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  • Brian Tinsman

Loudoun Times-Mirror: As Loudoun's homeless population grows, local nonprofits are concerned about lack of shelter space

The team at Good Shepherd Alliance, which includes staff, volunteers and program participants

Some Loudoun County nonprofit leaders say they are concerned about meeting the needs of local homeless people as the cold winter months approach.

The number of people experiencing homelessness in the Washington, D.C. region increased by 1,300— 18% — since last year, according to a Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments report released in May. In Loudoun County, the number of people experiencing homelessness increased by 30% in the last five years, from 169 in 2019 to 220 in 2023.

“If you start peeling the layers of the onion, it’s the start of a crisis,” Isabel Mayer, chief missions and operations officer with Good Shepherd Alliance, said. “On average one time a week we have someone new come in who is living in a car with babies and needs help.”

Based in Ashburn, Good Shepherd is a nonprofit working specifically with homeless women and children. Organization officials are seeing an increase in the number of people living in their cars or couch surfing — as well as those who are “truly homeless.”

They are especially concerned about young families with children. “When you see those little kids, it is just heartbreaking,” Good Shepherd CEO Elizabeth Vermette said.

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