In addition to our National and International mission programs, Westminster seeks to be an active partner with local nonprofit organizations as they provide much-needed services to our neighbors. We support the agencies above with financial support and appoint liaisons from the congregation to help our members find ways to serve in their community. Our local mission ministries are loosely organized around the areas of children, hunger, education, shelter and self-sufficiency. We sponsor an annual Community Grant Program, which has provided over $160,000 in funds in support of specific projects by a range of local non-profits, and raise funds for mission during the Christmas season at our annual Alternative Giving Bazaar. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Founded in 1969, ALIVE! is the oldest and largest private safety net for Alexandrians living in poverty and with hunger. Rooted in community, ALIVE! is comprised of 45 faith-based organizations and works closely with community organizations and relies on volunteers and support from Alexandrians who are dedicated to helping others. Their work focuses on four areas: food, shelter, emergency financial help, and basic needs support. Since the emergence of COVID-19, ALIVE! has distributed 5 times more food and 3 times more financial assistance to people in need. ALIVE! has also been working to prevent evictions and keep people housed through the Alexandria Eviction Prevention Partnership.
Bridges to Independence
Founded as the Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless in 1985, Bridges to Independence (Bridges) leads individuals and families out of homelessness and into stable, independent futures. In addition to operating Arlington’s largest emergency family shelter, Bridges offers a new Community Services Center in Green Valley and provides housing, workforce development, financial empowerment, and a youth development program. For the third consecutive year, 100% of Bridges’ youth graduated high school successfully. Additionally, 100% of the students continued to college, technical school, or entered a specialized career of their choice. That’s a true recipe to break generational cycles of poverty.
For more than 30 years, Carpenter’s Shelter has been supporting children, women and men in their journey from homelessness to affordable permanent housing. Their residents are provided a safe, clean place to live in a 60-bed emergency residential shelter and a comprehensive array of wrap-around services to support them such as: education and employment programs, medical and mental health care, and children and family programs. Every day but Sunday, they operate David’s Place, a day shelter for chronically homeless men and women giving them access to basic needs, including shower and laundry facilities, mail, internet and telephone services, lockers and snacks. Each year from November to April, Carpenter’s Shelter coordinates with the City of Alexandria to provide overnight shelter from inclement weather for hundreds of individuals and families.
Child & Family Network Centers
CFNC was started in 1984 by a group of mothers, living in public housing, after seventeen children were unable to be promoted from Kindergarten. Today, CFNC is an Alexandria-based network of free, high-quality bi-lingual preschools. They provide caring, free education and related services to at-risk children and families in their own neighborhoods in order to prepare and empower them for success in school and life. Within the stringent safety guidelines in place, due to the global pandemic, this year they are providing in-person instruction to 81 students across seven classrooms, as well as two virtual classrooms serving over 40 students.
Since 1987, Community Lodgings has served Alexandria with a mission to lift families from homelessness and instability to independence and self-sufficiency through housing and education programs. In addition to housing, Community Lodgings provides children with the foundation for academic success through youth education programs for elementary, middle and high school students. Youth programs include free, daily after school programs and summer camps, tutoring and mentoring opportunities.
Friends of Guest House
Friends of Guest House helps women successfully reenter the community from incarceration. Since their founding in 1974, Guest House has helped more than 4,000 women break the vicious cycle of incarceration, reunite with their families, and reintegrate into their communities. Guest House is the ONLY 24/7 residential reentry program for women in Northern Virginia and is the largest program in the state. Without reentry support, more than 70% of ex-offenders nationwide reoffend within two years; among Guest House graduates 15% reoffend. Friends of Guest House believes in women, families and second chances—envisioning a world where your past does not define your future.
The mission of Just Neighbors is to provide high-quality immigration legal services to low-income immigrants, asylees, and refugees in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia; and, to build community among clients, staff, volunteers and the larger society through education, advocacy, and volunteerism. They provide humanitarian legal services to victims of political upheaval, natural disasters, armed conflict, and crime. Just Neighbors Ministry is a mission project of the Arlington District of the United Methodist Church.
Neighborhood Health’s mission is to improve health and advance health equity in Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax County by providing access to high-quality primary care regardless of ability to pay. They operate 13 clinics in Northern Virginia, five of which are in the City of Alexandria. This year, they provided primary health care services -- medical, dental, and behavioral health - to more than 29,000 low-income men, women, and children who reside in Alexandria and the surrounding communities.
Founded in 1974, OAR is a community-based nonprofit which envisions a safe and thriving community where those impacted by the legal system enjoy equal civil and human rights. Through their upstream work, they are confronting and dismantling racism in the legal system and across all systems. Their downstream work allows them to be on the journey with individuals of all genders returning to the community from incarceration and support their families in the homecoming process. And they offer alternative sentencing options through community service to youth and adults to avoid the trauma of incarceration and instead remain a part of helping the community thrive.
Rebuilding Together DC • Alexandria
Multiple studies show strong connections between housing stability and improved student achievement, workplace productivity, and increased health and wellness. When people have access to safe, stable housing, they put down roots, which enhances community stability and fosters more socially, culturally, and economically diverse neighborhoods throughout Alexandria. Rebuilding Together’s work promotes stable housing. Through their Safe and Healthy Homes program, contractors and volunteers of all skill levels provide free home repairs, correcting multiple health and safety hazards in homes occupied by low-income individuals and families.
Senior Services of Alexandria
Senior Services of Alexandria (SSA) provides programs to help older adults in the City of Alexandria maintain their independence and self-sufficiency as they age. Their innovative programs help seniors live safely in their own homes by providing services focused on four core areas of need: access to food, transportation, information, and social connection. These services are provided by carefully screened volunteers, and also serve as a quick welfare check for those who live alone. Since 1968 Senior Services of Alexandria has worked to fill gaps in existing services, not duplicate existing ones, so that all seniors can age with dignity.
Together We Bake
Together We Bake’s mission is to provide a comprehensive workforce training and personal development program to help women gain self-confidence, transferable workforce skills, and invaluable hands-on experience which will allow them to find sustainable employment and move toward self-sufficiency. The program revolves around a small baking business in Old Town Alexandria.