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VOICE in the News

  • Fri, 04/09/2010 : WAMU 88.5

    Elected officials in Alexandria are pushing to assure public housing tenants will be given fair notice when they have to relocate.

    Hattie Thompson lived in the James Bland housing homes for three years. Last year, the Walgreen’s employee received a 120 day warning that she would need to move out. But she says she never heard from the housing authority again, until the week she needed to move. That was just days before Christmas.


  • Fri, 04/09/2010 : AlexandriaNews.org

    At least once a year, the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority Board and the Alexandria City Council meet to discuss the city’s public housing. Although last night’s meeting was scheduled months ago, one of the main topics was concerns about the relocation of James Bland residents due to redevelopment.

    Martin Trimble is an organizer with Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement. “This is a farce,” he said of the meeting. “This has not been a fair process. How can you believe things will change in the next phase?”

    According to the VOICE website: “The first phase of the relocation included moving 32 families outright, with an additional 20 families downsized to smaller units. Despite the expectations conveyed by ARHA, the timeline for the move was poorly implemented rushing some residents out with as little as 72 hours to get their new keys and complete their move, under threat of eviction. Others have not been reimbursed for their costs and some were even charged additional fees.”


  • Thu, 04/01/2010 : Alexandria Times

    Speaking in front of her neighbors at the Providence St. John’s Baptist Church that stands humbly in the James Bland neighborhood, public housing resident Barbara Crowder identified herself with a government-issued label “I’m phase three” before giving her name.


  • Thu, 03/11/2010 : Arlington Connection

    More than 200 individuals from VOICE — Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement — traveled to Richmond on Tuesday, March 2, to urge the budget conferees to adopt the Senate’s bi-partisan budget that restores and protects the dental health safety net.


  • Wed, 03/03/2010 : News & Messenger

    Both have been homeless -- Johnson, in fact, lived in the woods near the PRTC bus station until recently -- and both have experienced severe discomfort from bad teeth.

    "Sometimes, the pain was so bad, I felt like pulling my own teeth out," the 22-year-old Johnson said Tuesday.


  • Mon, 12/21/2009 : Washington Post

    Martha Holmes's small, frail body often bumps into things in her new apartment, which seems like a maze to the 87-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease. In the last month, she has been hospitalized twice, and police have found her wandering the streets, attempting to walk back to the public housing apartment in Alexandria that she called home for more than 40 years.


  • Fri, 09/04/2009 : New York Times

    Early one morning last June, fully two hours before his appointment, Mustafa Salih arrived at a federal office here in the Washington suburbs. He wore the new suit he had bought for the occasion. A friend, accompanying him, carried a camera to record the event. Mr. Salih had not slept the previous night.


  • Thu, 08/06/2009 : Mount Vernon Gazette

    A quarter-century has passed since the plot of land known as North Hill was purchased by Fairfax County for the development of low income housing. Since that time, recessions have come and gone. A giant housing bubble swelled to capacity and burst. Arguments have emerged to preserve the entire site as green-space. Counter-arguments have been made to use the entire 33-acre site for affordable housing.


  • Thu, 07/23/2009 : El Pregonero

    Cerca de dos mil personas respondieron al llamado de la organización Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) para exigir a los legisladores estatales y federales la adopción de medidas en favor de las familias pobres que no tienen seguro médico, así como un mejor cuidado de la salud dental de los ciudadanos. También reclamaron un trato justo para las familia inmigrantes.


  • Thu, 07/23/2009 : Mount Vernon Gazette

    Governor commits to working toward expanding dental coverage to uninsured adults.

    As Washington grapples with health-care reform, Willie Jackson is facing his own health-care crisis. He must choose between paying for a place to stay or scraping together enough money to fix his seven rotting teeth. It’s a choice that illustrates the difficult real-world decisions people without dental insurance face every day.


  • Tue, 07/21/2009 : AlexandriaNews.org

    Congregation-based community organizing has made some fast, yet influential, friends for Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement. Last night, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine met with Virginia clergy and more than 1,000 VOICE members and discussed justice issues in the areas of housing, immigration and health care. The meeting was held at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria.

    Kaine has met with VOICE representatives on multiple occasions since their first public meeting last fall.


  • Tue, 07/21/2009 : Washington Examiner

    Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, bombarded by horror stories of inadequate dental care and citizenship applications gone awry, could promise little to a 1,100-strong crowd at Alexandria's T.C. Williams High School.


  • Tue, 05/26/2009 : Washington Examiner

    Alexandria is lending its housing agency nearly $1.5 million for a project to redevelop public housing units at Glebe Park, after a private $2.3 million loan fell through in March.

    The project has been a hot topic since October 2007, when the city approved a $5.6 million loan so the Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s development partner, Bethesda firm EYA, could redevelop the Glebe Park area and the beleaguered James Bland public housing units.


  • Thu, 05/14/2009 : Fairfax Times

    The owners of a deteriorating Baileys Crossroads apartment complex have made some headway in responding to hundreds of fire and building code violations, but tenants are not happy with the progress.


  • Wed, 05/13/2009 : Falls Church News-Press

    In March, in response to requests from tenants of the Vista Gardens apartment complex in the Culmore area of Bailey's Crossroads, Fairfax County fire marshals and zoning enforcement personnel inspected more than 100 units in the decades-old, privately owned, brick, multi-family buildings.


  • Mon, 04/06/2009 : Washington Examiner

    The squalid Vista Gardens apartment complex has corrected “over 80 percent” of the more than 700 fire code violations issued in a Fairfax County crackdown last month, including those for the widespread lack of fire alarms, a fire department spokesman said Monday.


  • Sun, 04/05/2009 : Washington Post

    Since the economic downturn began, requests for food, clothing and rental assistance have skyrocketed in each of our communities of faith throughout Northern Virginia. Multiply that by the 40 congregations in V.O.I.C.E. (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) and you'll understand why we and other leaders of this broad cross-section of the religious community are urging our elected leaders in Fairfax County to preserve programs for our most vulnerable.


  • Wed, 03/11/2009 : Arlington Catholic Herald

    Help is coming to the residents of Vista Gardens apartments.

    They came up to the podium a little reluctantly last Wednesday evening in the cafeteria of Corpus Christi School in Falls Church, smiled faintly to friends, neighbors and family then began telling their stories in Spanish, stopping periodically for their words to be translated into English.


  • Sun, 03/01/2009 : Mount Vernon Gazette

    Margaret Davis recently had surgery. She has no job, no place to live, and without the support of her church she would have little hope. Recently someone told her that she didn’t look like a homeless person, and it made her mad.

    "I am homeless and I’m not too ashamed to say it," Davis said. As Fairfax County grapples with a projected $650 million budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year, Davis said it was important to continue to fund programs that offer affordable housing and other services to the county’s low-income residents.


  • Tue, 02/03/2009 : Arlington Connection

    Despite declining revenues that are forcing officials to consider budget cuts for the first time in years, County Board Chair Barbara Favola (D) said this weekend that she would not support scaling back Arlington’s affordable housing programs.


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