Dozens of group members confirmed As a lot as A gathering this week with indicators — and Questions on protectedty And residential values — associated to the proposed co-location of A mannequin new emergency and assisting housing facility with A hearth station.
Fairfax County officers hosted a group meeting on the proposed Penn Daw Hearth Station and Emergency and Supportive Housing Tuesday night at The earlier Hybla Valley Nursery at 2801 Beacon Hill Road, wright here officers are contemplating constructing the new fire station and shelter. Fairfax County purchased The three.5 acre website in June 2020 with the intention of relocating the Penn Daw Hearth Station tright here, which is in want of updating.
Conpresently, county officers have been nonetheless Looking for A mannequin new location for the Eleanor Kennedy Shelter, which was accredited Collectively with three completely different county shelters Inside the 2016 Human Providers and Community Enchancment Bond Referendum. The Kennedy shelter is presently located in a 100-yr-previous former pump station on land that belongs to Fort Belvoir. Site circumstances make refurbishing and growing The current shelter incas quickly asivable.
Based mostly on The measurement of the Hybla Valley Nursery website, officers proposed an cas quickly aspt to co-discover the shelter with The mannequin new fire station. The state of affairs was deemed An cas quickly asptl spot for the shelter based on Pretty A pair of standards together with The measurement of the website, proximity to public transport, services and job alternatives and its location as An factor of an current group.
Mount Vernon Supervisor Dan Storck convened an advisory committee To guage the proposed co-location, which has met eight occasions since November 2020. Members of the committee embrace recurrentatives from shut toby communities, public protectedty recurrentatives, religion group And fairly priced/emergency housing suppliers, the Mount Vernon Council of Residents Affiliation, the Mount Vernon Lee Chamber of Commerce, Fort Belvoir and county staff.
Opplace, Considerations from Some Residents
Shortly, opplace to the emergency shelter from some residents Inside The encircling neighborhood, and A private group created The internet website beaconhillshelter.org to current information on the enterprise to The encircling group.
Considerations voiced embrace the potential adverse influence of an emergency shelter on house values, protectedty For school youngsters at shut toby schools and shut toby residents, visitors and noise. County staff tried To answer A few Of these questions On the meeting And a lot of of them are posted on the enterprise internetWebsite beneath FAQs.
Some attendees of the meeting have been in assist of the proposed shelter. A gaggle calling themselves the Kennedy Shelter Allies had Their very personal indicators advocating the creation of a protected and trendy facility for members of the group experiencing houselessness.
Thomas Barinternett, director of Fairfax County’s Office To sprime and Finish Homelessness, anshave beend The majority of questions at Tuesday’s meeting. He confirmed that if the website is chosen, an emergency shelter for single people Can be constructed tright here with the potential for some fairly priced housing.
Wright hereas emergency shelters Do not tolerate drug and alcohol abuse on the premises, They Might additionally not flip away anyone Battling behavior or with a felony doc. In response to cas quickly asrns over this, Barinternett said that residents of the shelter Shall be “anticipated to behave” and that while It is unusual for residents to be kicked out, They will work with case managers To Search out various housing. He said that residents of the emergency shelter “Aren’t inright herently dangerous.”
Assistant Commander of the FCPD Mount Vernon District Station, Fred Chambers, addressed public protectedty cas quickly asrns Throughout the emergency shelter. He reassured attendees thOn the police dehalfment will proceed to do their job. He currentd numbers from The prevailing shelter saying the dehalfment acquired 225 Requires service for 33 completely different causes in 2019 and 178 in 2020 and 38 So far in 2021. He said in his expertise working shut to a shelter Inside the Mason District, most calls have been contained Contained in the shelter.
Assistant Hearth Chief Tom Arnprevious suggested that some members of The hearth dehalfment Do not assist the emergency shelter being co-located with The mannequin new fire station, together with the union which has cas quickly asrns over the protectedty Of hearth personnel. He confirmed thOn The hearth dehalfment was referred to as to the Kennedy shelter 150-200 occasions a yr over the previous three yrs. 20 or 25 of these calls have been for overdoses.
Barinternett said that nationwide knowledge on the influence of the constructing of a shelter on shut toby property values is “inconclusive” They typically’re Engaged on gathering native knowledge which Shall be shared on the enterprise internet website as quickly as out tright here.
Noise mitigation and visitors research, notably for The hearth station, Shall be An factor of the design if the enterprise strikes forward. Storck said residents Considering about getting ancompletely different visitors mild put in shut to the enterprise can contact his office To Search out out extra Regarding The tactic.
Fairfax County recurrentatives emphasised That they are contemplating a handful Of completely different places for the emergency shelter and welcome cas quickly aspts for completely different potential places. One attendee requested Regarding The earlier Safeway located Inside the Mount Vernon Sq. Buying center. The proprietor of the property Is seemingly not In a place to promote and ancompletely different developer is Inside the website.
The County is Making an try to consider potential web websites for the shelter Inside The subsequent 4 To eight weeks, and Storck careworn his dedication to make a final choice earlier than The prime of this yr.
The current closure of the Kennedy shelter in June solely highmilds the urgency of the enterprise to for the County. Damaged Air conditioning might take 2-4 weeks to restore and residents are presently staying in shut toby resorts by way of a FEMA COVID-19 program.
Once The mannequin new shelter website is finalized, the design half might take As a lot as 2.5 yrs adopted by ancompletely different 2.5 yrs for development.
A docing of Tuesday’s meeting was posted on Storck’s Fb Website. Further information on the proposed enterprise And get In contact with information Could be found right here.