We, the undersigned, support efforts by the well-known and respected Good Shepherds Alliance (GSA) to establish a simple Thrift Store and administrative office in Ashburn, which has been planned and discussed openly since early 2007. It will not be a shelter. It is not open after 5pm. It is not a drop-in facility during the day. There will be no busing in of homeless and there will be no new bus route for this purpose. It is an entirely new, state-of-the-art facility being built to replace an area that previously located a roofing and building materials company for many years. We are taking a stand in favor of honest dialogue, the facts, transparency and, above all, compassion and a Christian way. We do so for these reasons: -- Homelessness is an issue that exists throughout Loudoun County. It is real. It is here. And its growing; -- Like hunger, it is not always visible--but we must always be vigilant about it, and we as a society must take on its burden and fight it no matter where it exists; -- Addressing homelessness is a society-wide issue that transcends borders and politics, and speaks to the very heart of improving the human experience, and lifting the human spirit; -- As Loudoun Countys population grows, so will the number of indigent and homelessness who need love, support, compassion, and help; -- In 2006, the GSA served 351 needy men, women and children; in 1998, that number was 190; they provided almost 15,000 bed nights in 2006, compared to about 8,000 in 1998; and in 2006 the GSA provided over 36,000 meals to hungry families and children, compared to over 20,000 in 1998; -- In 2006, the GSA had to turn back onto the streets a total of 536 people, including turning away 176 needy women and 183 destitute children
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