Arts in the Park: A Perfect Summer Morning for Making Family Memories
It took a year longer than we anticipated, after having to cancel last summer’s outing, but HomeAid’s 1st Annual Arts in the Park was well worth the wait! On an absolutely beautiful Saturday in July, more than 100 parents, kids, and staff from our shelter partner organizations filed into the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts to enjoy “Snow White,” performed by Maryland Youth Ballet students. With free parking and admission, reserved space on the lawn, and boxed lunches for all, this joyful day introduced kids to the arts, created priceless family memories, and eliminated the stress of “how will I pay for it?” for parents.
Additionally, every child in attendance was able to hand-pick a brand-new backpack for school and given a $50 gift card to pick out their own school supplies, one of the best parts about preparing to go back to school! Since most students will return to in-person learning this fall, it’s especially important for kids to choose their own supplies so they feel empowered and ready to learn.
"Thank you for holding this drive! We enjoyed helping out and love thinking about the kids who will be delighted with their new backpacks."Heather Shultz FitzpatrickChristopher Consultants, ltd.
Our Last Night at the Ballpark
In 2019 HomeAid hosted it’s 9th and final Night at the Ballpark. We had over 80 families from our Shelter Partners attending a Potomac Nationals game. Families enjoyed free concessions; a visit with the Nationals mascot, Uncle Slam; and the chance to run the bases after the game. For families recovering from homelessness, a night out—without any worry about the cost—made such a difference. We look forward to a new partnership with Wolf Trap in 2020 – watch this space for more info on this exciting new event.
"This kind of outing gives kids hope that their lives are not always going to be like this. They get to experience some of the fun activities that 'normal' kids do; they can forget for one night about a life of instability. It's a beautiful thing."Charlyne BraxtonTransitional Housing Manager for Community Lodgings
Homelessness Awareness Month
HomeAid partnered with SevaTruck to provide hot meals and winter essentials to residents of tent cities in Woodbridge, VA each November for Homelessness Awareness Month for the past three years. Our hope is that these items and the kindness shown will help our fellow humans stay a little warmer in the bitter cold, as well as increase awareness of homelessness in our area.
"I came here today without socks or gloves and received those and so much more. Thank you for showing us kindness and compassion."Female Tent City Resident in her Twenties
In 2019 HomeAid Northern Virginia hosted it’s best attended Housing Forum to date. With over 200 housing and homeless service providers from dozens of non-profit and governmental organizations joining for our Forum, Leading with Racial Equity: Data and Beyond, with Keynote speakers from The Center for Social Innovation to share experiences, best practices, and challenges—across organizations, jurisdictions, and varied client demographics. We hope that all participants left energized and with new ideas for fighting homelessness.
"I’m thankful that these kind of forums are available to learn best practices. I thoroughly enjoyed all discussions around housing and listening to all of the wonderful efforts of community partners."Housing Forum Attendee