RCA feels it is urgent that the greater Reston community
understands the implications of development on one of our Reston Comprehensive
Plan ten Planning Principles which is “housing provided for all ages and
Our community support is needed to ensure that land owners and potential
developers respect and honor our Plan.
Lives at Lake Anne Fellowship House (LAFH):
Folks 62 or older on
limited fixed incomes and those of
any age with a qualifying disability and income. A good description is at

Who owns
Fellowship Square
(FSF), a non-profit provider
of affordable housing for the elderly and disabled in the DC metropolitan area.
They own and operate LAFH, Reston’s Hunters Woods Fellowship House and two
The FSF website does not currently post a mission
statement, but we find this on page 5 of their 2013 annual report:
“We specialize in
financially fragile residents. We celebrate that we make a difference in their
lives and the life of the community they live in.”
The original purpose of the Foundation according
to its founder Dr. John Scherzer, told to the RCA on March 13, 1970:
“The purpose of the Foundation as set forth in our Charter is to
sponsor adequate retirement facilities for lower and middle income people who
must depend for their livelihood upon the fixed income from civil service
retirement and/or Social Security.”[2]
Came to Be:
In 1970, FSF purchased the land that LAFH sits on for
$138,000. On this property at the corner of North Shore Drive and Village Road
two adjoining buildings were built with HUD and VHDA[3]
LAFH is not:
It is not an assisted living or skilled nursing facility.
Although it is not ADA compliant by current standards, LAFH remains accessible
for the majority of current and potential residents. As the founder of FSF said
in the briefing to the RCA in 1970: “All our plans have been focused upon the
features of comfort and convenience for people . . . who are active,
self-sufficient and independent.”[4]
LAFH today still fulfills this need.
should you care?
Because this could be you, your
sibling, parent, best friend. Medical bills are the #1 cause of bankruptcy[5] in
the United States. Retirement planning can quickly go awry and one can be left
with little more than Social Security income to live on. Let our Fairfax County
staff and government know that you support the Reston Comprehensive Planning
Principle for “housing provided for all ages and incomes.”
someone who might want to live there?
Get on the waiting list now. When
you call or stop by, do not be deterred if told “no vacancies.” This is what RCA
Board member Connie Hartke was told. Sources indicate there are approximately
30 of the 124 “market rate” apartments vacant.[6]  When Connie pressed that she was inquiring
for a market rate (unsubsidized) apartment (monthly rental of $483 – $803), she
was told there is a 4-5 month waiting list. One apartment that has been vacant
for over 10 years was just rented. It seems the waiting list might move along
if more of the vacant apartments are made available.
Several of us in the Reston Citizens Association (RCA)
have friends who live at Lake Anne Fellowship House (LAFH) and we have visited
the buildings and their apartments. What we find is comfortable, clean and
quite adequate for many.
does the future hold for LAFH?
RCA will be following developments
closely since we believe that just as in 1970, Reston still cherishes the
“proposal to make the limited-income elderly a planned part of the social
structure of the new community envisioned by Mr. Simon . . .”[7]
When FSF teamed with a developer not experienced in the
affordable housing market, residents were frightened. They wrote a letter to
FSF which has been signed by 183 (71 percent) of the residents. [8]
They are a community, and they are part of our Reston community.
Follow us on facebook.com/RestonRCA
and subscribe to our newsletter at RCAreston.com. We’ll
keep you informed.

[1] Staff, DPZ. WorkingDraft (Strawman) of Reston Master Plan (n.d.): n. page 11 in print,
page 14 online. Web.
[2] Erickson, Jack. A Mission to Serve: The Life
of John A. Scherzer and the Birth of Fellowship Square Foundation
. Reston,
VA: RedBrick, 1989. 54. Print.
[3] VHDA = Virginia Housing Development Authority.
This mortgage will be paid off in 2016. At that time, the current rental
assistance program can be converted to Section 8 assistance.
[4] Erickson, Jack. A Mission to Serve: The Life
of John A. Scherzer and the Birth of Fellowship Square Foundation
. Reston,
VA: RedBrick, 1989. 54. Print.
[5] LaMontagne, Christina. “Medical
Bankruptcy Accounts for Majority of Personal Bankruptcies
” NerdWallet
Health, 26 Mar. 2014. Web. 17 Oct. 2014.
[6] FSF
2013Annual Report
, pages 17 and 19
[7] Erickson, Jack. A Mission to Serve: The Life
of John A. Scherzer and the Birth of Fellowship Square Foundation
. Reston,
VA: RedBrick, 1989. 58. Print.

11450 North Shore Drive
Reston, Virginia 20190
An Open Letter to the President of Fellowship Square
July 10, 2014
Mr. Charles Wortman
Fellowship Square
Foundation, Inc.
250 Exchange Place, Suite G
Herndon, VA  20170
Dear Mr. Wortman:
The sudden disclosure that rent subsidies for 87
residents of Building 2 of Lake Anne Fellowship House will end in September
2016, followed by the priority relocation of all Building 1 residents – ahead
of those in Building 2 – to the new building planned for the corner of our
property is shocking, outrageous, discriminatory, possibly illegal – and
certainly unfair.
This makes a mockery of the long-proclaimed mission
of Fellowship Square to care for the most disadvantaged among us.  Many in Building 2 have been active and
productive members of this community for several years.  We have come here for very personal reasons
and to be close to our families. To be cast adrift at this point in our lives
is unconscionable.  We will suffer
extreme anguish and hardship as we struggle to survive.
We, the undersigned, living in both Buildings 1 and
2, now call on you and Fellowship Square to take immediate action to reverse
and revise the unjust provisions related to the Lake Anne Fellowship House
Redevelopment Plan that will substantially reduce our resident population – by
nearly one half – in favor of outside financial interests and planned
development in other parts of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Specifically, we demand that you expand the size and
scope of your new Fellowship House building to accommodate ALL of our
residents, as our present homes disappear.
Only then can the Rev. Dr.
John Scherzer rest in peace.
(signed by 183 residents as
of 10/10/2014)