DAH Providing Shelter For Homeless
Posted December 18, 2008on:
This winter, beginning December 2nd 2008, The Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center is partnering with Volunteers for America and the Fairfax County Government to provide a warm, safe and caring place for the homeless in Northern Virginia. After searching for a house of worship to cover the missing nights in the schedule, Sandra (Sandy) S. Chisholm, Community Interfaith Liaison, Fairfax County Department of Systems Management for Human Services, came to Dar Al-Hijrah’s Mohamed Abdelillah, Social Service chairman, and asked him to join the participating area churches in providing temporary overnight shelter for the homeless in Falls Church. Dar Al-Hijrah was quick to take up the call.
“The overnight shelter will be open every night during the winter months and members of our congregation will be providing breakfast for our homeless neighbors each morning, Islam teaches us that it is our duty to care for our neighbors” said Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, who serves as Director of Outreach for the center.
Thornell Hancock, Volunteers for America’s Development Specialist/Hypothermia Program Co-coordinator for the Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter and his team will staff the area shelters with the help of community volunteers. Some of the homeless are “the working poor, they may be under-employed or just can’t afford the rent in this area and wind-up homeless”. says Mr. Hancock, “Some of just made the unfortunate ‘life choices’ “.
Those in need of shelter must register at Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter, there they have dinner and then are taken the short van ride to the mosque or other sites. An array of social services, comprehensive health and employment services are provided throughout the night’s program. “This program is designed to help people transition from homelessness into permanent housing” says Imam Johari. The program will run until the spring.