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ACTS Taking Over, Expanding Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center in Woodbridge

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — The Hilda Barg Homeless Prevention Center will welcome a new operator and expand its services to aide the area’s homeless population.

Action in the Community Through Service (ACTS) was selected by Prince William County to run the homeless public shelter on U.S. 1 in Woodbridge. The keys to the building are expected to quietly be passed from current operator Volunteers of America on Monday, Sept. 30.

Several of the programs to help homeless residents already in place by ACTS across Prince William County, Manassas, and Manassas Park, will be also be utilized at the Hilda Barg Shelter including a employment training program, and assistance with personal financial management and helping those at the shelter back on the road to having a home of their own.

““You don’t want to have a homeless person stay homeless, that doesn’t solve anything,” said ACTS Director of Development Tom Benjamin.

The shelter is publicly owned, and Volunteers of America’s operations contract was not renewed. Under a new agreement with ACTS, Prince William County will pay $427,597 in a 1-year agreement with the charity to operate the facility. The agreement can has an annual renewal option up to five years, said Benjamin.

The biggest challenge at the shelter remains finding affordable housing in this area so those inside the shelter to transition into permanent homes. ACTS works with various landlords who are willing to set aside properties and make them affordable.

“You often have what we call the ‘working poor,’ where people are working 40 to 60 hours a week, and they just don’t have enough money for down payment or first month’s rent, and it helps when we can provide them with that infusion of cash to get them started,” said Benjamin.

ACTS currently operates an emergency homeless shelter in Dumfries.

*This story has been corrected.

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