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
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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.
- Spotlight: The Alternative House
Wed Dec 28 2011, Vienna Patch
Cox Communications interviewed Judith Dittman, Executive Director of Alternative House-The Abused and Homeless Children's Refuge.
- Abused and Homeless Teens Find Refuge at Alternative House
Thu Oct 27 2011, The Student Newspaper of George Mason High School, Falls Churc, Va
The Alternative House of Vienna is a shelter that provides intervention for teens in "crisis."
- Teens Find Safe haven
Tue Aug 16 2011, Fairfax Connection
Mother packs teen's bags and asks her to leave.
- An Alternative to Homelessness
Tue Aug 16 2011, Connection
Alternative House Homeless Youth Initiative support teens trying to finish high school that don't have a family to live with.
- The Plight of the High School Homeless
Mon Dec 27 2010, The Washington Post
During the first days Landis Brewer spent homeless, he maintained a facade of suburban comfort at South County High School . . .
- 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
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