How We Help

How We Help Fairfax County’s Homeless

Family PASS works to ensure that everyone has a place to call home. We assist in providing shelter to meet people’s immediate needs, as well as the support they need to succeed for themselves, their families, and their communities.
In 2020, more than 1,000 people in our community had no place to live. Sadly, one-third of these people are children, who are vulnerable to the cascading effects of being homeless: lagging behind in school, being isolated, missing out on friendships and social development, and not participating in sports and other activities. Family PASS focuses on helping these children and their families, who make up 57 percent of the county’s homeless population. Among these families, 78 percent of the adults are female. One-third of people in homeless families left domestic violence, leaving children with an additional obstacle of having experienced or witnessed violence close up and personal.
It takes an estimated $81,000 in earnings for a family of one working adult and three children to live in Fairfax County, according to the county’s cost of living chart. That would require an hourly wage of $30 an hour for a 40-hour week. Most of the working homeless earn minimum wage at $7.25 an hour in Virginia. We work with them to help them make informed choices for their future by focusing on their education and skills needs so they can eventually earn a living wage. We provide counseling and case management to families for up to three years or until we are sure they can remain in housing and be economically self-sufficient.

At Family PASS, we envision Fairfax County as a place where safe and stable housing is a starting point for everyone, because housing is the foundation upon which people can build better lives.

Offering Support

We view housing as the beginning of our effort to build a strong, resilient community, and make sure that our residents have the support they need to live independent, self-directed lives.

Rebuilding Lives

For our clients, the opportunity to live in a stable, safe home is transformational. Once they no longer have to worry about having a place to sleep at night, they can rebuild their lives from a position of stability and comfort.

Strengthening the Community

We know that housing is only the beginning. That is why we provide the tools our clients need to succeed for themselves, their families, and their community.

What we Do

Transitional Housing

Family Pass works closely with emergency shelters in Fairfax County, and organizations such as Fairfax County’s Coordinated Services, Northern Virginia Family Services, Fairfax County Office for Women & Domestic and Sexual Violence Services and other nonprofit organizations. Our first step is to transition families to permanent, affordable housing as quickly as we can.

Education and Workplace Skills

After addressing immediate housing concerns, we provide goal-oriented case management that connects people to community resources for gaining the education and workplace skills needed for better jobs and higher pay. Each family receives exactly the support needed to overcome their individual obstacles to independence.

Case Management

Without long-term case management and permanent housing, families leaving emergency shelters return to homelessness at a high rate. For victims of domestic abuse, the choice is often homelessness or returning to an abuser. This is why each of the services and support systems we provide, along with our case management services, is important to successfully guiding a family along a path to self-sufficiency.

Who We Serve

Family PASS is supported in part with a grant from the Consolidated Community Funding Pool of Fairfax, the Begun Foundation, corporations and businesses, and with the generous support of our local community, which provided the initial full support when Family PASS was founded.

Everyone deserves a place to call home. That’s why we provide customized programs and housing for people from all backgrounds, especially those at a higher risk of experiencing homelessness.
Today, we serve people of all backgrounds, including families, individuals, veterans, survivors of domestic violence, people with health challenges and disabilities, and seniors. Our focus is on the working homeless, those people who cannot make ends meet even though they have full-time work or two or more jobs. We have helped over 133 families facing homelessness and poverty to build better lives.

Methods We Use

At Family PASS, case Managers work with clients to identify and address everything that may cause challenging times, such as finding safe and affordable child care, handling health issues, managing a household, parenting more effectively, managing finances, dealing with children’s schools, or encouraging clients to make their own decisions and become more resourceful.
We don’t do this alone. Fairfax County has a valuable network of public and nonprofit resources to meet the needs of clients. We depend on these partnerships and we are proud to be part of Fairfax County’s 10-Year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.
Finally, we stay on top of things, keeping families on track, readjusting goals and the services needed to reach them. When families first begin working with us, we use the self-sufficiency matrix, which is widely used in social work case management and which provides reliable, consistent measurements for determining whether a family is in-crisis, vulnerable, safe, stable, or thriving.
Just as important as measuring performance, the self-sufficiency matrix creates clear points to mark progress and recognize achievements. We reassess and readjust families’ plans for becoming self-sufficient based on both a client’s progress and his/her setbacks.
In the end, whether families are with us for three months or three years, they are able to care for themselves and their children in every way. No family leaves the program without a minimum self-sufficiency rating level of “safe”.

Want to get involved?

We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities, along with several ways to contribute through our fundraising events, sponsorships, and donations to programs.


Help us reach our goal to help more Fairfax County families facing homelessness. Family PASS relies on community donations for nearly 22% of its budget to help Fairfax County families. Any one-time or recurring donation you are able to make is truly appreciated.


Family PASS couldn’t operate without its many volunteers—and more are needed. If you have a specific skill or talent that you think would be beneficial to Family PASS, such as tutoring to further our client’s educational goals, please let us know.


Hold a drive to collect food, school supplies, and/or clothing to donate Family PASS. We love working with teens and organizations on their service projects for school, church, or scouts.