Social Services During COVID-19

Assalam Alaikum W Rahmatu Allah W Barakatu Sisters and Brothers,

It’s been over 120 days since we were forced to close the masjid under the Governor’s stay-at-home order.

In that time, over 16,000 people have received food or a hot meal from Dar Al-Hijrah.

But Alhamdulillah, we are now starting to turn from emergency response, to recovery.

In the coming weeks, we will begin to reopen our Office and Thrift Shop, with new safety precautions in place. Let me share some highlights:

Our food distribution will continue each week, however, with COVID restrictions now relaxed, we can begin to re-register families and provide each with a new ID card which can be scanned when they pick up.

For those needing assistance, we will begin accepting appointments for phone calls or meetings with our case manager.

Our Thrift Store will accept limited donations by appointment only, and will reopen to the public for $2 Tuesday sales beginning August 4th.

And in the coming weeks, we will be offering virtual job support including job and training opportunities, online job fairs and workforce readiness workshops.

We are excited to be able to start welcoming you back, but we still need to be cautious.  To protect our clients and staff, we have many new safety precautions in place. Please be patient as we all try to navigate this new normal together.

You can visit our webpage at https://hijrah.org/socialservices/ or follow us on social media for the most current updates as things develop.

And lastly, Eid Al-Ahda is upon us, and though it will be an Eid like no other, we can still make it special for our kids.  If you’d like to donate to our Eid Toy Drive you can click here: https://hijrah.org/eid/

Or if you’d like to register to receive Eid toys, you can click here: https://hijrah.org/event/eid-distribution/

And on one last note, I want to recognize and thank Sr. Zahraa, for her 8 years of service to our families. Sr. Zahraa is leaving Dar Al-Hijrah to start the next chapter in her life. We wish her the very best, and ask you to please keep her and us in your dua during this transition.

It’s been a long 120 days. We’ve missed you, and we look forward to getting back to the work of building community together.

Please be safe, and we’ll see you soon.

Jazakum Allah Khair,

Tahani Jabarin
Director, Social Services
Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center

A Snapshot of Our Social Services Department During COVID-19

Assalamu Alaikum Brothers and Sisters,

This past Thursday, April 2nd was our third outdoor food distribution, and in the time since we started, our distributions have increased each week, now up over 50%. We continue to deliver to our neighbors in need as well, and this weekend, our food deliveries were up over 5 times the normal amount. Food security is one of our primary concerns during this crisis, but it’s not the only one.

In just the last two days, a mother of young children who was released from the hospital had no access to expensive, life-saving medications. We secured them for her. A mother and her young children fled a domestic violence situation with no plan, no resources, and nowhere to go. We helped to get this family safely placed in the shelter.

Dozens of wellness check-in calls have been made to those who are alone, including those who were widowed in the past year. We found one of our elderly, widowed sisters in tears and feeling isolated and afraid. We talked with her, and promised regular phone calls. By the end of the call, she was in tears of gratitude, knowing she is not alone.

Through our partners Culmore Clinic, First Christian Church, ALIVE!, St. Vincent DePaul Society, FCPS and Culmore Resource Center, we have provided grocery bags, cases of halal chicken, hot meals, hygiene kits, diapers and personal protective equipment to our neighbors in need.

Our team members have participated in over 20 phone calls and meetings with the Federal government, the county, humanitarian relief agencies and foundations to secure food and funding to keep the masjid in service to others, even while our donations have been dramatically reduced.

Mothers, Widows, Children, the Elderly and the Sick.

Meds, Housing, Wellness Check-ins, Meals, and Operations.

We need your help. We simply cannot turn away from those who have extraordinary need right now, but it costs money to turn on the lights, to secure food, and to pay the skeleton staff that is working around the clock.

Please do not hold your Zakat until Ramadan. Your community needs it now. Cash donations give us the greatest flexibility to respond to these needs, and recurring gifts help us prepare for the unknown that lies ahead of us.

Please consider an automatic monthly credit card donation of $20, $50, $100, $500 or more.

We are in community, even when we are separated. We have to help each other, no matter the cost or the sacrifice, and right now, our community needs us, working together, more than ever.

Jazakum Allah Khair,

Tahani Jabarin
Director, Social Services
Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center

Ibn Abbas reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him said, “He is not a believe whose stomach is filled while the neighbor to his side goes hungry.”

Assalamu Alaikum,

Let me share a bright spot with you, in spite of these uncertain times.

Although we have been forced to shut down almost everything these last few weeks, we have still been able to get food to our most vulnerable neighbors through outdoor drive-up/walk-up distributions, and volunteer deliveries. Over 3,000 bags of fresh vegetables, chicken and bread have been distributed in the last two weeks!

When we put out a call for volunteers, Alhamdulillah, we were overwhelmed by the response, and we could not have met the great need without these generous souls. May Allah bless and protect them for their good deeds.

There have been many challenges resulting from the economic disruption caused by the public health emergency we are experiencing, but the one that is our greatest concern is food security for the most vulnerable. The requests for food support are increasing exponentially each day.

At the same time, closing the masjid and postponing our annual fundraiser have virtually eliminated our donations in the short term.

In’sha’Allah, we will continue to provide for our neighbors as long as we are able. But the cost and sourcing of food, which becomes scarcer by the day is making it increasingly difficult.

We have secured additional food donations, but they are not enough.

I’m asking for your help. Please do not hold your Zakat until Ramadan. Your community needs it now. Cash donations give us the greatest flexibility to respond to urgent needs, and recurring gifts help us prepare for the unknown that lies ahead of us.

Please consider an automatic monthly credit card donation of $20, $50, $100, $500 or more.

Donate Here:
https://hijrah.org/covidrelief/

There is much to be grateful for, but still much more work for us to do, together.

Jazakum Allah Khair,

Tahani Jabarin
Director, Social Services
Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center

Last updated: March 25th, 2020

Assalamu Alaikum Brothers and Sisters,

So many of you have reached out to me to ask how you can help, or how we, Dar Al- Hijrah, can help our community during these challenging times. Let me update you.

With all of the closings and shutdowns, part-time and hourly workers who were already struggling are unable to work, unable to pay rent or put food on the table.  The elderly in our community who live alone are even more isolated. Those who experience domestic violence are now home-bound and even more at risk. Our kids don’t understand what’s happening, and are more restless by the day.

If you are elderly, or living alone, or are feeling isolated, please call us at 703-531-2905. We will gladly assign you to a care team member who will call to discuss a plan that works best for you…regular check-in calls, food deliveries, help connecting to resources, whatever you need. If you, or someone you know would benefit from this additional support, we’re here to help, and we’re just a phone call away. These are anxious times for all of us, and we have to care for each other. As always, we are here to help our community, and right now, our community needs help more than ever.  We are receiving and answering every message left on the social services voicemail.

I ask for your patience.  This is a very fast moving situation, and we are all walking though it for the first time. 

We don’t know yet what needs will arise as this crisis takes its course, and the effects reveal themselves, and we don’t know what we’ll have the capacity to do, but we do know that In’sha’Allah, with patience and care for one other, we will help each other through these challenges and our community will be stronger for it. May Allah grant us all patience.  May He grant shiffa to those who are sick and bless those who are caring for them, and may He help us to love and care for one another in whatever ways we are able.

Below are some things that you can do right now to help.  

Jazakum Allah Khair,
Tahani Jabarin

“O believers! Seek comfort in patience and prayer.  Allah is truly with those who are patient.” Al-Baqarah [2:153]
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CLICK HERE FOR A FULL RESOURCE LIST, UPDATED LIVE AS MORE RESOURCES BECOME AVAILABLE.

County Assistance:
If you are facing difficulties – including food, shelter, employment, financial assistance, healthcare and more other needs, please call Coordinated Services Planning (CSP) 703-222-0880 (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays).

Unemployment benefits if you have been laid off or lost your job:
If you are a worker who has been totally or partially separated from your job due to COVID-19, go to http://www.vec.virginia.gov/unemployed to see if you are eligible for unemployment insurance or call 866-832-2363 Monday-Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm.

Northern Virginia Family Services – COVID-19 Emergency Assistance
https://www.nvfs.org/covid-19-emergency-assistance-program/

Food Assistance – FCPS
https://www.fcps.edu/news/coronavirus-update-food-resources

Food Assistance – Meals on Wheels
Fairfax County’s Meals on Wheels program is now operating on a once-a-week basis and is delivering flash frozen meals to clients. Meals on Wheels is accepting new clients who are aged 60 and over. Call the county’s Coordinated Services Program at 703-222-0880 for more eligibility information and to apply to the program.

Virginia Department of Family Services- Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, Child Care and Emergency Assistance:
You can apply for Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, Child Care and Emergency Assistance benefits using internet access anywhere, anytime. Applications can be submitted 24-hours a day/7 days a week.  Go to www.commonhelp.virginia.gov or call 1-855-635-4370

Additional resources by area:
https://www.nvfs.org/covid-19-resource-guides/

  1. Keep those affected in your duaas, especially the sick and the health care professionals.
  2. Check on your neighbors, especially the elderly and infirmed, and those who live alone.  Share your phone number with them so they have someone to call in case of emergency.
  3. Share this link to apply for a hardship grant if affected by the pandemic, and assist with the application for those who need help. https://pennyappealusa.org/grants/covid-19-financial-hardship-grant
  4. Click here to volunteer: https://hijrah.org/covid-19/careteam/
  5. Donate Here: https://hijrah.org/covidrelief/ *Cash donations give us the greatest flexibility to assist those with the most urgent need.*
  6. Take care of yourself.  Wash your hands often and stay home if you feel sick.
  7. And take a deep breath.  It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious right now.

We’re all in this together.  May Allah grant us patience and ease through this challenging time.