Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Yes to Co-location of Center, Library and LCAC

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Yes to Co-location of Center, Library and LCAC

The Lorton Community Center plans are scheduled to be reviewed at the Planning Commission meeting Tuesday. The county position has strong support among local nonprofits who provide services in Mt Vernon District as well as the Fairfax NAACP.

The Fairfax NAACP, the South County Task Force for Human Services, and the South County Leadership Council (all the nonprofits in Mt Vernon who work on human services and affordable housing including United Communities, New Hope Housing, etc.) have all submitted testimony in favor of locating the community center at the proposed site along with the Lorton Community Action Center and the Library.

As Chair of the Housing Committee for Fairfax NAACP, I submitted a letter pointing out that LCAC serves thousands of low-income people of color who will be better served if LCAC is co-located with the with the new Community Center and the Library. The site proposed by the county is the only one big enough to accommodate all three services.

Note that most of LCAC clients are minorities and many are extremely low income. In 2018, the LCAC served about 2,600 people, 660 of whom made below about $30,000. Forty-four percent of those served were African-American, 9 percent Asian and 11 percent multi-racial. More than 40 percent of the households served are headed by single mother; 70 percent have children and 34 percent are senior and/or disabled households.

Given the goals of OneFairfax to provide residents with the supports needed to thrive, it is clear that LCAC’s efforts should be expanded in the place convenient to these residents.

Mary Paden


South County Task Force for Human Services