‘Families Are in Jeopardy of Losing their Homes’

Hugs, handshakes, traveling, and gathering with friends at large events are just some of the things the current pandemic has stopped. However, those who’ve lost their income because of COVID have a greater worry – how to pay the rent and keep a roof over their families’ heads.

So this month, Fairfax-based nonprofit Britepaths is hosting “There's No Place Like Home: An Eviction Prevention Campaign.” Via this effort, it hopes to raise at least $150,000 so it can continue to be a lifeline to those needing help the most.

“Many of these families are in jeopardy of losing their homes at a time when home means everything,” explained Britepaths Executive Director Lisa Whetzel. “In times like these, everyone deserves a place to feel safe.”

She understands that it’s been a difficult year, but hopes that, if people in the community are able to give, they’ll donate as soon as possible at https://britepaths.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=52.

“While there have been episodic halts on evictions in the past few months, the harsh reality is that these are forbearances, not forgiveness,” said Whetzel. “Rent has continued to accrue, even if income has stopped.

“We’re encouraging clients to work with their landlords, but thousands of our neighbors have already been threatened with eviction during this ongoing pandemic,” she said. “Many wake up every morning not knowing if their families will have a safe place to live next month.”

Checks are also welcome: Mail to Britepaths, 3959 Pender Drive, Suite 200, Fairfax, VA 22030. Please note “Home” on the memo line. For more information, contact Shannon Bryant at 703-273-8829.

“The political winds are shifting daily,” said Whetzel. “For the sake of our neighbors, we simply cannot wait for government support or intervention to arrive in time. Our county, state and local officials are doing what they can to identify and fill in the gaps, but families are in need now. For them, we are the frontline help – the community is their intervention. Thank you, in advance, for being here for our families in their time of great need.”

*Another way to help Britepaths is by joining Unity of Fairfax’s Halloween Virtual 5K/1K Run-Walk-Roll set for Saturday, Oct. 31 at 10 a.m. For details and registration, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/unity-halloween-virtual-5k1k-runwalkroll-tickets-121431983331. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Britepaths’ “There's No Place Like Home Eviction Prevention Campaign.”

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