FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 10, 2020
(Alexandria, VA) – ALIVE! with support from an ACT for Alexandria Resilience Fund grant is working in partnership with the Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance, Legal Services of Northern Virginia, and Lazarus Ministry Christ Church to stand up the Alexandria Eviction Prevention Program (AEPP).
The AEPP is an all women-led response to the growing numbers of people facing eviction issues in the City of Alexandria. The group of colleagues identified a need for a one-stop place where residents at-risk of eviction could go for help. With funding from ACT, each organization has contributed to the AEPP to identify people most at-risk of eviction, organize outreach events to educate and counsel people about their rights and possible resources for rental assistance, and help people complete applications for support.
Outreach events open to the public are scheduled throughout December. While funding to support the AEPP outreach coordinator and case manager is only available through the end of the month, the program will continue with volunteer support in the new year. AEPP partner organizations are also seeking additional grant funding to support these two paid positions beyond December. In its first week AEPP had fielded over 200 requests for information and has provided financial support to several families who needed shelter and rent to make it through. It has also helped many others receive protection under the CDC eviction moratorium and connect to financial support systems.
“This is on-the-ground grassroots response to help people access services they need to stay in their home or safely transition through an eviction process,” says Danien Johnson, ALIVE!’s Director of Client Services who is coordinating the program and developing, with NVAHA and LSNV, volunteer trainings to help people make the connections they need for support.
With advice and expertise from Lazarus Ministry Christ Church on how to mobilize volunteers working to prevent evictions, and the financial support from ACT, each partner can contribute in a meaningful way, and ALIVE! is able to support an outreach worker to coordinate and manage the program. Each organization involved has access to strong and dedicated volunteer supporters who are also stepping up to help alongside expert staff. “Coming out of the program, we hope people will understand their rights better, know where to access financial or other supports to keep going, and ideally remain in their homes,” Michelle Krocker, Executive Director of Northern Virginia Housing Alliance.
The Alexandria Eviction Prevention Partnership (AEPP) is a new, collaborative effort combining the strength of four local organizations who are dedicated to serving the marginalized communities of Alexandria. ALIVE! is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing emergency and basic needs support to children, families, and individuals living in poverty and with hunger in the City of Alexandria. ALIVE!’s mission is to help Alexandrians faced with emergency situations or long-term needs become capable of assuming self-reliant roles in the community. Legal Services of Northern VA (LSNV) is a full-service, nonprofit law firm that serves clients throughout Northern Virginia. Their mission is to provide access to justice for disadvantaged individuals and communities. Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance (NVAHA) promotes healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities that meet the diverse housing needs of Northern Virginia residents, with a focus on low- and moderate-income households, through advocacy, community partnerships, and research. The Lazarus Ministry is a ministry of Christ Church, which provides emergency financial assistance and food to City of Alexandria residents. In addition, they provide resources, referrals, and advocacy to those in need in Alexandria.