What We Do
LCAC’s goal is to break the cycle of poverty and prevent homelessness. We do this through a variety of services and programs, including the following:
LCAC believes that no one should have to go without food or shelter. By addressing basic human needs and offering one-on-one case management, LCAC helps individuals and families stretch their limited income, and provide guidance about other resources and employment opportunities. LCAC provides food, clothing, furniture, holiday food and gift assistance, and limited financial assistance to at-risk families and individuals, including military families stationed at Fort Belvoir.
Recognizing that children are one of a community’s greatest assets, LCAC is committed to finding ways to engage, educate and empower the next generation of community leaders. LCAC works closely with local elementary school leadership to offer a tutoring program and established an after school program at William Halley and Gunston Elementary Schools. During Spring 2014, 267 students took part in the program and participated in enrichment activities such as sports, dance, engineering, cheerleading, mentoring and cooking. During the summer months, LCAC provides a hot lunch to children to ensure everyone has a healthy and nutritious lunch during the week.
English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) Classes
LCAC partners with the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia (LCNV) to offer English classes to adult residents of southeast Fairfax County. The course content focuses on helping students improve their English speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. The classes also provide information about American culture and life skills important to the workplace, community, and family.
The ability to read, write, and communicate in English is a crucial tool for low-income individuals and families to achieve financial security. It can open the door to new jobs and it is essential for learning new skills that will lead to better paying jobs. It empowers individuals to advocate effectively for themselves and their children in dealing with physicians, teachers, and administrators of human services programs. Additionally, individuals with improved English communication skills have the wherewithal to become a knowledgeable and engaged community member.
Pro Bono Legal Services
Competent legal advice is not inexpensive and yet is often vital to enhancing the quality of life for individuals, families and children. LCAC partners with the Northern Virginia Pro Bono Law Center, a program of the Fairfax Law Foundation, to provide pro bono legal services that address a wide range of issues, including family law issues and civil matters.
As part of our self-sufficiency program, LCAC offers a Basic Nutrition course to teach clients how to prepare healthy meals for their families while adhering to a budget. The six-week course is offered in the fall and spring. Graduates of the Basic Nutrition class are then eligible to take additional one-time classes to enhance and strengthen their skills and interests, such as container gardening, Name that Vegetable and courses which address health and wellness. Free childcare is available.
Basic Budgeting Class
LCAC offers a one session class, Money Matters, four times each year to interested households who would benefit from learning basic budgeting. This class, and the more extensive financial mentoring program, are designed to equip clients to better manage their resources. Successful clients will complete budgets and begin to develop goals based on this course.
Long-term Financial Mentoring
LCAC offers a long-term financial mentoring class twice yearly using the FDIC's Money Smart materials. Clients are screened using a Self-Sufficiency scale to target families for whom the course would have the largest impact. Families are paired with a mentor throughout the six month course to help families become more stable. Clients completing this course will have a working budget along with short- and long-term financial goals developed.