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PRESS RELEASE CONTACT:  Rose Powers,  email:   rpowers@streetlightcom.org; ORGANIZATION:  StreetLight Community Outreach Ministries, www.thestreetlight.org   RESPITE CARE HOME FOR THE HOMELESS   During the latest Point in Time Count, county workers and volunteers found over 50 homeless campsites located in Prince William County.  A number of these campsites included 30-40 tents sheltering homeless men and women in sub-standard living conditions.  More alarming, however, was the discovery that a significant number of this population is medically fragile. People are living in the woods and wandering the streets suffering from chronic health conditions.  Homeless people are at higher risk for chronic, uncontrolled medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.  One young man suffers from Multiple Sclerosis and can barely walk.  Due to his illness, he lost his job, then his home and is now living in a tent trying to survive. According to a recent “1,000 Homes Medically Fragile Homeless Survey,” 30% of the homeless are medically fragile.  They can barely cope in their harsh living conditions.  Last winter, a homeless person froze to death after suffering a stroke.   Recognizing the need, StreetLight Community Outreach Ministries, a non-profit agency located in Woodbridge, Virginia, got to work to make a long-term difference among this very vulnerable population.  StreetLight applied for and received a grant from Potomac Health Foundation to begin a pilot project to permanently house medically fragile homeless adults.  StreetLight then leased two, 3 bedroom apartments to use exclusively for this purpose. Each client receives licensed, in-home respite care services, care coordination and intense case management services.  This is the first and only Respite Care program operating in Prince William County.  After experiencing amazing outcomes during the first year, StreetLight received a continuation grant and is continuing this program for its’ second year.  The impact this program has on the client’s well-being is astounding.  One of these gentlemen, Chris, suffers from cancer.  Up until four months ago, Chris was living in the woods trying to manage his disease.  The combination of his illness and the harsh living conditions led Chris in and out of the hospital almost every week.  Now he is comfortably housed, visited regularly by licensed nurses and has only visited the hospital once since receiving permanent housing.   About StreetLight -- StreetLight Community Outreach Ministries is a tax exempt 501(c)3, non-profit agency established to help the poor and homeless in Woodbridge, Virginia.    StreetLight is a “difference maker” in our community.  They provide food to the poor and homeless through a food pantry, nutritious meals to the homeless at a weekly outreach dinner, crisis aid for rent evictions and utility cut-offs, and supported housing and supportive services for the homeless.  StreetLight currently owns three houses and leases four apartments enabling them to house 20 homeless persons who are disabled, medically fragile and intellectually challenged.  Their work is literally saving lives and making a long-term difference in people’s lives.  To learn more about their life changing work, log onto www.thestreetlight.org.