LINK food and financial aid programs.

Whether a family is facing a crisis or has a short term hardship, LINK provides support. The services are extensive and try to meet the basic needs of eligible low income families. If the staff at the charity can't help, then referrals may be provided. The charity only supports Herndon, Ashburn, and Sterling Virginia.

Some of the resources are as follows. A pantry may have a box of food or serve a holiday meal in Loudon County. Housing assistance will include emergency shelters in the city of Sterling as well as access to permanent housing. Much more is available too for seniors and the vulnerable in the county.

The volunteers at the organization may be able to assist people that have a referral from their social worker. Once that has been done, there may be help on a walk-in basis as part of their Emergency Services. While in some cases the agency may have money to meet the applicant's request, in many other instances referrals are given. They are intended to address a crisis.

-A food basket can feed a family for a few days.
-Grants may be available to prevent homelessness, and that will be funds for rent or past due energy bills.
-Clothing may be issued to keep a child or senior warm.
-LINK Inc. can provide referrals to clinics (see below) or prescription medication programs.

The Food Pantry offers aid to prevent hunger. The center will pass out non-perishable food items and  on an emergency basis to income eligible Loudon County residents. This service in run in partnership with other groups, such as Good Shepherd Alliance Shelters, the Herndon Harbor House, and others.

LINK Inc. staff works with the applicant to assess the situation. They will need to gather information and understand the challenge in an effort to resolve the crisis. Anyone from the region can then be referred to a combination of assistance programs. They can be available within LINK or the referral may be to outside agencies in Loudon County that can provide long-term aid to those in need.

Assistance for housing is available for different needs. If a member of the community is homeless, then shelters are used. Also, as noted above, homeless prevention is also available as part of the emergency services.




LINK Transitional Housing can last from a few weeks to up to 24 months. This program allows individuals from the community to continue to work towards goals that will lead to stability. Guests of this program will be able to benefit from employment services, independent living, learn how to increase skills and income, and, if needed, enroll into mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Once the client is stable, the next step is Permanent Supportive Housing. This will place the family into some form of low income apartment in Loudon County. As part of this, the agency may be able to offer help with a security deposit or other rental expenses that are due to the landlord on move in.

All across the region there are several sliding fee community clinics as well. They can cover dental or basic medical needs. The services will be free for uninsured residents who fall below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Other people may need to pay a portion of a bill.

The clinics in the region will provide a full range of services including restorative care, emergency relief of pain, preventative care, immunizations for children and medications. Most are run entirely on the generosity of volunteer nurses, dentists, or doctors from the greater Loudon County community.

With the aging population in Loudon County as well as towns such as Ashburn, seniors are also a focus. Projects target low-income senior citizens or those living on a limited fixed income. Most of the clients of the agency do not have the financial means to shop on their own for food or make the necessary repairs to their homes. Some fall behind on their utilities. So support is arranged by LINK.

There can be minor home repair services or Meals on Wheels services. In many instances a caregiver can get help too, sometimes in the form of a break from their duties. Many of the programs are provided at no cost to participants but are limited to the availability of funding, but donations are appreciated.




No matter what someone is applying for, resources are very limited. Applicants need to meet income and other criteria. They should bring social Security cards for members of the household, picture Ids, a copy of lease or medical bills, proof of income, and more. Any assistance from LINK will always be provided on a first come, first served basis to those that qualify.

As noted, only a small region is covered, and the address of LINK is Sterling, VA 20167. Referrals are always needed from a social service agency, so dial 703-222-0880 in Fairfax County or 703-669-4636 in Loudon County.


By Jon McNamara

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