Reston Restaurant Collecting Warm Clothing for Homeless Veterans

(Updated 4:50 p.m.) As it starts to get colder, some veterans and families around the region don’t have a home to take shelter in.

The Not Your Average Joe’s restaurant in the Reston Town Center is collecting unused, or gently used, sweaters and sweat pants as part of a “Sweats 4 Vets” program.

“We do have a homeless problem in Reston,” said Joe Becker, general manager at Not Your Average Joe’s. “It’s not front page news, but if you look around it’s there.”

Becker said the collection is a partnership with Northwest Federal Credit Union.

“Every fall, going into winter, we collect [sweat-clothes] for veterans,” said Becker. “We have hypothermia shelters in the area that we get these clothes out to.”

The collection is starting to fill up, and Becker’s goal is to have it overflowing. Normally the clothing is collected at the beginning of December, but Becker said the weather made him want to keep collecting for a few more weeks to get more sweat-clothes.

“It’s halfway full, so it’s getting up there,” said Robert DeSilva, a manager at Not Your Average Joe’s. “We prefer new items, but we will take slightly used [sweat-clothes] in all sizes and cuts.”

DeSilva said the collection will continue for two more weeks before the clothing is donated to local shelters.

“There’s plenty of veterans on hard times right now,” DeSilva said. “We need to take care of those who have taken care of us.”

Photo via Not Your Average Joe’s

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Cold Weather Resources as ‘Bomb Cyclone’ Sweeps Through East Coast

As the historic bomb cyclone unleashes blizzard conditions from costal Virginia to New England sends reverberations to the Reston area.

A winter weather advisory for Fairfax County and other parts of the region has been extended to 1 p.m. today due to snow-covered, slippery roads and limited visibility, according to the National Weather Service.

As of around 7 a.m. this morning, Reston received half an inch of snow. All Reston Community Center events are cancelled.

Residents are advised to take several steps as frigid temperatures continue to follow the snow:

  • Avoid frozen pipes by eliminating drafts. Search for areas in the home where water supply lines are located in unheated areas and take measures to prevent the flow of cold air in these areas. Make sure the water line to outside faucets is turned off and the line is drained. Keep the thermostat at a reasonable temperature even if you are away from home to prevent water pipes from freezer. Never try to thaw a pipe with an open flame or torch due to the potential for electric shock.
  • Dress warmly to avoid frostbite and hypothermia. Avoid overexertion, dress warmly in loose-fitting, layered, lightweight clothing.
  • Check on vulnerable neighbors, particularly the elderly.

If you see anyone who is unsheltered and needs help, call the police department’s non-emergency number at 703-691-2131. The county has been housing between 200 and 220 people a night through its hypothermia program.

Through March 31, Cornerstones is offering housing for unsheltered homeless adults at the North County Human Services Building (1850 Cameron Glen Drive), which is near the Embry Rucker Community Shelter. The program operates every night regardless of inclement weather and on all holidays.

Just yesterday, local police found a 79-year-old woman who had been reporting missing when the temperature was just eight degrees. The woman is now recovering in a local hospital.

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