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Our Program

From its beginning in 2006, Family PASS has been a community-based organization serving Fairfax County, Virginia, founded on the belief that healthy communities are built on healthy families. Case managers work with our families in the Self-Sufficiency Program weekly, and sometimes daily, providing support to help families succeed. Our role as case managers is to help clients self-determine goals that can set them on a path to housing and economic stability and success.

How does a family become a Family PASS client?

Family PASS only takes referrals from our collaborating organizations: Fairfax County’s Coordinated Services Planning (CSP) Agency, Northern Virginia Family Services, Cornerstones, Shelter House, Good Shepherd Housing, and other recognized agencies and organizations.

People seeking emergency assistance should always contact Coordinated Services Planning (CSP) first at 703-222-0880. Go to the link here for basic information on what you will need to get help.

Step 1: Housing First: Healthy families need a stable home.

Our first goal is to help families avoid eviction and homelessness.

When a client who is facing eviction is referred to us, we will provide one-time emergency rental assistance and work with the family on a plan to remain housed.

Step 2: Economics: Taking Steps to Earn a Living Wage

It is critical that the client determines his/her own goals and commits to doing everything possible to achieve them. Once those goals are set, the case managers connect people to community resources for the education and workplace skills needed for better jobs and higher pay.

Lack of affordable housing in the county, coupled with minimum/low wage jobs, plays a huge role in the homeless crisis we face today in Fairfax and across the country. Family PASS is committed to helping its clients succeed in education and job skills goals to work towards earning a living wage.

Improving jobs prospects often requires gaining additional skills or education. 81% of our families participate in certification programs, community college courses, GED courses and others.

Step 3: Build a Base of Support

Each family’s situation is unique. A family may face many other obstacles in addition to housing and employment. Our case managers work with our clients to identify and address issues that may hold a family back from achieving independence. Most families will receive one, or more likely a combination, of the following supports:

Childcare. Childcare is essential to enable the head of household to pursue job training and education. We connect families to safe and affordable childcare in their community.

Transportation. Commuting to work, transporting children to childcare and school, and getting to classes – often our families do all three – requires reliable transportation. We help families to plan for or obtain car repairs, a used car, or a donated car. Family PASS works with Vehicles for Change, a local nonprofit that provides affordable used cars.

Medical Care and Counseling. Obtaining medical care to resolve health problems makes it possible for parents to hold a job and take care of their children. Some of our clients suffer from trauma due to domestic violence or other mental health illnesses. Counseling is critical to their path to success. In addition, our case managers verify that children have a regular pediatrician and annual check-ups.

Financial Literacy and Debt Reduction. Case managers connect clients with resources for financial literacy education to learn how to make the most of the small funds available to them and avoid costly contracts and interest rates that prey on underserved communities. Many families are able to reduce their debt through steady repayment and to develop realistic budgets to move forward.

Family PASS case managers work closely with our families to reassure them that Family PASS will continue to support them in pursuit of their goals. We help keep families on track, readjusting goals and services as needed.

We don’t do this alone: Fairfax County has a valuable network of public and nonprofit resources to meet the needs of our clients. Our case managers connect our clients with these valuable tools and community resources.

Step 4: Exit the Program: Family Self-Sufficiency

Each of the steps and support systems is important to successfully guide a family along a path to self-sufficiency. The families that Family PASS assists are highly motivated to regain their self-sufficiency. Most move out of our program in one year, with a two-year maximum stay, but leave our program able to care for themselves and their children in every way.

Why do we offer long-term intensive case management? We were founded on the principle that people facing homelessness and trauma need enough time to overcome that trauma and then work towards self-sufficiency. Too many people “time out” of a program before they can become self-sustaining.

Without long-term case management and permanent housing, many families leaving emergency shelters often return to homelessness. For victims of domestic abuse, the choice is often homelessness or returning to an abuser.

Click here to read some of our client success stores: Client Success Stories