Community Lodgings’ mission is to lift families from homelessness and instability to independence and self-sufficiency.
Since Community Lodgings was founded by eight Episcopal churches in 1987, our goal has been to build the foundation for a better life for Alexandria’s working poor and families transitioning from homelessness to self-sufficiency.
Drawing inspiration from President George H.W. Bush’s Thousand Points of Light initiative, eight churches underwrote the purchase of Community Lodgings’ first apartment building – located on Notabene Drive in the Arlandria-Chirilagua neighborhood – in an effort to end homelessness in the City.
With continued ecumenical support, four additional apartment buildings were purchased in the neighborhood to increase affordable housing options as a means of addressing the dramatic increase in family homelessness of the mid-1980s. Community Lodgings’ affordable housing gave Alexandria’s most vulnerable families fresh options, thus altering the housing equation in the City.
Today in Alexandria, dozens of homeless families remain homeless and many more families in the area struggle to make ends meet in a stagnant economy. With 42 apartments available at below-market rent, Community Lodgings gives disadvantaged local families access to homes they can afford, while also offering high-quality supportive services to families transitioning to self-sufficient lives. Learn more about our Transition-in-Place Housing and Affordable Housing programs.
In addition to housing, Community Lodgings provides children and parents with an educational foundation for success. Since 1998, when we first opened computer literacy and ESL classes to adults, we have committed ourselves to improving outcomes for families in the community at-risk of: homelessness; gang involvement; substance abuse; sexual activity; and emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse.
In 2002, we opened the community-based Fifer Family Learning Center to meet the needs of the surrounding Arlandria-Chirilagua community. We introduced our award-winning Youth Education Programs. Elementary, middle and high school students – all living below the poverty threshold – now attend free daily afterschool programs and summer camps, meet with tutors and mentors, learn valuable life skills, and participate in various enrichment and recreational activities. In 2008, we expanded the center, increasing instructional time for at-risk children and their parents. We will launch a second Arlandria-based center in September 2013 to accommodate more underserved families.
Community Lodgings is Arlandria-Chirilagua’s best resource for helping families reach self-sufficiency. With trusted bilingual staff, committed volunteers and quality services, we serve more than 250 families every week. The Catalogue for Philanthropy recognizes us as “one of the best small charities in the Greater Washington region”.
Learn more about how you can join the community of businesses, foundations, volunteers, and other supporters who contribute to furthering Community Lodgings’ mission.