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Gratitude in Action: Transformation of Lives and a Future of Hope

Updated: Feb 27

We at the Virginia Women and Family Support Center (VAWFSC), formerly Carried To Full Term, started our new year extending gratitude to our friends, volunteers, families, and donors. As Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, we believe in 'cultivating a habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to us, because all things have contributed to our advancement."  We try our best to express our gratitude for all the support and kindness we have received.

In 2023, our program provided safe, stable, and supportive housing for 16 women and their children. We assisted and supported them in securing employment, furthered their education, and prioritized their maternal and mental health. One resident has been diligently studying to take her GED; another is job hunting, while another is learning to support her three children while working on her goals. A new resident gave birth to a baby girl, who was born eight weeks early on February 8!

Our mothers are determined to break cycles of homelessness. They're learning to make positive, healthy choices every day. Our program has been able to support 22 women in pursuing advanced education or vocational training. We have a 99% success rate in our residents getting their GEDs, and 85% have improved their job-related skills. An average of 65% of our clients have increased their savings and 32 women have secured sustainable income sources. We've graduated 10 clients, and continue to nurture and guide our residents to increase that number. We're proud of their accomplishments.

Throughout the community, we were able to offer help to 78 women and 55 families this year.

Please know our successes are your successes. Your donations, whether monetary, in-kind, or volunteering, have made an impactful difference.

The need has been growing.

According to the Housing and Urban Development's 2023 Annual Homeless Assessment Report Point-in-Time Estimates, 650,000 people were living in shelters or outside in tents or cars in the U.S.  The National Alliance to End Homelessness estimates that 30% of the homeless population are families. "Homeless families are usually headed by a single woman with limited education, are typically young, and have young children."  (National Alliance to End Homelessness website,  Several factors contribute to the increase in homelessness.  The lack of housing due to the national housing shortage and the lack of affordable housing are two major factors that have consistently contributed to the increase in families experiencing homelessness. 

We're on a path to change this demographic.

Our mission began with our founder and director, Frances Robin. After observing panicked, stricken women descend into emotional despair upon receiving the news of a positive pregnancy test and hearing their stories of not having stable housing to bring a child into the world she felt compelled to find a solution. After six years of searching and raising funds, Carried To Full Term was born. Frances has been a fierce advocate and tireless warrior for homeless pregnant women ever since.

When Carried To Full Term opened in 2016, the mission then and now has been focused on providing long-term housing with a "whole person" approach, meaning, we provide additional services to take care of the needs of the whole individual. Each year, we have grown steadily, to not only provide a haven for women, but a community ready to help guide and nurture our residents along the journey of transformation. Through knowledge and experience, we are teaching women how to "break the cycles that lead to homelessness."

Our mission requires a multifaceted approach and our community, staff, and volunteers are trained and stand ready to deliver the services and support necessary to help women change the trajectory of their futures. In addition to providing a safe home for mothers to bring their children and newborns to after giving birth, we understand that families thrive when they have stable housing. Additional support and services including mental health and trauma recovery care are available to our residents.  We prioritize raising awareness of the impact of trauma on maternal and mental health. These are paramount to the families in our program. We also offer counseling services through partnerships to help our residents heal emotionally and mentally.

Education is another key to success and self-sufficiency. We offer a variety of courses to equip our residents with the knowledge and skills to secure stable employment. And most importantly, maternal and prenatal health care ensures our expectant mothers and babies receive the care they need to thrive.

Each year since 2016, we've helped more women and children and expanded our efforts and involvement in the community to increase needed revenue. We have been incredibly fortunate to have the support of the community. Our donors and sponsors make these efforts possible and we couldn't be more grateful.

Our success has spurred us on to extend our reach.

We started 2024 with a new name, the Virginia Women and Family Support Center. Our new name reflects our expanded vision: to focus on the broader challenges of homelessness, to reflect our expanding focus, we're moving to a larger office and we've acquired two new residences, one in Gainesville; and one in Manassas to serve a broader range of families, not just women.

We're excited about our plans and the future as we work toward ending homelessness in Prince William County.  

Learn more about our Cycle Breakers program and help us continue to change the lives of women and families forever.

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