Reston, VA

Seniors living in two of Fellowship Square’s housing communities have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The first dose of the vaccine was distributed on Jan. 18 at Lake Anne Fellowship House in Reston. Another dose was administered at Lake Ridge Fellowship House in Woodbridge on Jan. 19. The vaccine will be provided for residents at Hunters Woods Fellowship House in Reston in February.

The move falls in line with the Virginia Department of Health’s Phase 1b for distribution of the vaccine: “Vaccinate Frontline Essential Workers, People Aged 65 years and Older, People Living in Correctional Facilities, Homeless Shelters and Migrant Labor Camps, and People aged 16 through 64 years with a High Risk Medical Condition or Disability that Increases Their Risk of Severe Illness from COVID-19.”

The vaccine was administered door to door through a mobile health collaboration with local CVS and Walgreens pharmacies. The mobile units will return to administer the second dose of the vaccine.

“While we will continue to keep safety precautions in place, we now at least can offer our residents the additional level of health, safety and security that being vaccinated against COVID-19 brings,” Christy Zeitz, CEO of Fellowship Square, said in a press release.

“There is a lot of excitement among our residents and staff – they have been looking forward to this day for many months.”

Fellowship Square houses more than 700 seniors between its three housing communities. The organization is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit with a reported average resident age of 78.

The nonprofit says it has combatted COVID-19 in its residences with proactive safety and sanitation efforts. It has also provided regular educational updates in more than nine languages that are spoken throughout its communities.

Fellowship Square has also organized a “Check In and Chat” effort for volunteers to call residents to check on their well-being and offer companionship. The organization also has volunteer opportunities through “Fellowship Fresh” to deliver food donations to residents’ doors.

Photos courtesy Fellowship Square

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Fellowship Square, which operates affordable housing facilities for seniors at Lake Anne Fellowship House and Hunters Woods Fellowship House, has launched a new approach to respond to the outbreak of coronavirus. The living facilities are home to residents who are identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “high risk” due to age.

The health and safety of our residents and staff is always our primary concern. Fellowship Square is an independent living facility and therefore relies upon the cooperation of its residents in jointly combating this dissimilar virus pandemic,” said Shelley Ducker, a spokesperson for Fellowship Square.

The company is working with its property management company, S.L. Nusbaum, to implement new cleaning procedures. All non-essential activities and programs have been canceled until further notice and bus trips are limited for medical and food supply purposes online.

As part of its “aggressive and pro-active approach,” Ducker also noted that signage at all entrances requests high-risk visitors from entering the building, including those who recently traveled overseas, took a cruise, or show symptoms of illness. sanitizer and hand wipes are also available in high traffic areas. One sign reminds staff to avoid shaking hands with residents and guests to decrease the spread of germs.

We remain on high alert and continue to monitor news and other viable sources of information,” Ducker said.

This week, Reston Hospital Center also instituted new visitation restrictions. All visitors and patients are being directed to use specific entrances for health screenings.

“Any potential symptomatic patient who arrives can be properly masked and immediately isolated to protect our colleagues and other patients,” according to Todd McGovern, the hospital’s spokesperson. “We continue to work in partnership with the local, county and state health department and the CDC and will provide updates to our hospital and medical staff as necessary.”

Photo via Fellowship House

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Work is now underway on the $12 million renovation for the Hunters Woods Fellowship House in Reston.

The groundbreaking took place on Thursday (Feb. 27) for construction on the building (2231 Colts Neck Road), which serves as low-income housing for more than 300 seniors, according to a press release. All of the residents have a yearly income of roughly $12,000.

Fellowship Square Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing and other services in the area, have several planned changes to update the 225-unit facility.

The project will include new flooring, finishes and lighting; an update to a game room; a new lobby; updated landscaping and exterior; improvement of energy efficiency; and other features to help battle resident loneliness, the press release said.

“Here in Northern Virginia, we have nowhere near the level of housing for low-income seniors that we need, and this trend will only grow worse with the aging of baby-boomers and expanding redevelopment projects that drive prices up,” Christy Zeitz, the CEO of Fellowship Square said.

Renovations are expected to be completed in 2022 and will take 18 months, according to the press release, which added that this is Fellowship Square’s second “major” project since it was built in 1979.

Photo via Fellowship Square/Facebook

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A major project to modernize and upgrade Hunters Woods Fellowship House is expected to begin by the end of the month.

Fellowship Square Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable housing and other services in the area, will invest $12 million to improve the 225-unit facility, which offer affordable housing for seniors in the Reston area.

A celebration to kick-off the project is set for Thursday, Feb. 27 at 1:30 p.m. at the fellowship house (2231 Colts Neck Road).

Residents have been relocated internally through existing vacant units, according to a company representative. The first phase of the project will wrap up by the end of the year.

Phase two is expected to take about 18 months, the representative said.

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Thursday Morning Notes

1900 Reston Metro Plaza/James Schaeffer Jr.

Reminder: Community Meeting on Street Designs Tonight — Bike lanes, crosswalks and center turning lanes will be among the topics of conversation at a Fairfax County Department of Transportation community meeting tonight at Dogwood Elementary School. Colts Neck Road, North Shore Drive and Twin Branches Road are being considered for the changes. [Reston Now]

Local Students Named to Honors Choir — A total of 77 Fairfax County middle-school students have been named to the 2017 All-Virginia Middle School Honors Choir, which will perform April 27-29 in Blacksburg. Among the honorees are Chelsea Camacho, Hannah Carter, Violet Sather and Thalia Tran from Langston Hughes Middle School; and Johnny Park, Hannah Townsend and Mackenzie Trimble from Herndon Middle School. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Christy Zeitz/Fellowship Square FoundationFellowship Square Foundation Names New Director — Christy Zeitz (pictured), formerly the executive director of HomeAid Northern Virginia, is the new executive director of the Fellowship Square Foundation. Zeitz was also the former director of development for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance of Reston. The Reston-based Fellowship Square Foundation provides affordable housing and supportive services to low-income seniors and persons with disabilities. It operates four properties, including Lake Anne Fellowship House and Hunters Woods Fellowship House in Reston. [Fellowship Square Foundation]

Home Listings Down in County, Sales Up — The number of active home listings in Fairfax County in January was 1,977. That number is down 17.4 percent from a year ago. Meanwhile, 794 homes were sold in the month, up 6.9 percent from January 2016. The average sale price was $545,772, up 8.1 percent. [Fairfax County]

Photo of 1900 Reston Metro Plaza courtesy James Schaeffer Jr. on Facebook; photo of Christy Zeitz courtesy Fellowship Square Foundation

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Del. Ken Plum (l) with Pat and David Williams of GraceFul Care

GraceFul Care, a Reston business that provides companionship and assistance for senior citizens, celebrated its 20th anniversary with a reception at Hunters Woods Fellowship House on Tuesday.

Bringing GraceFul Care and Fellowship House together highlights the need for continued and expanded services for seniors in our community, said Rev. Faye Codding, Community Outreach Coordinator for Fellowship Square.

Fellowship Square is the non-profit that subsidizes five housing facilities for low-income seniors in the Washington, D.C., area, including two in Reston (Hunters Woods and Lake Anne).

“We have 285 residents at Hunters Woods who are all over 62, extremely low income and some are disabled,” Codding said. The money raised on Tuesday will go to a fund that helps residents pay for extras such as medical supplies, food, doctor’s co-pays and other expenses that can be tough for seniors to cover, said Codding.

There is a waiting list for subsidized units at both of Reston’s Fellowship Houses, which highlights the need for affordable housing here, said Cornerstones CEO Kerrie Wilson.

“If you look at the trends, people are aging here and housing costs are high,” she said. “Fellowship House is an important resource. We have nowhere near the level of housing for low-income seniors that we need.”

Meanwhile, GraceFul Care, which was founded by Dave and Pat Williams in 1995, has been honored by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Fairfax, AARP and the Herndon-Dulles Chamber of Commerce, among others, for both their work as a successful local business and a quality agency for senior help. Their son-in-law, Dan Flavin, is now running the company.

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Fairfax County Fire RescueA maintenance worker at Hunters Woods Fellowship House was badly burned by hot grease as he assisted a resident at the senior housing building Thursday afternoon, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue officials said.

Deputy Fire Chief Chuck Ryan said units were called to the building at 2231 Colts Neck Rd. about 4:30 p.m.

A resident had been cooking and smoke set off the smoke alarm. When the maintenance worker, whose name was not released, went to assist the resident, he was accidentally splashed with hot grease from the stove.

The employee was taken by medical helicopter to the burn unit at Washington Hospital Center in D.C., Ryan said. He is being treated for non life-threatening injuries.

There was no actual fire, just grease and smoke in the kitchen accident, fire officials said.

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