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VOICE in the News

  • Wed, 10/10/2012 : NBC 4 Washington

    More than 700 people in desperate need of help packed a church in Prince William County Oct. 1 to share stories of struggle and demand help from banks. News4's Jim Rosenfield reports. Watch the video at the link below.


  • Wed, 10/03/2012 : News & Messenger

    WOODBRIDGE, Va. -- While recent signs show that the housing market might be on the way to recovery, reverberations surrounding the 2007 bursting of the so called “Housing Bubble” continue to reverberate. According to Virginians Orga­nized for Interfaith Community Engagement, or VOICE, Prince William County was the hardest hit jurisdiction in Virginia with roughly 20,000 foreclosures.


  • Tue, 10/02/2012 : Washington Post / AP

    The scene at a Prince William County church Monday night may have been startling to regulators and some homeowners just a few years ago: a room full of politicians, interfaith leaders and about 700 congregants rising to their feet and praising Bank of America, once reviled by some for its banking practices.

    Bank of America executive Andrew Plepler, in charge of global corporate responsibility, said the bank has been a steadfast partner of Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, a coalition of more than 40 interfaith congregations that have sought to hold banks and politicians accountable for the 2008 housing crisis.


  • Tue, 10/02/2012 : Patch

    More than 700 people came to the gathering of religious leaders, state and national politicians, and financial institution representatives.

    On a night when local religious leaders challenged state and national politicians and financial institution representatives to play the part of the Good Samaritan and assist their neighbors struggling with foreclosure, Montclair resident Chris Phillips came to the gathering at St. Paul's United Methodist Church organized by Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement to ask for help before he gets evicted from his foreclosed home on Thursday morning.


  • Sun, 09/16/2012 : Washington Post

    By Jeremy Borden. "Can I get your name and the account number you're talking about?" the bank representative asks. Things are tense in the office of Charlene Watkins-Byrd, a housing counselor for the Woodbridge-based nonprofit group First Home Alliance. But when Watkins-Byrd calls the mortgage servicer on behalf of David and his wife, Rebekah, a game of seemingly pleasant cat-and-mouse between housing counselor and financial agency representative ensues.


  • Fri, 08/31/2012 : Washington Hispanic

    Supervisores del condado de Fairfax se comprometen a renovar canchas deportivas y crear áreas de juego.


  • Fri, 08/31/2012 : Mount Vernon Gazette

    Mount Vernon — Touring three neglected athletic fields Aug. 15, Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay and Park Authority board member Edward Batten heard public testimony urging them to take action. Both expressed their intent to make the fields playable and safe.


  • Wed, 08/22/2012 : Mount Vernon Voice

    At Mount Vernon Woods Park Carla Claure told a small crowd which included Lee Supervisor Jeff McKay and Fairfax County Park Authority board member Ed Batten that all she wants is a safe place for her three daughters, Carla, 17, Daniella, 6, and Alejandra, 3, to play.


  • Thu, 08/16/2012 : Mount Vernon Patch

    Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay met with student athletes, community members and other local officials Wednesday evening during a tour designed to promote improvements to Mount Vernon-area athletic fields and facilities.

    Stops included Muddy Hole Farm Park, Mount Vernon Woods Park and Mount Vernon High School.


  • Thu, 07/05/2012 : Washington Jewish Week

    A group of McLean and Falls Church activists got most of what they wanted last week, at a meeting during which they pressed local officials to increase services for the area's growing senior population.


  • Fri, 06/22/2012 : Herndon Patch

    VOICE congregations celebrated raising $200,000 to expand dental care for low-income adults in western Fairfax County on Sunday.

    VOICE clergy leaders, partners and donors cut the ribbon around a large paper mache tooth to mark a milestone in their fundraising on Sunday.

    The group collected $200,000 in private funds to add a full-time dentist to the Northern Virginia Dental Clinic in Sterling to serve low-income adults in western Fairfax County. The celebration included about 150 people from St. John Neumann Catholic Church, Trinity Presbyterian, Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation and The Unitarian Universalist Church of Reston. There was food and Latin music to celebrate.


  • Wed, 06/20/2012 : Reston & Great Falls Connection

    VOICE, a local interfaith group, has raised $200,000 to fund a full-time dentist at the western Fairfax County branch of the Northern Virginia Dental Clinic, low-income dental clinic.

    “Virginia, historically, is one of seven states in the nation that does not provide oral health care for adults. If an individual cannot afford access to a safe heath care, they may end up pulling their own teeth or going to one of the underground clinics where there is a high risk of infection. Also, it’s important to keep in mind, a lot of people who do not have proper dental
    care access, end up in the emergency room, incurring greater taxpayer costs,” said Tom Wilson, executive director of the Northern Virginia Dental Clinic.

    The monies raised will ensure funding for the clinic for two years. The full-time dentist will begin seeing patients July 1.


  • Thu, 06/14/2012 : Mount Vernon Gazette

    In the packed multipurpose room of Bethlehem Baptist Church Monday night, June
    11, as 400 parents, students and coaches waited and listened, Supervisors Gerry Hyland and Jeff McKay committed themselves to improving after-school recreation
    facilities and transportation to keep the community’s young people productively occupied, nurtured and out of trouble. “This is the most people I’ve seen
    come out to advocate for athletic recreation facilities in my 30-plus years in being involved in the county,” said McKay, Lee District Supervisor, as he welcomed the challenge along with Hyland, Mount Vernon District Supervisor.


  • Wed, 06/13/2012 : Mount Vernon Voice

    A huge crowd attended a meeting Monday night on the need for
    more recreational amenities for the residents of the Richmond
    Highway corridor.


  • Tue, 06/12/2012 : Patch

    Local elected officials say they're largely on board with pleas from the public to enhance recreational opportunities for children along the Route 1 corridor. Hundreds of young athletes, parents and members of the faith community from the Route 1 corridor gathered Monday night at a forum organized by Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, or VOICE. Speakers pushed for the creation of turf fields at local high schools, a multipurpose surface area at the Audubon mobile home park and a new, low-fee recreation center on the corridor.


  • Mon, 06/11/2012 : ABC 7 (WJLA)

    Hundreds of people living in Fairfax County are angry over the condition of their local parks and sports facilities. And to some extent, they say, this is a small part of a much bigger problem effecting hundreds of thousands of people.

    Audobon Estates is a large mobile home park off Route 1, but places to play are in short supply. Children play where they can, either on a front step or on a fenced in corner. Clotheslines in yards become part of a makeshift field.

    Video coverage available at link below.


  • Tue, 06/05/2012 : Washington Business Journal

    At the urging of Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement — an advocacy group known as VOICE — Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. intend to offer nearly 1,000 homeowners in Prince William County and Manassas and Manassas Park assistance through the $25 billion national mortgage settlement, NBC Washington reports.


  • Sun, 06/03/2012 : Associated Press

    MANASSAS, Va. — Nearly 1,000 homeowners in Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park have been identified as eligible for assistance in the $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement announced this year, two banks reported Sunday at a community meeting. The announcements about how the housing settlement will affect Prince William County came at a community meeting sponsored by Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE), which has been pressing banks to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in Prince William County to compensate for the devastation caused by the wave of foreclosures.


  • Sun, 06/03/2012 : Huffington Post

    Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase executives announced Sunday night that almost 1,000 Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park homeowners will qualify for help through the $26 billion National Mortgage Settlement. The announcement came during a packed rally organized by the interfaith group Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) at First Baptist Church in Manassas.


  • Fri, 05/04/2012 : Washington Post

    Virginia’s top cop and Prince William County resident Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II toured a foreclosure-wracked neighborhood Thursday in Manassas. He met privately with organizers and religious leaders from Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) and then toured the Manassas neighborhood of Georgetown South as neighborhood leaders described how vacant properties affect a place — and, as organizers and religious leaders put it, how banks and lenders used dubious tactics that helped Prince William become one of the worst hit places for foreclosures in the state.


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