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“We are unlocking potential”

Good Shepherd Housing on how federal CDBG funds are positively impacting lives in Fairfax County

Genee Hayes, executive director of Good Shepherd Housing, has first-hand experience in the potential impact of affordable housing.

“I grew up in affordable housing. My mom and I accessed housing and other services through an organization similar to Good Shepherd Housing. We received financial counseling, case management, grief counseling, and then would access the food pantry after. This was a ‘rinse and repeat’ routine that impacted my formative years as a child,” she said.

Ms. Hayes’s success story highlights what is possible with financial stability and community support. Fairfax County-based Good Shepherd Housing provides services that support unhoused individuals and promote self-sufficiency.

The agency is a recipient of Community Block Development Grant (CDBG) funds from the Fairfax County Department of Housing and Community Development. Sixty of Good Shepherd’s 100 affordable housing units have utilized CDBG funding for over 20 years, benefiting more than 150 families.

“These funds unlock the potential of families, individuals and communities. It is investment that drives community change and generational change,” she said.

Ms. Hayes shared the story of Gregory, a single father and educator. Gregory utilized Good Shepherd services for seven years. With stable housing, , financial counseling, other services and a full time job, Gregory and his family were able to move out of Good Shepherd Housing and into their own home.

“There are dozens of Gregorys out there,” Ms. Hayes reflected. “Good Shepherd Housing is a stepping stone for people. CDBG had a direct impact on Gregory and his children. And now, this family pays dividends back into the community. Gregory works for the local school system, he pays taxes, and contributes in a myriad of other ways. Gregory’s story is a testament to how federal funds can drive local success.”

“This is seed funding that pays dividends. At the end, a dollar isn’t just a dollar – it’s a magnitude more that is driving impact in the community,” she commented.

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