News Briefs: August 31 – September 6

20 Percent of N. Va. Families Can’t Meet Basic Needs: Report

In 2021, one in five families (20 percent) in Northern Virginia did not earn enough money to meet their basic needs for shelter, food, medical care, and other essentials, according to the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia report. An additional nine percent could not cover these basic needs, and pay for childcare. All told, 29 percent of the region’s families were struggling with income inadequacy.

According to the report, to cope with rising costs, families at all income levels are changing their habits. The majority of families are cutting back on discretionary spending. Nearly half of families at all income levels have compromised their financial health, including taking on more debt, and getting behind on bills. More than a quarter were sacrificing a basic need, such as delaying medical care, keeping their homes at an unsafe temperature, or going hungry.

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia published the report, which includes perspectives from real Northern Virginians collated by InsideNOVA, and Northern Virginia Family Services.

Elizabeth Hughes, the Community Foundation’s Director of Insight Region said, “This report offers unique insights into how Northern Virginians ’get by’ when their income is not enough to cover the basic cost of housing, food, transportation, and medical care. Weaving together multiple data sources and firsthand accounts, we examine how families across income levels cope with income inadequacy and recent inflation by making sacrifices – from small things like reducing streaming services and meals out to the big things like debt, food insecurity, and delayed medical care. This is a report that I hope resonates with everyone in our region.”

Jazz4Justice Show on Labor Day at Mr. Brown’s Park

From 2 to 4 p.m. on Labor Day Monday, a Jazz4Justice event will be held at Mr. Brown’s Park in the 100 block of W. Broad St. in downtown Falls Church.

The Capital Jazz Band, a 17-piece group,featured  on the program at 2 p.m., followed by the Jazz4Justice performers and a jam that all are invited to join. The event will support the Legal Aid Justice Center.

Ceca Foundation Celebrates 10 Years, Lawlor Steps Down

After a decade of “pouring his heart and soul” into Ceca, co-founder Matthew Lawlor of Falls Church has decided to “fully retire” from day-to-day operations, it was announced during a 10th anniversary fete last week

According to Falls Church native Nathan Hamme, who is the organization’s president and executive director, Lawlor will continue on the board of directors of the group which supports nursing and home care personnel. Lawlor “will continue advocating for the foundation as board chair, alongside co-founder and wife Rosemary and the rest of Ceca’s dedicated Board of Directors,” Hamme said.

The Ceca Foundation honored Ryan Turner with the 2023 International Ceca Award in recognition of compassionate care and excellence in nursing. Turner received a commemorative plaque and a cash Ceca Award of $1,000 in a ceremony held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, marking the Seventh Annual Celebration of International Nurses Day on May 12.

This was the second year Ceca partnered with Nurses With Global Impact for the award and event. Turner was honored for his exemplary service in both Kenya and Ecuador and, in particular, for the way he engaged both on-the-job and off-the-job with local communities, understanding their diverse cultures, addressing local community needs, and ensuring positive healthcare outcomes. When not providing nursing care, he fully engaged in the local communities, actively volunteering for community projects.