Promoting Positive Community-Shelter Relations at National Night Out

 Promoting Positive Community Shelter Relations - Bailey's Shelter National Night Out
From left to right: Officer D. Kim, Officer J. Wheeler, BCCS Shelter Director Jimmy Rogers and Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office Representative

National Night Out is an annual, nationwide campaign dedicated to bridging the community with law enforcement professionals and establishing positive community outreach and friendship with one another.

Participants all over the United States host National Night Out events, including NVFS’ own Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter (BCCS).

On Tuesday, Aug. 1, BCCS hosted National Night Out in Bailey’s Crossroads to promote positive relationships between law enforcement and the community’s citizens. Guests from BCCS were also in attendance, along with more than 50 other attendees, enjoying an evening of mingling, games and BBQ.

BCCS Advisory Board member Don Di Spirito said, “The [National Night Out] gathering was a luminous portrayal of vibrant community life and celebration. The acknowledgment of dignitaries and shelter leadership, especially the precious presence of the [shelter guests] collected together was the realization that a new community collaboration was indeed possible.”

Bridging the gaps in the community, particularly with homeless individuals and families, is important to NVFS and serves as a driving force behind our three shelters (BCCS, Hilda Barg and SERVE) and how they operate.

BCCS Shelter Director Jimmy Rogers stated, “We wanted to work with the police and first responders to collaborate and understand the strategy of engaging police with the shelter guests and how we can better support one another. Our goal was to provide transparency and communication between everyone, and it was very effective.”

Both attendees and shelter guests noted their appreciation for the work BCCS employees provide at the shelter, and the education that events like National Night Out offer for the community.

“Thank you so much for this. It was exactly what I needed,” a shelter guest shared after the event concluded.

BCCS is thankful for its relationships with local law enforcement and for all the departments do for our community.

This event wouldn’t have been possible without the support from the community, shelter staff and BCCS Advisory Board members Mary Lee and Don Di Spirito, who organized the event. When the community is able to come together with the collective intention of educating themselves on law enforcement, safety rules and, most important, enjoying one another’s company, it makes for an excellent evening of friendship and camaraderie.