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VOICE in the News

  • Fri, 04/16/2010 : News & Messenger

    As the executive director of the Prince William Area Free Clinic, Michelle Schuller knows first hand how many adults are in dire need of dental work, but can't afford it.

  • Thu, 04/15/2010 : Washington Post

    The next phase of the James Bland public housing relocation in Alexandria is going to be as chaotic as the first, say current and former residents, but city officials say it will be a much smoother transition.

  • Fri, 04/09/2010 : WAMU 88.5

    Some public housing residents in Alexandria who were forced to move say the city owes them money for the cost of relocating.

    Sharlene Walker lived alone at the James Bland homes in a two-bedroom apartment. Because she had extra space, the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority pegged her as one of the tenants who should down size, or right size as the authority calls it. Walker says she thought she was going to be part of one of the later groups being relocated. She assumed she had at least two years left in her space.

  • 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 :

    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 :

    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.