Loudoun County is so affluent that the face of homelessness may not look the way you’d expect. But it’s real, and every year the Good Shepherd Alliance helps over 3,000 of our neighbors who are homeless or on the brink.
How does homelessness happen?
Loudoun County housing is expensive. People don’t always have family nearby to help them weather a crisis. Jobs can be precarious. Credit is unavailable. Relationships can turn abusive. A divorce can cut income. Medical costs can drain savings. A breadwinner can die. And suddenly, someone—even a whole family—becomes homeless. We want to change the way people think about homelessness and the people who find themselves homeless and sleeping in cars, on the sidewalk, even in the woods.
Why does homelessness recur once it’s been “fixed?”
When homelessness hits, the road back isn’t just about emergency measures or just helping the kids. For example: What happens when food stamps run out before the end of the month? How does a breadwinner get to work when there’s not enough money for gas or the bus? These are the kinds of recurring situations that keep people trapped in homelessness. That’s why Good Shepherd Alliance follows up emergency measures with a program aimed at supporting self-sufficiency and helping the whole household make permanent, transformational changes.
The road out of homelessness.
Good Shepherd Alliance doesn’t just focus on the children. Instead, we also help parents grow into their roles so the family can enjoy greater stability. We help with a car so parents can drive to interviews and earn a steady job. We help with the gas to get there, and with solutions for child care, a grocery budget, stress management, medical issues and more. By providing the life skills and motivation to be self-sufficient, Good Shepherd Alliance helps 77% of the people we serve attain stable housing.