adult/Community services – we assist parents of our Youth Education Program students and other adults with English Language Learning, parent/teacher conferences, translation, food assistance and other needs.

Want to know more? We invite you to attend an Open Doors tour, held the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m., or the third Thursday of each month at 12:30 p.m. All tours are held at our Fifer Learning Center, 607 Notabene Drive in Alexandria. Please call 703-549-4407 to schedule.

Jane Collins is the Community Lodgings communications/volunteer coordinator. You can reach her at