1. Yes, it's a whole new look! Have questions or need help? Please post your question in the New Forum Questions thread Click the X to the right to dismiss this notice
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Seeing tons of unread posts after the upgrade? See this thread for help. Click the X to the right to dismiss this notice
    Dismiss Notice

Homeless Shelter Coming to Ashburn - Meeting Oct.23

Discussion in 'Broadlands Community Issues' started by CdnJess, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. ayayagirl

    ayayagirl New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    2
    :

    My husband and I often donated items to this particular shelter, and the men there were nothing but kind, thankful and gracious!!! When we arrived, they were all working around the house doing "chores" and stopped what they were doing to help carry the items inside.

    I'm often amazed at the lack of compassion in people!:(
     
  2. Silence Dogood99

    Silence Dogood99 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,769
    Likes Received:
    2
    Kudo to the church and the church community for stepping up to the plate rather than leaving government to do the work. My family will be glad to volunteer. This would be a great place for our kids to learn to serve those who are less fortunate, and to know that life does not consist of three week Europen vacations in the summer and jaunts to Hawaii for Spring Break :)
     
  3. christinaandrob

    christinaandrob New Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Messages:
    862
    Likes Received:
    0
    i agree - i, too, am amazed by the lack of compassion in people.

    i do have to wonder though, if the reaction here would be the same if the shelter was right her in broadlands instead of 5 miles down the road. i would hope not.
     
  4. Lee

    Lee Permanent Vacation

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Messages:
    3,071
    Likes Received:
    2
    People are people and with the amount of people in the Broadlands the reaction would be for worse. As it would be by any major residential area. Don't forget we have a huge built in job base for the homeless and the criminals so it is a natural for shelters to be close to the job base. I could go further but it would start another war here which I will leave alone for the moment. But I will say it is real easy to want to help people as long as they are not near you the undesirables. christinaandrob brings up an excellent point.

    I work in construction so I am around criminals and all kinds of what you all call the undesirables all the time.

    Most of you all just see it from a very far distance, and do the token thing like feeding them from a distance. How many here have actually hired the less fortunate that need a break????? We do it all the time in construction as well as find them places to live. Some can never be helped but that is the chance you take, because when you see someone turn around it is like a miracle and well worth the effort. :clap:

    For self respect people need to feel they have a home and for self worth they need to work. Without either most likely they will go right back to whatever drugs stealing and hate. Personally every neighborhood should have a place for people to gain self respect and yes you should not keep your children from it they should be part of the process.

    My kids went to a public school in Santa Monica (SMASH) from kindergarten to thru jr high that had movie star kids and parents and some of the poorest from a not far away. We did not keep our children hidden from this we all worked to together to make opportunities happen. And not from a distance either.

    This area is going to change dramatically over the next years and people need to be tolerant and helpful to people in need. All of them not a select few. I am glad they a building this and we need more of these kinds of places. Personally every neighborhood needs to have these kinds of shelters integrated right into them. SO the children and the adults can both help and perhaps they might even participate in a miracle or two. In my business it has and can happen. Another reason gated communities should be banned and there are some great books on this too.:)

    Lee j

    Lee j
     
  5. redon1

    redon1 aka Aphioni

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    Messages:
    5,929
    Likes Received:
    69
    i am as compassionate as they come- we volunteer our time in Leesburg shelters on the holidays, we donate all year to various charities, and we teach our son to have compassion. that SAID- i would not want a homeless shelter in the Broadlands. no- not everyone who is homeless is a desperate degenerate, but guess what? SOME ARE. some are homeless because of drugs, manic depression, and overall bad decision making skills.

    i want my son to be able to ride his bike in the neighborhood without worrying that someone desperate for money won't knock him down and steal it. i want my property value to stay high so when i sell my house i make money. i want high class companies and investors to put their money here so the area stays desirable to business owners. there is nothing mean, compassion-less (is that a word??) or elitist about that.

    you expect your neighbors and neighboring businesses to REFLECT your lifestyle and offer the quality of life you want for your kids. that doesn't make you a bad or selfish person.

    i would vote no to putting a shelter anywhere near homes in ashburn, but would definitely volunteer my time and donate goods to it wherever it would be.
     
  6. Charlotte

    Charlotte New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think you misunderstood me, ayayagirl. I've lived in Ashburn since 1980 and over those years, have had the pleasure of meeting Charlie Grant, Mark Gunderman and others deeply involved with the Good Shepherd Alliance and with the men's shelter in Ashburn. I have no reservations, qualms, doubts - anything - about having the Center of Hope in Ashburn.

    Having a dialogue is a good thing and in the end, I hope that everyone's fears will be allayed and we will welcome the Center with compassion and volunteerism. "There but for the grace of God go I.":)
     
  7. Baywatch68

    Baywatch68 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,264
    Likes Received:
    2
    I thought we had one of those
     
  8. ayayagirl

    ayayagirl New Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2006
    Messages:
    329
    Likes Received:
    2
    Actually, I think you misunderstood me, Charlotte. I quoted you becuase I supported what you said. Sorry for the misunderstanding. I agree with what you said!!
     
  9. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2002
    Messages:
    5,114
    Likes Received:
    232
    Here's an email Lori Waters (Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, Broad Run District) about the subject:

    Dear residents,
    I join you in being concerned about the location of the Good Shepherd Alliance's homeless day support facility. While I believe that such a facility should have been located closer to the population it seeks to serve, the county at this time does not have the ability to prevent the opening of the center at this location. It is a non-profit facility, not
    a government one.

    Furthermore, I do not believe it is wise to place such a center in a predominantly residential area. While bus transportation will be provided, there are no guarantees that the clients will use it to leave the area. We will be asking for additional patrolling from the sheriff's office. Trespassing or vagrant activity, especially on the W&OD trail, should be immediately reported to the sheriff's office.

    After finding out about the facility in the spring (after GSA had already placed a contract on the property), I urged GSA to reach out to the community and inform them about what was being planned. We provided contact information for the HOAs in the surrounding communities. I am disappointed that many residents are just now finding out about the
    center from the press.

    I am in close contact with the zoning administrator and will be seeking zoning enforcement for all activities on the site. Furthermore, if GSA violates any county rules, I will urge the Board of Supervisors to deny their requests for grant funding during the next budget cycle.

    I encourage residents to contact the GSA Board of Directors to ask that they explore alternative locations or at the very least to inquire about what additional measures they as an organization will pursue to ensure the safety of the Ashburn community.

    Sincerely,
    Lori Waters
     
  10. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2002
    Messages:
    5,114
    Likes Received:
    232
    A Community Meeting to discuss the Good Shepherd Alliance will be held on Thursday, November 1st at 6:30pm at Ashburn Elementary School. More details about the meeting, including the meeting format, will be distributed as soon as it is available.
     
  11. afgm

    afgm Ashburn Farm Resident

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Messages:
    2,396
    Likes Received:
    5
    There is discussion on this at Loco under Tammi's blog.
     
  12. daburn

    daburn New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2006
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    I have been reading this for the past few days and everyone on here has valid points, but why does this shelter need to be next to a fire house and a dance center for kids? The shelter is a good idea but its just not the right place to put it. The thought of the good shepard alliance bussing in the homeless and people who have just been released from prison is not a good idea when the building is next to a fire house and a dance center. Its only going to cause problems in the near future. I urge everyone here to go to the meeting november 1st and let the county know how you fell on this day center.
     
  13. joy

    joy New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Messages:
    515
    Likes Received:
    1
    From the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments annual “Homeless Enumeration for the Washington Metropolitan Region" report: (http://www.mwcog.org/uploads/pub-documents/z1hbWg20070613141807.pdf)
    Loudoun County saw a 15 percent increase in the overall homeless count from 2006 to 2007 (from 184 to 211). There was a 127 percent increase between 2005 and 2007 (from 93 to 211). The homeless number was comprised of 81 single individuals and 130 adults and children in families. The number of homeless individuals counted remained relatively the same (82 in 2006 and 81 in 2007), the number of family units increased by 22 percent (31 families in 2006 and 38 in 2007). Although the overall number was not a huge increase, there were some significant changes in specific categories within the survey. One of the largest increases found in the survey was the number of chronically homeless individuals. This number increased by 25 percent from 2006 to 2007 (16 in 2006 and 52 in 2007).

     
  14. Lee

    Lee Permanent Vacation

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2005
    Messages:
    3,071
    Likes Received:
    2
    Quote""""How about if the Christian Fellowship Church on Beaumeade donates space for the facility? That way the homeless can work at the warehouses there and not be immediately next to houses. It's also conveniently located off Waxpool.
    Posted by yaddayadda (anonymous) on October 26, 2007 at 2:03 p.m.""""" quote

    The above quote from yaddayadda is an excellent solution to this so called problem. A win win and what I like especially it is an excellent solution not more just complaining:clap::clap::clap:

    Lee j
     
  15. Robert.Hamilton

    Robert.Hamilton New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    I want to express my concern with the location of the GSA Homeless Shelter and the idea of busing homeless people there from all over the county for free. It is not a lack of compassion but rather the safety of our children that I am concerned with. I used MapQuest and found the distance of 7 schools near the site of the GSA Shelter in Ashburn

    less than 1 mile from Cedar Lane Elementary School
    less than 1 mile from Ashburn Elementary School
    less than 2 miles from Dominion Trail Elementary School
    less than 3 miles from Sanders Corner Elementary School
    less than 2 miles from Farmwell Station Middle School
    less than 1.5 miles from Stone Bridge High School
    and less than 2 miles from Broad Run High School

    As a resident of Ashburn I wanted to let you know I feel completely mislead about the use of the GSA Shelter. We were originally told this was a Thrift Store and Administrative offices and we are now being told that Homeless people will be bussed to the shelter from all over the county. This type of facility should be zoned for industrial areas only.

    http://inetdocs.loudoun.gov/dss/docs/housing_/consolidatedpla/consolidatedpla.pdf
    Page 45 in the special needs assessment section of the Loudoun County Consolidated Housing and Community Development Plan states that mental health problems are a major factor contributing to homelessness. Page 55 states at the GSA men’s shelter 36.9% of residence were asked to leave due to rules violations. Based on newspaper articles read at the Ashburn meeting these “Rules Violations” were often violent offenses.

    “THE INCIDENT occurred April 27, around 10:15 p.m., at the Good Shepherd Shepherd Alliance Men's Homeless Shelter in the 42250 block of Ryan Road in Ashburn.”
    http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/printarticle.asp?article=67862&archive=true


    “A homeless man has been charged with assaulting a homeless woman one evening inside the Leesburg headquarters of the Good Shepherd Alliance”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/02/AR2007030202099.html?nav=rss_metro/va

    The current plan will provide bus service from all over Loudoun County to the GSA Shelter where tokens will be provided. Who will our children meet as they walk to and from school each day?


    I understand the county must try to help the homeless but not at the expense of our children. It is not just negligent it is insane to bus mentally unstable, violent people to an area so close to our homes and schools. This type of facility should be strictly zoned to industrial areas not only to ensure the residents of the county are safe but also to avoid the cost of the legal battle the Ashburn Residence are preparing to fight. Money wasted in a legal battle does not improve the standard of living of homeless people, our children’s schools, or fix traffic problems.
     
  16. afgm

    afgm Ashburn Farm Resident

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2002
    Messages:
    2,396
    Likes Received:
    5
    Mr. Hamilton,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and opinions.

    I do take issue with some of the items you've mentioned for example, you mention "we were originally told this was a Thrift Shop and Administrative office".

    I am not questioning whether this was what you heard, but I have known about the Center for Hope since June. I first heard about it from an Ashburn Farm neighbor and then I read about it in the Loudoun Times Mirror, http://www.loudountimes.com/news/2007/jun/19/CenterHope/

    Both sources mention(ed) the facility was going to be admin offices, thrift shop AND drop in facilities. Here is a pertinent quote from the June 19th news article. The Center for Hope will include:

    Counseling services, a kids' room, chapel, conference room and enlarged day center will also be housed in the Center of Hope. The day center is where homeless individuals can come to shower, do laundry, use the Internet, check their mail, prepare meals, use the phone and store belongings, Werner said.

    She said that the current day center in Leesburg includes these things, but on a much smaller scale. The new facility will include four bathrooms, allowing up to four people to shower..."
    Several other local papers including the Connection also announced the intentions of the Center for Hope.

    I think it is inaccurate to portray this as a surprise.

    When I first heard about the Center of Hope I had many of your stated concerns and began researching the GSA and it's planned facility. I talked directly to the Director of the GSA, one of their board members, a County Supervisor, and church members.

    A few things I found out, it's true bus service will be provided to the Center, but it is not a GSA bus. It is the normal local Loudoun Bus service. Vouchers are provided by the GSA to those who do need them to visit the Center. A significant number of those in need actually drive themselves to the Center. I found this surprising.

    The image of a homeless, shopping cart pushing, steam grate dweller is an incorrect stereotype for the types of Loudoun Co citizens who use the Center.

    We have crime all over Ashburn. How many shootings have there been in Ashburn alone within the last year? A lot. I am not convinced that the GSA day center open from 9 - 5 is going to significantly add to that risk.

    The criminal incidents you site are things I do not know about, and certain need to be addressed by GSA.

    Every employee and person in need must pass a background check. Ms. Werner (Exec Director) tells me even if someone wants to use the phone, they must wait until after their background check is completed. It's reasonable to voice a concern about those visiting the Center and get assurances from GSA that they are doing the background checks and other measures to assure that security is met.

    Also in my research I have found out that the building is 7,000 square feet. 4,000 of which serves as the Thrift Shop. The Shop produces over $10,000 a month towards covering operating expenses. 2,000 square feet is used for the walk-in center. This is the area that houses the computers, showers, kitchen, laundry, phones, etc. 1,000 square feet is for administrative offices and counselor offices.

    Every person in need that is accepted into the program must visit a counselor once a week. This session is used for many things to include, resume reviews, job hunting advice, counseling on other service needs like day-care, medical, etc. This is what most of the day traffic will consist of, visits to the counselors.

    I think it is very healthy for our community to continue the dialog about the GSA. GSA's 23 year history of serving Loudoun deserves the benefit of the doubt. It's also important to address citizen concerns such as yours. I hope for an open mind from all involved and that issues are stated and accurate answers or solutions are provided. Then each of us can make up our own minds on what is good for the neighborhood, neighbors in need, and the GSA.
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. Baywatch68

    Baywatch68 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,264
    Likes Received:
    2
    Maybe we should just send all the homeless to SW Virginia along with all the prisons. I remember reading here that those people down there would welcome the prison so why not the homeless too.
     
  18. Homer Simpson

    Homer Simpson New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Messages:
    1,361
    Likes Received:
    0
    You are right, AFGM. Those shootings are due to gang members in the low income housing that they make us have next to our homes. I'm not saying all low income family's cause crime, but it is just an unfortunate side effect.

    BUT you can't just dismiss out of hand the low percentage of crazy homeless who do commit crimes such as rape and throwing people on metro tracks. Busing them here is not a good idea. Where are they goin after being bused here? Are they bused back?
     
  19. Silence Dogood99

    Silence Dogood99 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,769
    Likes Received:
    2
    Thanks so much for providing "the rest of the story" in such a calm, rational way. This paints an entirely different portrait of the men who will be served. IF GSA can provide this service--along with all the requisite precautions and safeguards--what a great model for our community (and an indictment of how government run programs waste money and hurt people).

    This MAY prove to be an excellent place for many of us, and perhaps even teenagers, to volunteer and see a different side of life. Assuming all safeguards are taken.
     
  20. Silence Dogood99

    Silence Dogood99 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Messages:
    2,769
    Likes Received:
    2
    wow.
     

Share This Page