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Fairfax County to Register Chronically Homeless

It's part of the county's plan to end homelessness by 2018.

Fairfax County will be abuzz next week when volunteers spread across the area to gather data on the county's homeless population. They will gather individual histories, names and will take photographs, as part of the county's 10-year plan to eradicate homelessness. 

"We want to put 150 of the county's homeless in housing in the next three years," said Sherry Eddlekamp, the South County corridor volunteer captain. "We don't want the homeless population to think that we are locating them to let the police or authorities know where they are, and I know that's a big concern for them." 

Eddlekamp will direct more than 50 volunteers in the endeavor. "The purpose is to get our homeless off the streets and get them the help that they need," she said. "They would like to have a home, and the trick is getting them into a home." 

Fairfax County and Fairfax City have about 2,900 temporarily homeless, and about 300 are chronically homeless. The county anticipates that half of its homeless population will be in supportive housing within three years.

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Additionally, the county's homeless will be "geo tracked."

"The personalized data will help the nonprofits and local governments make important decisions about how to prioritize and allocate housing and support resources," according to a county press release. 

The effort is part of the 100,000 Homes Campaign, which advocates offering housing to the homeless. 

"Housing First is based on the simple idea that a homeless individual will be most successful when able to make his or her own informed decisions about housing and health," according to the 100,000 Homes Campaign website. "Housing and services are made available when a homeless individual chooses them, not as a requirement or mandatory condition. This breeds a sense of independence and self-efficacy that is often instrumental in helping individuals remain safe, healthy and housed."  

The counting will begin at 4 a.m. Monday and continue through Wednesday.  

The volunteers will have a debriefing March 4 at the Jubilee Christian Center in Fairfax at 8:30 a.m. 

Fairfax Watcher February 22, 2013 at 05:10 PM
But...is this the best way, or is there a “better way”? If many or all of these tenured homeless people have refused to be helped in the past years why would they now participate in an intrusive survey that requires their picture being taken? Supervisor Hyland suggests they will not leave their hideouts in the woods. Charity is an American tradition that Fairfax County should embrace but the current appearance is that the County is running several “give-to-everyone” programs that assist non-residents and others that have adequate incomes to support themselves. People receiving taxpayer funded County assistance should be screened to verify that they are County residents with tenure. Fairfax County tax dollars should not be used to house or educate non-county residents. It appears to this property-owning tax-paying resident that the County makes it far too easy for ANYONE to receive some form of assistance including solving their homeless situation. Fairfax County needs to change its approach in order to ensure that its scarce resources go to the neediest Fairfax County residents that are willing to cooperate.

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