Fairfax County, Virginia is a populous (13.5% of Virginia’s population) and affluent county outside of Washington, DC.
We know it well; the Alliance has been working in Fairfax County through a grant from the Freddie Mac Foundation for a little over two years. Fairfax has great schools, low unemployment and – most importantly – is doing a great job of ending homelessness.
Ready to move yet?
Earlier this month the Chairman of the Governing Board for the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness, Mike O’Reilly, released the results of this strategy in Snapshot 2010, the first in an annual series of reports on the progress made towards their ten year plan to end homelessness.
The results speak for themselves:
- Overall homelessness decreased by 14% from 2007 to 2010
- Chronic homelessness decreased by almost 35% from 2007 to 2010
- From 2009 to 2010 alone, the number of families experiencing homelessness decreased 16%
Chairman O’Reilly points out that despite being a very wealthy area, a family earning minimum wage could not afford housing in Fairfax – even if they worked 24 hours a day. To combat this shortage of affordable housing, Fairfax has undertaken aggressive landlord outreach, development of targeted housing options and set the goal of creating 2,650 new affordable housing units.