About Shelter House

Shelter House, Inc. is a community-based, non-profit organization serving homeless families in Fairfax County, Virginia. Our organization was formed in 1981, when several ecumenical groups came together to better serve Fairfax County's low-income population. In 1985, Shelter House's facility was moved to its current location in Falls Church. In 2007, Shelter House was awarded Fairfax County's contract to operate the Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter in Fairfax. In 2010, Shelter House became the first non-profit to operate Artemis House, Fairfax County's Domestic Violence Shelter.

Shelter House carries out its mission in partnership with Fairfax County, local human services agencies, a wide variety of ecumenical groups and community organizations as well as private sector sponsors and friends.

Shelter House programs have a three-fold purpose:

  • To provide a secure, structured environment where families can regain a sense of stability and perspective;
  • To respond to identified client needs with a variety of supportive services, which enhance the individual’s employment and housing status, educational level, medical care and personal growth; and
  • To promote healthy, stable families who are connected to a network of community supporters and opportunities.

Shelter House has committed itself to the Housing First model as we strive to rapidly re-house every family that enters one of our housing programs:

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  • The Patrick Henry Family Shelter for large families

  • The Katherine K. Hanley Family Shelter, Fairfax County's first Housing First facility

  • Artemis House, Fairfax County's Domestic Violence Shelter

  • Ives House for 2-3 small families

  • Offsite Transitional Housing for families with debt barriers to housing

  • RISE Permanent Supportive Housing for families with the most difficult housing barriers


Our services don't stop after moving families to permanent housing. With the focus on breaking the cycle of homelessness, we understand that the first year of transition for families moving to permanent housing is the most critical. To address this, in 2007 Shelter House initiated its first Community Case Management program. Case Managers follow our families into the community to provide crucial services that will help them maintain permanent housing. Services may consist of:

  • Debt reduction
  • Childcare assistance
  • Home-based services including a robust Community Case Management program
  • Job / Employment training
  • Move-in assistance
> 1 in 4 of our residents has experienced domestic violence.