Bringing Heat to Fairmont

Fairmont Gardens

On December 23 during those incredibly cold days, VOICE learned that there were families who lived at Fairmont Gardens who did not have heat. This is an apartment complex that a few VOICE congregations have done some work with in the past but especially Emmaus United Church of Christ. 

VOICE reached out to legislators’ offices. One staff member from Sen. Warner’s office got back to us within an hour and made sure someone was taking care of it.

The principal of a school where these families’ children attend wrote, “Thank you for your partnership.  You are part of our caring culture and the work we do to ensure our families needs are met so our students can thrive at school.”

 

Another opportunity to act on CRCs!

We saw the commitments you made on December 4, and we share your passion to do more to make mental health Crisis Receiving Centers (CRCs) a reality in Virginia. Here’s a next step you can take today!

As a VOICE Leader, you have an opportunity to meet directly with state senators and delegates who represent districts in Northern Virginia to discuss Virginia’s crisis around mental health and addiction.  These small group Zoom meetings will be held in January and February. 

To help you prepare, VOICE will hold a training on Zoom on how to conduct these meetings, provide you with needed materials, and give you the opportunity to sign up to attend meetings with delegates/senators from your area.    

These are the same trainings held at two different times to best accommodate your schedule. 

It is important, as the General Assembly gets underway in a few weeks, that these elected officials hear from their constituents about the importance of investing in mental health at the state level, in particular robust investment in Crisis Receiving Centers.  

I hope to see you in January!

James

December 4 Action

General Assembly Prep Training
January 17th 7-8:30PM
Sign Up

General Assembly Prep Training
January 18th 12-1:30PM
Sign Up

Missing Middle Action

VOICE Arlington leaders and allies turned out 266 strong from 16 member and allied institutions on Nov. 17th to show support for a proposed Missing Middle Housing plan to remove long standing exclusionary zoning restrictions limiting more than ¾ of residential land to single-family homes only. Missing Middle Housing are homes that fall in between detached single family homes and large apartment complexes, such as duplexes, triplexes, townhomes, etc.  

The VOICE assembly, which filled the sanctuary of the Universalist Unitarian Church of Arlington, capped months of intensive listening by VOICE leaders in group workshops and one-on-one conversations on the streets of Arlington. Support for this “gentle” housing density to allow more people, including historically excluded people of color, to access homes is a logical next step in VOICE’s 14-year campaign to ensure housing opportunities for families across the income spectrum.

With singing, a powerful homily about the prophetic mandate to “welcome the stranger,” a Missing Middle Housing 101 tutorial with props, and stories illustrating the need for more housing, participants on stage moved County Board members Christian Dorsey and Libby Garvey to declare support for substantial change; they did not specify what that should look like. VOICE and allies at the assembly, including the NAACP, YIMBYs, and League of Women Voters, among others, want the County Board to vote early in 2023 to allow multifamily structures of up to 8 units on the same footprint as a single-family home. We’re asking for enough flexibility in the new zoning language to enable the Missing Middle Housing plan to meet its goals of increasing housing supply and diversity and encouraging greater affordability, environmental sustainability, and economic vitality.