Tackling Homelessness in Bailey’s Crossroads
A new shelter offers 52 emergency and medical respite beds, plus 18 permanent housing units.
Fairfax County is hoping a new shelter on Seminary Road will set a standard in battling homelessness. The 23,000-square-foot Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter and Supportive Housing facility opened in November with 52 beds (48 emergency bunks, plus four medical respite beds), as well as 18 permanent housing units that provide the most vulnerable individuals a stable place to live. It’s the first in the county to offer both emergency and permanent housing in one place.
“It is so difficult to build and preserve affordable housing in our community,” says Dean Klein, director of the Fairfax County Office to Prevent and End Homelessness. “This provides a longer-term housing solution…for people who we too often don’t have solutions for.”
In 2016, Fairfax County voters okayed a $48 million human services bond that’s being used to replace or rebuild four county shelters. The Bailey’s Crossroads facility is the first, at a cost of about $13.5 million. It replaces the 30-year-old former shelter on Moncure Avenue, which is set to be demolished by March 2020.
Each studio apartment comes with a county-provided bed, a television and a dining set, plus home accessories such as rugs, dishes and shower curtains that have been donated by local businesses and nonprofits. “They all have little touches, like an alarm clock and pajamas, which hopefully fit,” says Jan-Michael Sacharko, director of development for New Hope Housing, a nonprofit that’s partnering with the county on this project. “It’s always a nice surprise.”