In the 1980’s, I worked at a shelter for families and single adults who were returning to the community after hospitalization for mental illness. It quickly became clear to me that many are only one or two paychecks away from having to make difficult decisions about paying for housing, for food or for medication. Over 30 years later, this is still true.
Our health and well-being are directly related to numerous factors, including stable housing. Fairfax County continues to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness, but income levels aren’t keeping pace with the cost of living in several areas of the county. Evidence suggests that there is an increase in evictions in our county, especially among people of color and our most vulnerable neighbors.
On June 13, the Fairfax County Alliance for Human Services’ annual meeting will feature a panel discussion, “There’s a Knock at Our Door: The Growing Epidemic of Evictions and Housing Instability in Our Community,” at 7:30 pm at Little River United Church of Christ, 8410 Little River Turnpike, Annandale. Light refreshments will be served. The meeting is open to the public.
Speakers will discuss how evictions affect the lives of county residents and Virginians, and lead a conversation about what we, as caring citizens, can do to stem this increase. Presenters include: Dipti Pidikiti-Smith, Deputy Director of Advocacy, Legal Services of Northern Virginia; David Levine, President and CEO, Good Shepherd Housing & Family Services, Inc. and senior staff from the RVA Eviction Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University, who have conducted important research on the effect of evictions in Virginia. I invite you to join me at the panel discussion and to consider exploring this issue and its impact on our community.