Fairfax County is the second wealthiest county in the U.S. (only second to Loudon county, our neighbor) but opportunity is not necessarily distributed evenly. A recent study found that 23,650 children in Fairfax County struggle with hunger. Many parents live in poverty and work around the clock to support their children. They may share a small apartment with many other families, leading to overcrowding and unsafe living conditions. They may have to work second or third shift and struggle to spend quality time nurturing and caring for their children. These youth may receive less support at home to help them thrive in school, and their vulnerability makes them more likely to be recruited to join a gang or fall into human trafficking – both serious threats in Fairfax County.
Second Story in the Community operates neighborhood-based drop-in centers and after-school programs for youth and families in Culmore, Annandale, and Springfield. We do this in three ways:
The Culmore Teen Center is an after-school drop-in center for 7th through 12th graders. Students have access to computers and dedicated volunteers to help them with homework. They share a meal together, do schoolwork, and learn from local experts about things like finances, interview skills, bullying, and cyber safety. They receive help applying for college and financial aid and even go on college visits. When we can we take them on a variety of field trips like going to the movies, local business, and into DC. To learn more call 703.820.8611.
Safe Youth Projects
We operate three Safe Youth Projects located in Culmore, Annandale, and Springfield. These structured after-school programs serve food and help young people stay safe and thrive in school. Volunteers help them with homework and provide other nurturing activities as well as take them on a variety of field trips like going to waterparks, the movies, horseback riding, and indoor rock climbing. The Culmore Safe Youth Project also operates alongside the Culmore Computer Learning Program for 2nd through 4th graders.
Family Resource Centers
We operate two Family Resource Centers in Culmore and Springfield to provide resources on a drop-in basis to families in need. Other local nonprofits help to provide free legal aid and a medical clinic as well as ESL and parenting classes, among other programs. Families can receive help filling out documents and learn about referrals to further connect with their community. We also distribute food and clothes to people in need.
The centers are the collaborative effort of community-based organizations, the private sector, and county agencies to bring services, information, and resources to community members.
Culmore Family Resource Center (near Bailey’s Crossroads)
3304B Culmore Court
Falls Church, VA 22041
703.379.5217; TTY 711
Springfield/Franconia Family Resource Center
7224 Commerce Street, Apt.T-2
Springfield, VA 22150
703.644.0000; TTY 711
Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Opportunity Neighborhoods Crossroads
Opportunity Neighborhoods (ON) is a county-wide effort for residents, community-based partners, Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax County, and other supporters. We work together to deliver necessary, accessible, and effective resources for vulnerable youth and their families. Second Story is the lead agency for the Crossroads area of this initiative.
All of this support is completely free.
Who is eligible?
The Family Resource Centers and Teen Center serve drop ins and anyone is welcome to receive services. The Safe Youth Projects welcome youth depending on space in the program. Our after-school programs are intended for youth who do not have another safe place to go and whose families cannot afford other resources for them and the Family Resource Centers are intended for adults having trouble meeting their basic needs or navigating community services available to them.
In fiscal year 2019 296 students were served through the Culmore Teen Center, 147 students were served through our Safe Youth Projects, and 17,391 people received services at our Family Resource Centers. 100% of youth in our community-based programs stayed gang-free.