Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center Community Outreach

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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.

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For Immediate Release July 24, 2008

Media Contacts: Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, Director of Outreach, Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center, Phone: 202-345-5233 or Email: Imam.Johari@gmail.com or Susan Lydick, Fairfax Partnership for Youth, Inc. Phone: 703-328-4421 Email: Susan.Lydick@fairfaxcounty.gov

Falls Church, VAThe Culmore Community Youth Collaborative (CCYC) will hold a fundraising and community outreach event Thursday July 31 from 6:30-8:30 pm in Suite 100, First Floor, Region 2 Human Services Building at 6245 Leesburg Pike Falls Church 22041.

The CCYC is a collaborative of community stakeholders working together to share ideas, expertise, and resources to meet the needs of youth and resolve issues this population faces in the Culmore Community of Falls Church.

The purpose of the CCYC event on July 31st is to raise funds and recruit volunteers needed to continue providing supervised academic and social support for middle and high school students in the Culmore community while they are out of school due to suspension. Such a program has operated in Culmore for the past two years with federal funding through the Fairfax Partnership for Youth, Inc. Funding ended June 30, 2008.

The CCYC has made saving Culmore support on suspension (SOS) a top priority. The CCYC identified saving SOS as a critical need after hearing police testimony that youth enrollment in Culmore SOS has prevented youth crime, school principal report that Culmore SOS has kept students up on their academic work and reduced the risk of school drop out, and parent and youth feedback that the supervised support they received while on suspension was critical to helping the student return to school.

Carmen Fernandez, Executive Director, for Hispanics Against Child Abuse and Neglect (HACAN) is a member of the leadership committee and has this to say about the effort, “Young people in Culmore who are having the kinds of problems that get them suspended from school are already having a very difficult time and their families are under great stress. If we lose the Culmore SOS program the situation will get much worse.”

Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center is spearheading the effort with support and technical assistance form the Fairfax Partnership for Youth.

For more information about FPY visit www.fairfaxyouth.org. For more information about Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center visit www.daralhijarh.net.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that over 35.5 million people in the United States live in households considered to be food insecure. Of these 35.5 million, 22.9 million are adults (10.4 percent of all adults) and 12.6 million are children (17.2 percent of all children). Each year, the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center in association with the Muslim American Society, makes an effort to fight hunger here in our country by providing thousands of pounds of meat to needy families and individuals by raising support and awareness of this problem on their annual Humanitarian Day.

“As a faith based initiative, we want to help the community to develop an awareness of the problem of hunger as well as address it,” said Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, Director of Outreach for the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center. “It is for this reason that we continuously reach out to the entire community including people of other faiths. Hunger knows no religion”

On Saturday, June 28th, the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center continued its tradition of community service and fighting against hunger by distributing over 300 meals to needy individuals and families. Additionally, the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center has a renown Social Services program which feeds dozens of needy families in the local community. Since its inception, the DAH Social Services program has provided food, clothing, prayer, counseling, and community referrals to those living in poverty.

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Washington Post Staff Writer
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June 7th, 2008 from 10:00AM-2:00PM on the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center Campus.