NVFS Receives Grant from Dominion Foundation to Support Homeless Services

Northern Virginia Family Service operates three homeless shelters in Northern Virginia with a goal to prevent homelessness from recurring through Rapid Re-Housing.

(Oakton, Va. – Dec. 19, 2016) Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS), a human services nonprofit organization that operates two emergency shelters in the greater Prince William area and one shelter in Fairfax County as part of its continuum of services, was the recipient of a $20,000 grant awarded recently by the Dominion Foundation, the charitable arm of Dominion Energy. The grant will be used to support all of NVFS’ homeless services, which are based on a Rapid Re-Housing model that aims to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring.

According to Stephanie Berkowitz, president and CEO of NVFS, the organization’s homeless services division serves about 1,500 individuals each year.

“When clients enter one of our shelters, they immediately set a 30-day exit goal,” she said. “We partner them with a Housing Counselor and a Housing Locator to provide training on the basics of renting and budgeting, which includes understanding the rights and responsibilities as outlined in a lease.”

Along with its wraparound service approach to support its clients, NVFS also offers tutoring and educational support on topics such as parenting, financial literacy and job readiness.

Berkowitz noted that the grant from Dominion will enable NVFS to achieve its goals for fiscal year 2017 and explore new opportunities for sustainable resources. “This generous contribution from Dominion will literally make the difference for hundreds of vulnerable Northern Virginia residents,” she said.

“Dominion is proud to be a longtime sponsor and partner of Northern Virginia Family Service,” said Deborah T. Johnson, regional policy director for Dominion Virginia Power. “For more than 20 years, we have supported, among other needs, the organization’s Hunger Resource Center and homeless shelter. Also, we partnered to raise funds several years ago for NVFS’s Georgetown South Child Development Center in Prince William County.”

In the fourth quarter of 2016, the Dominion Foundation awarded $1 million through a competitive grant process to 140 nonprofit organizations in 13 states to address critical community needs, with special emphasis on programs that provide shelter, access to health care and food security in areas served by Dominion. More than 300 applications were considered with selections made based on an organization’s demonstrated ability to serve communities, meet basic human needs and prevent future need.

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