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Fairfax County church assistance programs.

The primary programs and resources available in Fairfax County that are run by churches are listed below. Each center varies in what they offer, and much of the aid may be in the form of referrals. In addition to providing direct financial or non-monetary assistance, case managers and social workers will work one-on-one with families and individuals to offer case management and self-sufficiency. So not only can residents receive free food, housing, or emergency financial assistance from churches, people can also access solutions such as job training and employment services.

Many of the programs and resources are offered as part of Social Services. This church based program resource includes shelter to the homeless, free food to the hungry, and clothing to those low income families in need. As indicated, self-sufficiency is important, and the social services that residents can be referred to help individuals recognize their abilities, find jobs, develop skills, and maintain their self-respect. Some of the financial assistance offered includes prescription medication, money to help pay their rent, utility bills, and aid for other expenses.

Food is available. This program provides up to a couple thousands meals or food boxes per year. Volunteers of social organizations, churches, civic groups and businesses prepare and serve the daily evening meal on behalf of local churches.

The Christ House on Wheels Food Delivery Program has a van which makes food deliveries to outlying areas and counties of the Diocese. Some churches offer this service, and it covers a total of 21 counties in northern Virginia.

Shelter and transitional housing is offered to the homeless and people on the verge of eviction in Fairfax County. For people who need a place to stay, the churches in the community may have facilities that afford families a safe, clean, and welcoming environment for people to stay at while they improve their lives and financial condition.

A thrift shop is located at Alexandria in Fairfax County. The goods sold at the store are affordable, and the center always welcomes donations of shoes and clothing, housewares, and small pieces of furniture. People from the community can shop at the church run thrift store.





Emergency Financial Assistance - Churches may be able to provide limited amounts of financial assistance and cash grants to needy individuals and families. The money has to be used to address a crisis, such as pay the rent or utility bills.

Transportation assistance, such as a car, may be provided too. A person who needs an automobile will need to be referred to a local church in Fairfax County, and they need to have a dire need. The referral must include a letter from a reliable source/agency and it needs to outline the needs of the person, why they need a car, and the referral must provide their own knowledge of that person. Although the car will be free (if qualified) recipients must be able to purchase license plates and insurance and of course they need to have a valid Virginia driver’s license.

Transitional Residences and housing is offered at some of the churches when they have capacity. Homeless families get the time and support they need to reestablish independence and self-sufficiency. Housing is offered for people after they have exited an emergency shelter.

If you apply, and are enrolled, recipients are provided with low-income housing and varying levels of financial assistance and social services during the precarious twelve to twenty-four months following their departure from an emergency shelter. Professional staff and volunteers at a church offer a wealth of Financial Literacy and Life Skills classes, personal case management, and employment training to residents. Participants recognize their worth as they live in private apartments, and this helps people move toward self sufficiency in an environment that values their dignity and pride.

Free baby and newborn supplies are distributed from Baby Needs Closet. Pick up formula, diapers, clothing, baby food, and diapering supplies. Parents can get additional help from information on resources, which are made available to a guardian or parent of a child that is 24 months old or younger. The Baby Closet is designed to assist a parent or guardian during an emergency or hardship that they may be facing.




Information and referral is a staple of the Fairfax churches. The office serves as a center for distributing information, guidance and referrals, including details on emergency financial assistance programs. The church volunteers or full time staff staff is available to consult with community groups and parishes that share the goals of the non-profit agency.

Immigration services are offered by churches as part of Immigrant Services. The goal of this program is to help immigrants and even refugees in the Fairfax County region to become self-sufficient and productive members of American society. This is done through offering bilingual outreach programs, including citizenship classes, a continuum of networking, immigration free legal services, and even English as a Second Language classes. Also, if an immigrant has a legal right to work, there are state and federal government laws to protect her or him against discrimination in the work place.

Christians Are Networking (CAN) from some churches may assist people with finding a job. The service is a faith-based ministry supporting people who are in career transition, and it can help job seekers by offering them free professional career counseling. Learn how to take advantage of networking opportunities that are available in Virginia, and learn how to work with other professionals. Sessions are held at St. Martin de Porres Senior Center.

Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry is available from partnership between churches and other local charities in the region. The pantry is based in Front Royal, Virginia, and is only open limited hours. Anyone who needs a meal or food is welcome to stop by, however people should call first. You can also only use the Loaves and Fishes pantry at most once per month.

Senior Services from regional churches – Anyone who is 60 years of age or older, regardless of their faith or religion, can access resources and assistance programs. Get help with maintaining independence and in reaching your full potential.

A variety of services are offered by churches in partnership with a Fairfax Virginia Senior Center. The goal is to prevent isolation of seniors and promote independence, wellness, and happiness. Programs will provide congregate meals and a wide variety of recreational, health, exercise, social, educational, and entertainment activities.

Congregate meals include nutritious lunches and breakfasts, which are served daily. Transportation is provided by the Alexandria Office on Aging and Adult Services for certain trips, and the program covers a select area of the county. Weekly shopping trips are arranged to local markets and grocery stores. Get more details on programs that provide help for seniors.





Educational and recreational activities include English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, computer skills training, community presentations, reminiscence and discussion groups, games, professional entertainers, movies, and holiday parties.

Senior information and referral is available at a church. Get help in reaching outward to answer the needs of senior citizens and the elderly throughout the Fairfax County diocese regarding services provided by other non-profit agencies. Get information on how to go about getting help in the areas of consultation, physical and mental health, financial and legal matters, home care and long-term care management, transportation, housing, employment and jobs, and other social services. The church will try to coordinate with Diocesan parishes and local churches to support seniors with services and assistance programs.

Since there are many churches that may assist (such as locations in Arlington, Alexandra, and Fredericksburg) it is recommended to dial 211 for referrals. All information given to callers will direct them to a nearby parish that may be able to help.


By Jon McNamara

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