Shelter House, Inc. is a community-based, non-profit organization that provides crisis intervention, safe housing, and supportive services to neighbors experiencing homelessness and victims of domestic violence in our community.
Our organization was formed in 1981, as a grassroots responder to the homelessness crisis in Fairfax County. Community volunteers from several ecumenical groups joined together to help address the needs of their homeless neighbors. They started by providing direct emergency assistance – items such as blankets, food, and warm clothing were distributed from the trunks of their cars.
The tragic hypothermia death of a homeless man on Christmas day in 1983 in the Bailey’s Crossroads area galvanized the community to do more. Churches opened winter shelters, and Shelter House volunteers and other advocated to Fairfax County Government to devote more public resources to the homeless.
As a result of this advocacy, Shelter House secured a County contract in 1985 to open one of the first charter shelters in Fairfax County. Since then, Shelter House has continued to grow as an organization in order to accommodate the growing needs in our community, by also expanding into Loudoun County. Today, Shelter House operates five shelter facilities and several housing programs.
To prevent and end homelessness and domestic violence by engaging the community, building effective relationships and providing crisis intervention, safe housing and supportive services.
We envision a community free of homelessness and domestic violence.
Our Core Values Are: Inclusivity, Collaboration, Accountability, Respect, and Empowerment = iCARE
Board of Directors
TJ has been married to his best friend, Lita, for over 22 years. They have three beautiful children, T.J., Jr. (21), Shauna (18) and J.R. (16) and reside in Laurel located in Howard County Maryland. They are members of Christian Life Center Church. TJ is currently the Northern Virginia Operations Supervisor at DLA Piper LLP, a global law firm. He is an author, business owner, personal finance coach, motivational speaker and professional development mentor. He enjoys reading, surfing, golf, traveling the world, skeet shooting, honeymooning with his wife, time with his family and helping those in need.
Ike Eichenbrenner provides site engineering leadership for over 1000 engineering and technical employees across Boeing Defense and Security in the Potomac Region (VA, MD & DC.) In this role, he enhances career progression, advises employees on performance improvement, develops the local technical fellowship program and facilitates job rotation to promote cultural change. Ike has been with Boeing for 25 years after retiring as a major during an Air Force career in munitions development and systems acquisition. Ike provides oversight for Division Talent Management: chairs the Division Engineering Skills Management Team; leads pipeline management activities, enhances Technical Fellow development & utilization, provides training & career growth for Boeing employees, leads college & critical hiring efforts, and monitors the engineering force and staff for critical indicators via Adaptive Planning. He develops and provides a monthly summary metrics briefing to senior Boeing VP executives, develops engineering education waivers, leads mitigation of Reduction in Force boards; ensures robust engineering via talent management and develops/oversees National Engineers Week and other special Boeing Enterprise events. Ike has a passion for supporting charitable organizations and specifically for ones like Shelter House that help the homeless get back on their feet (champions supportive housing.) He started a monthly volunteer effort for Boeing employees in 2018 at the Katherine Hanley Family Shelter in Fairfax, VA. This program was recently re-initiated after Covid interrupted our in-person volunteer activity. As a part of this effort, over 120 Boeing employees have volunteered at the shelter and have logged 700 hours of volunteer time displaying Boeing’s deep commitment to corporate citizenship. Ike and Boeing believes that companies that succeed in building a profitable relationship with the external world define themselves through what they contribute.
Nancy Socher has lived in the Vienna-Oakton community for 24 years and has been an active volunteer in the public school system. She most recently served as President of the Madison Athletic Booster Club where she led several successful fundraising events. She also spent many years at Thoreau and Madison as PTSA Chair of Parent Education, organizing and promoting seminars to educate parents on timely issues impacting children and their families. She is excited to turn her passion and energies to Family PASS and other local non-profits. Nancy graduated from Georgetown University with a BS in Finance and International Management. She worked for Arthur Andersen Real Estate Services Group and Freddie Mac Multifamily, before staying home to raise her children. Her experience at Freddie Mac sparked her interest in affordable housing issues. Nancy lives with her husband Larry in Vienna and has three grown children, Ben, Owen and Ellie. She loves to cook, read, and travel.
As a Commercial Services Officer, with particular experience in client relations management and business development, Sopa focuses on providing innovative solutions to the cash management, treasury and deposit service needs of her clients. Sopa partners with loan officers, financial advisors, retail managers, Market and Executive Management to meet financial solutions to business clients. She has about 20 years of local banking experience in the DC Metro area. A longtime resident of Fairfax County, Sopa serves on the board of Shelter House Inc, a community-based, non-profit organization that provides crisis intervention, safe housing, and supportive services to homeless families and victims of domestic violence in Fairfax County. Sopa also served on the board of the Tyson’s Regional Chamber of Commerce from 2014- 2017 and is very active with various charitable groups in the community.
Scott Covino is currently a founding partner of Red Rock Business Advisors (“Red Rock”). Red Rock is a business consulting firm that specializes in the areas of outsourced CFO, outsourced COO, strategy, operations and IT consulting and tax. Mr. Covino has assisted clients with acquisitions, strategic planning, process re-engineering, workflows and general business guidance. Directly prior to founding Red Rock, Scott served as the Director of Operations/Finance for a Reston-based IT outsourcing company focused on the small business market. His responsibilities included establishing the strategic vision, management of all service offerings and management of accounting, HR and operations functions. Scott is an entrepreneur who has founded several business enterprises over his career and worked within many capacities within those organizations. Scott started his career in public accounting, where he provided all aspects of tax, audit and advisory services to closely-held business owners.
Clyde "Sonny" Ellis
A native Richmonder, Clyde E. “Sonny” Ellis, Jr. and his wife Lee have lived in Fairfax County for 25 years. Sonny recently retired as the Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of Parsons Corporation. Prior to joining Parsons he spent eight years in the General Electric legal department, and before that was a partner in the international law firm of Bryan Cave LLP. Sonny also served on the Family PASS Board of Directors, where he was the Chair of the Board’s Nominating and Governance Committee and Corporate Secretary.
Sharon Fitzpatrick founded The Fitzpatrick Group in 2003 with the vision of helping people in organizations grow and develop. As CEO of The Fitzpatrick Group, LLC., Ms. Fitzpatrick is a valued resource providing training and development programs that are highly interactive grounded in research and proven best practices. Sharon specializes in Organization Development, Diversity and Inclusion and Employee and Leadership Training. She brings a broad level of expertise and experience that reflects an understanding of the needs and challenges that businesses face today. The Fitzpatrick Group provides strategic learning and development solutions for organizations, leaders, and employees to maximize performance and connect people with their core purpose. Ms. Fitzpatrick has proven beneficial in helping many organizations to implement and promote organizational development programs; and has personally trained over 30,000 executives, managers, and staff level employees. She believes in building long term partnerships with her clients and is committed to providing the appropriate training, development tools and strategies that are aligned with an organization’s mission, vision, and overall goals for success.
David L. Ginsberg
David L. Ginsberg is a founding partner at Cooper Ginsberg Gray, a Northern Virginia firm specializing in a wide range of family law matters, including divorce, child custody, visitation agreements, support and alimony cases, negotiated settlements and adoptions. Mr. Ginsberg has been appointed to serve as a Substitute Judge in Virginia’s District Courts. He previously served as a Board Member of the Fairfax Law Foundation, Past-President of the George Mason School of Law Alumni Association Board, and as the Chair of the Fairfax Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Committee. Mr. Ginsberg has taught as an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University School of Law since 2012. Mr. Ginsberg has been honored with the Fairfax Law Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year Award and the Fairfax Bar Association President’s Award. Mr. Ginsberg has been named as a top divorce lawyer on multiple occasions in the Washingtonian and Northern Virginia Magazine, and included in the The Best Lawyers in America. Additionally, Mr. Ginsberg organizes the annual Chipping in to End Domestic Violence Charity Golf Tournament, which has benefited a local domestic violence shelter since 2000. In his free time, Mr. Ginsberg enjoys coaching youth basketball teams and photography. Mr. Ginsberg received an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and his Juris Doctorate from George Mason University School of Law.
Thomas G. Goodwin
Thomas G. Goodwin is a former Chairman of the Board at Shelter House (2014-2017) and 2019-2020). He has represented our organization in numerous forums, most notably as an advocate for public policy initiatives and funding in the Human Services arena – especially Domestic Violence and homelessness. He was for seven years a member of the Council to End Domestic Violence. As a member of Chairman Jeff McKay’s Task Force on Equity and Opportunity and the Fairfax County Human Services Council, he advocates for equity in public policy development and implementation. Currently he is the citizen leader of a county initiative to launch a Guaranteed Basic Income test project in 2023. Tom is Chairman of the Board of Directors at Recovery Program Solutions of Virginia, a nonprofit serving the immediate needs of people with substance and mental health issues. Professionally Tom is a communications (public relations) strategist specializing in risk identification, issues management, and crisis communications, he helps organizations and individuals develop, fine-tune and deliver their messages effectively.
Bill Grossman is a Pastoral Associate with St. Mark Catholic Church in Vienna, Virginia. He received an MBA from George Washington University and BA from the College of William & Mary. Bill enjoys teaching and he spends countless hours coaching and mentoring young athletes at Oakton High School in baseball. Additionally, Bill overseas many volunteer activities and outreach programs. He resides in the Oakton/Vienna area with his wife, Christy, and their two beautiful daughters, Katie and Melissa.
Ms. Harpalani has held the positions of staff analyst, budget analyst and contractor in the areas of accounting, acquisitions, program manager and public affairs. She has worked in the government and private sector including the US Mint, Federal Reserve Bank, International Trade Commission (ITC) and the Department of Defense. She has served as the CEO of Dimensional Concepts for the last 18 years. Ms. Harpalani holds a M.A. International Commerce and Policy (George Mason University) and a B.S. in Business Management (Park University). She has received certificates in Mastering and Advance Contract Management from Villanova University and is a trained facilitator of the Kauffman Foundation and a Stephen Minister. Ms. Harpalani served in the United States Army and later served in the Colorado National Guards. She volunteered for several years at the Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR) in Arlington, VA. She is a former Chair of Cornerstones (formerly known as Reston Interfaith) Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Her company has been recognized for the following awards: Veterans Institute for Procurement at Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce National Capital Business Ethics Award Heroines in Technology Smart CEO Brava Washington.
Erika James-Jackson is a legal industry veteran that now focuses her time and talents on community-based initiatives. In 2005, Erika was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a chronic, debilitating disease of the central nervous system. As a result of the effects of this unpredictable disease, Jackson was medically advised to discontinue her career. Not willing to allow MS to cease her existence, for nearly a decade Erika has been a volunteer, District Activist Leader for the National MS Society in her 10th District (Virginia) and a member of the Government Relations Advisory Committee for the State. She brings awareness to elected officials about issues such as medical research, government entitlement programs, and rising prescription costs, that can greatly impact those with MS. To bring visible awareness to MS in her community, Jackson was able to secure the Fairfax County Proclamation declaring March 2023 as Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. Additionally, Erika was appointed to the Fairfax Area Disability Services Board and represents the Sully District for a three-year term. Since 2018, Jackson has added her voice to the Inova Mount Vernon Hospital (IMVH) Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC) and is an Inova Visionaries Program contributor. In the 2022 governance year, Jackson was appointed to the IMVH Quality Board for a five-year term. Jackson is also a volunteer and staunch supporter of the efforts and mission of Shelter House. Beginning in 2020, Erika has spearheaded several donation drives, assisted staff with fundraising events and created a partnership with IMVH to donate after-school snacks, holiday gifts, coats and cold-weather accessories for children in the Domestic Violence Supportive Housing program. As a result of her volunteer efforts, in 2022 Jackson was a Volunteer Fairfax Service Award nominee and Shelter House Changing Lives Award recipient. In 2023, she was appointed to the Shelter House Board of Directors and has initiated a monthly Women’s Empowerment Group at the Loudoun Homeless Services Center. Seeing a dream realized, Jackson is the published author of the acclaimed memoir, Thirteen (pen name EJ Jackson) [Mascot Books, 2018]. In her debut effort, Jackson’s captivating memoir shares gritty details of dealing with her present, yet volatile father and how she survived to becoming the woman she is today. Receiving critical reviews that describe her book as "Heartbreakingly, brave", "Raw storytelling" and "Unapologetically graphic"; featured in local newspapers and a national magazine as well as required reading for students at a private, Maryland university. Erika is a masterful storyteller, poet and experienced motivational speaker for local, national and international audiences. Erika is a married, 4th generation Washingtonian and the mother of one son. She lives in Northern Virginia with her family and when not otherwise engaged with them or the community, she loves spending time with friends, cooking, watching documentaries, listening to music and of course, writing.
Executive Director & CEO
Chief Executive Strategist
Director of Equity & Inclusion
Director of Development
Director of Operations
People & Culture Leader
Director of Programs and Services, Region II
Senior Director of Domestic Violence Services
Senior Director of Homeless Services - Fairfax
Director of Domestic Violence & Supportive Housing
Director of Data Analytics and Insight
Director of Programs and Services - Region IV
Director of Family Pass
Senior Director of Loudoun Homeless Services Center
Director of Loudoun Homeless Services Center
A Message From Our Executive Director & CEO
As I look at the growth of Shelter House since our inception in 1981, I am extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve. I am even more excited about our outlook for an equally promising future. We have successfully managed full operation of six major shelters in Northern Virginia. We have transitioned from managing critical housing issues to gathering the support of our community and establishing strategies to END homelessness and domestic violence.
It is satisfying to know that we have the support of our local government, our staff, and our community in acquiring the necessary resources to reach our goals. This collective support enables us to continue to launch new strategies and establish new partnerships. As a result, we are able to ensure the families in our community have a safe and stable place to call home.
Talented Staff: Among our most important assets is the well qualified and passionate staff. They empower the families and children to become independent citizens of our community. From our Executive staff to our Leadership Team and front line Service Delivery Team, Shelter House is committed to delivering unparalleled service to our clients.
Community Focus: Shelter House is committed to the community in which we do business. We are dedicated to the Blueprint for Success in preventing and ending homelessness in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties. Through our work with the State, County, large businesses, small business and individuals; we are vested both professionally and fiscally as we continue to assess the needs and work hard to identify solutions.
Collaboration: As our community strengthens, each new day offers a chance for us to work together, pursue new opportunities and improve upon the past. We establish in-depth relationships with our clients by learning their environments and the challenges they face. In doing so, we are better equipped to offer tangible solutions. We continue to manage our business around the evolving needs of our community– and that puts us at the forefront of CHANGING LIVES.
Joe Meyer, Executive Director and CEO
Join Our Team
We have several job openings throughout Fairfax and Loudoun Counties across all of our programs.
From Program Direction, Housing Services, Case Management, Community Coordination and more, you could help us be one step closer to achieving our vision of a community free of homelessness and domestic violence.
For more information regarding our internship opportunities, please contact our Department of People and Culture: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shelter House participates in E-Verify and will provide the Federal Government with your Form I-9 information to confirm you are authorized to work in the U.S.