WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Fairfax Homeless Population Subject Of Vulnerability Study

Play associated audio
Volunteer Joe Drache has a homeless Fairfax resident fill out a well-being questionnaire.
Armando Trull
Volunteer Joe Drache has a homeless Fairfax resident fill out a well-being questionnaire.

Fairfax County wants to put a face on its homeless population and many good people are involved in that effort. Volunteers have been scouring the county this week to conduct homeless vulnerability questionnaires.

The questionnaire asks a lot of questions, like the following:

  • How long have you been homeless this time?
  • Where did you sleep last night?
  • When was the last time you had your own place?


Hundreds of volunteers have fanned out under bridges, in the woods, behind shopping centers and in parked cars and parking lots — anywhere where the chronically homeless may be living.

"In the case of our team, it has not been difficult," says volunteer Joe Drache. "All five individuals we interviewed were very open and forthcoming and wanted to share their stories."

While many of the homeless in Fairfax County are unemployed or underemployed, trying to cope with high rents in the area. The volunteers are focused on the chronically homeless — those who have gone years without stable illness because of mental illness, chronic substance abuse, or physical challenges or disabilities.

These answers assembled by the teams of volunteers will be crunched over the next few days, and then made available to the public.

"The first thing we want to do is put a face on homelessness in the county, because it's so invisible," says Pam Michell, with New Hope Housing, a new non-profit in the county that is spearheading the effort. "Then we hope that over three years that we can house 150 of these people that we are meeting and learning about."

Last year, the county counted 353 chronically homeless individuals — an increase of 30 percent over the previous year.

WAMU 88.5

Auction Of Artifacts In Paris Stirs Protest At American Indian Museum In D.C.

"It's almost like seeing one of our own tribal members being auctioned off," says a member of California's Hoopa tribe who denounced the auction during an event at the National Museum of the American Indian.

NPR

We Don't Know How Many Workers Are Injured At Slaughterhouses. Here's Why

Injuries in the meat industry are likely to be under-reported, a new GAO report finds. Workers may be sent back to the line without seeing a doctor, or may not report out of fear of losing their jobs.
WAMU 88.5

U.S. House Rejects D.C.'s Plans For Full Autonomy Over Budget

In a 240-179 vote, the Republican-led House passed a bill that would overturn efforts by the city to take control over how it spends its money. It's a largely symbolic move: The Senate and President Obama are unlikely to go along.

NPR

Reports Peg Tech Billionaire As Funder Of Hulk Hogan's Case Against Gawker

Silicon Valley entrepreneur Peter Thiel is said to be bankrolling the ex-wrestler's lawsuit. Gawker is appealing a jury verdict that awarded Hogan $140 million over the 2012 publication of a sex tape.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.