For 47 years, Second Story has operated the only emergency home for youth in Northern Virginia; today, it does that and more, providing a range of safe spaces and services for youth in crisis. Young people experiencing homelessness receive long-term housing support as well as case management, therapy, life skills education, tutoring, and emergency food and supplies. Community outreach programs provide safety and educational support after school – helping kids stay on track academically while steering clear of gangs, drugs, and violence. For homeless young mothers and their babies, Second Story offers safe housing, job training, and parenting support while moms continue their education and save for the future. And Family Resource Centers bring together language and computer classes, legal services, tutoring, and joint parent-and-child programs. For young people with nowhere else to turn, your support opens doors.

COVID-19 Update: Despite having to overcome many hardships (74% of long term residential program youth became unemployed or lost significant wages), 100% of youth housed in its long-term residential program kept their housing and 100% of eligible high school seniors graduated. Staff conduct three group Zoom calls a week to make sure students don't fall behind and to schedule individual tutoring sessions as needed. Additionally, it opened food distribution centers in Culmore, Springfield, and Annandale at the start of the pandemic and continues to provide food to just under 1000 individuals a week.

Headquarters: VA-Fairfax County

Where They Operate: VA-Fairfax County; Culmore; Annandale; Springfield/Franconia; Vienna

Age Groups Served: Infants (0-2); Pre-K (3-4); Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24)

Population(s) Served: All

  • Number of people (clients, patrons, students, etc) we serve annually:   13,711
  • Number of hours of volunteer work we record annually:   14,670
  • Number of volunteers who work with us annually:   1,654
  • Number of people served in meals programs:   6,570
  • Number of people served in clothing distribution::   2,584

Awards & Recognition

Second Story (formerly Alternative House) was awarded a four-star (highest) rating by Charity Navigator for a fifth consecutive year - achieved by only 6% of the 8,000+ charities evaluated.

Second Story has also been awarded the “Best in America” designation from Independent Charities of America.

Second Story is a GuideStar Gold Participant in the GuideStar Nonprofit Program.

Second Story was recognized by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors for our 50 years of service to youth and families.


Budget (FY2015)

  • The current budget for Second Story is: $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $40 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

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