Alexandria community – where 31% face food insecurity — will have access to nutritious and healthy food and community resources
Samuel Madden Homes is being redeveloped and reimagined by Alexandria Redevelopment & Housing Authority, Fairstead, Mill Creek Residential, and The Communities Group
Alexandria, V.A. (February 2, 2023) – ALIVE!, the largest private safety net in Alexandria dedicated to fighting poverty and hunger, will establish a new food and services hub at the redeveloped Samuel Madden Homes.
At the end of 2021, the Alexandria Redevelopment & Housing Authority (ARHA) selected Fairstead, Mill Creek Residential, and the Communities Group to work with the agency to reimagine and redevelop the Samuel Madden public housing site to create new affordable and mixed-income housing, community resources, and public open space. The team was selected for their proven track record of producing high-quality affordable housing, community engagement, and vertically integrated expertise. Since the selection, the team has been working with ARHA, the City of Alexandria, residents of the Samuel Madden Homes, and community stakeholders to refine the development plans and will have their final reviews by the Alexandria Planning Commission and City Council this month.
“Food insecurity is on the rise in Alexandria, and the emergency food benefits for low-income families that were put in place during the pandemic are about to expire,” said Jenn Ayers, Executive Director of ALIVE! “Being a part of the new vision for the Samuel Madden Homes will help ALIVE! grow our impact and reach even more families in need throughout Alexandria. But our mission doesn’t end with food. Once we connect with a family, we work with them to understand their needs to layer in the services they need to improve their lives. You can come into an ALIVE! Food Hub location for free groceries, and leave connected to other supports, such as educational, workforce, and health care services.”
This food hub is much needed in Alexandria where 31% of families face food insecurity, according to a 2022 survey from the Capital Area Food Bank. ALIVE! is currently serving approximately 17,000 individuals and 4,500 households per month. The new location will be open to the entire Alexandria community and will help ALIVE! serve even more families and expand their impact. The organization sees the food hub as a conduit to connect their clients and the community with additional services tailored to their needs – from financial and legal services to healthy cooking demonstrations.
“Having ALIVE! on site at the new redeveloped Samuel Madden Homes will be a huge benefit to ARHA residents since many are already recipients of their crucial services,” ARHA Chief Executive Officer Keith Pettigrew said. “ALIVE!’s new food and services hub will be an extraordinary addition to not only our site, but to this area of the city in general. Its convenient location will allow them to reach more community members. We want to thank everyone at ALIVE! and our development partners for the coordination and planning it has taken to make this a reality.”
“When working with our partners on the vision for the new Samuel Madden Homes, we knew we wanted to root the plans in the needs of the community. By partnering with ALIVE! for a new food hub in the neighborhood, as well as Hopkins House for an early learning and childcare center, we are addressing the needs of the wider community while providing high-quality housing,” said Noah Hale, Director, Development, at Fairstead.
Fairstead, Mill Creek Residential, The Communities Group, and the Alexandria Redevelopment & Housing Authority plan to create a community of 532 units of affordable, workforce, and market-rate housing in Old Town, which will also include 5,000 square feet of public open space, the ALIVE! Food Hub, an early learning and childcare center run by Hopkins House, and 13,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.
Last summer, ALIVE! opened their first food hub in the West End of Alexandria, which serves hundreds of families every month. The organization is opening their second food hub in February. ALIVE! has been a long-time supporter of the creation of affordable housing, as access to food and housing are critical to their work of creating a community of holistic support and services.
Founded in 1969 as Alexandrians Involved Ecumenically by 14 faith communities in response to rising levels of poverty ALIVE! has grown to 49 member congregations.
For more than 50 years, ALIVE! has provided food, transitional housing, basic furniture and housewares, and emergency financial support to help families in crisis pay for medical bills and utilities and ultimately avoid eviction. To learn more, visit www.alive-inc.org.
Fairstead is a purpose-driven vertically integrated real estate developer specializing in creating sustainable, high-quality housing. The firm’s national footprint includes more than $7.8 billion in assets and identified pipeline. With offices in New York, Maryland, South Carolina, Colorado, and Florida, Fairstead’s team manages 170+ communities across the country and runs its comprehensive real estate platform, which includes acquisitions and development, venture capital investments in proptech, design and construction, energy and sustainability, property management, marketing, and leasing. The firm also administers one of the industry’s most proactive community impact programs to provide on-site support services to residents.