77% of SERVE Shelter residents obtained stable housing upon their exit.

NVFS Press Release


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Tonya McCreary
Director of Agency Communications
NVFS Assuming Services Previously Provided by CMHS

Oakton, VA—April 14, 2008— Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) has assumed responsibility for the services previously provided by the Center for Multicultural Human Services (CMHS) effective April 1, 2008. Under an arrangement agreed to by the boards of both organizations, the services will now be referred to as Multicultural Human Services (MHS), a program of Northern Virginia Family Service.

NVFS’ President and CEO, Mary Agee, is clearly excited about the prospects. "This is a wonderful opportunity," she reported, "to combine effective service to the multicultural sector of the community with the reputation and professional infrastructure that have served NVFS and its constituents so well for 84 years."

According to 2006 Census Bureau figures, 33 percent of Fairfax County households speak a language other than English at home. Further, 27 percent of persons in the county report themselves as foreign-born. CMHS delivered quality services out of its Falls Church office to this diverse community, and across Northern Virginia, for over 25 years. "Through this new relationship, we look forward to strengthening our services and expanding our reach to help newcomers struggling to achieve their American dream," said Ricarda Dowling, former Director of Development for CMHS.

The services assumed by NVFS include multilingual, multicultural mental health and social services in over 30 languages, including a program for survivors of torture and severe trauma, multicultural housing assistance, school-based mental health services for cultural and language minority children, and more. The synergy between the two organizations’ constituents and services presents an opportunity for these vital services to have a broader reach while achieving new organizational efficiency.

With its long history of successful service to the community, NVFS will integrate MHS in a stable environment with a broad base of support. Its well-established ties to local businesses, foundations, and other community organizations will bolster the effectiveness of the program and make the services even more accessible to the community.

Northern Virginia Family Service is the largest private, nonprofit human service organization in Northern Virginia. Each year, nearly 34,000 individuals and families turn to NVFS to find housing and emergency services, early childhood programs, health & mental health services, workforce development programs, legal assistance, anti-hunger programs, and intervention & prevention programs. NVFS is an innovator of efficient and comprehensive service methods, and has been recognized nationally for its effectiveness in creating sustained financial and social independence for its clients.

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