$100 helps Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services provide a new family with funds to cover moving expenses, enabling them to take the first step to self-sufficiency.
Good Shepherd Housing & Family Services, Inc.
For more than 40 years, GSH has helped end homelessness and enable self-sufficiency by providing affordable housing and emergency financial services to working households in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Last year alone we helped more than 1,000 working households who were unstably housed or were, in fact, experiencing an episode of homelessness.
One small setback for a rent-burdened family spending more than 30% of their income on housing--an illness, an unexpected automobile issue, or loss of work hours or employment-could mean the loss of housing. A single small challenge for someone living paycheck to paycheck can quickly turn into a cycle of homelessness and create further and more significant barriers to affordable housing that are difficult to overcome.
As a landlord managing over 80 affordable rental properties, GSH helps these vulnerable households with long-term, permanent affordable housing solutions. Once we are able to secure housing for our clients, we then provide them with support services to help them become more resilient.
Our housing is not only the "bricks and sticks". Rather, our housing coupled with support services is the kind of housing that gives households a fresh start to a new future. Our housing gives them hope, transforming lives, neighborhoods and our whole community.
Our current programs address a variety of needs our clients face:
- Emergency Services Assistance Program (ES). We help keep households in their own homes when they face evictions and utility disconnections by providing small financial grants. Grant applicants are carefully evaluated for factors that lead to long-term housing stability, helping us keep households at risk of homelessness from losing their home.
- Apartments-Budgeting-Counseling Housing Program (ABC). We help working households as well as households with fixed incomes to obtain and secure their housing, by providing clients access to affordable housing via GSH-leased and owned units. Once tenants are accepted into the program and sign a lease, they receive ongoing case management that includes budget and credit counseling along with other supportive & wraparound services.
- Housing as Top Priority Program (HTP). The main goal of the HTP Program is housing stability for homeless or at-risk individuals and families. The Community Case Manager will assess each client based on their current need and ability to become self-sufficient. Stable housing is found in the community and community case management is provided to ensure the participant(s) remain stable in their housing. Short-term financial assistance is provided to HTP clients for security deposits, first month rental payments, and also eviction prevention. Case management is available for up to one year.
- Children's Resources Program. We help ensure that children in our housing programs do not miss out on critical after-school and extracurricular enrichment activities simply because their families are low income. This long standing program provides our children with school supplies, holiday gifts, access to summer camps, music lessons, and winter coats. We even send children to local STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs to encourage their education in science and math. Eighty-three percent of our clients are families with children.
Within two years, most of our residents become self-sufficient. They reach a measure of financial independence allowing them to sign for leases in their own name. They have improved their credit scores, enhanced their income and reduced their debt burden, enabling them to remain stably housed wherever they choose to live.
We give our clients the path forward, support and, most importantly, the affordable housing they need to become more resilient and independent.