Frequently Asked Questions

What does Transitional Housing BARN do?

BARN provides transitional housing and intensive case management services to homeless mothers and their children for up to two years.  Mothers focus on budgeting, life skills, continued education, employment, parenting, and overcoming the traumas that led to homelessness.  Children focus on school and their development.

How long has BARN been in business/How did BARN get started?

Transitional Housing BARN, Inc. (BARN) was the initiative of The Benedictine Sisters of Virginia. BARN’s originating sponsor came to the states in 1868 in order to teach children of German immigrants. For the past 140 years, the Benedictine Sisters have served the at-risk population in the Greater Prince William area wherever their talents and resources could be used.  BARN grew out of a community awareness and concern for those struggling to support themselves and their families. In July 1995, the Sisters were granted funding through HUD’s Supportive Housing Program to construct a transitional housing facility to house and provide services to homeless women and their dependent children.

The mission of Transitional Housing BARN, Inc. developed and approved by the board of directors in 1997, states “Guided by a strong belief in the integrity and dignity of homeless women and their children, BARN is committed to providing these families with transitional housing and access to supportive services to promote healing, growth and self-sufficiency”.

What is required of the families in the program?

They must meet the HUD definition of homelessness: “living in a shelter, in danger of eviction within one week, transitional housing program ending, or living somewhere not suitable for human habitation.”
Be female, at least 19 years of age, pregnant or have physical custody of a child, have a minimum of 90 days sobriety/substance free if there is a substance abuse history (by self-report), and be willing and able to be employed.  Criminal background checks and drug screenings are performed once an individual is accepted into the program.

What is the house like?

The house is divided into three neighborhoods.  Four families live in each neighborhood.  Each family has their own bedroom and bathroom.  The families share a common kitchen, living room, and children’s playroom.

How many people can BARN help at a time?

BARN can serve a maximum of 12 families.  BARN normally has 12 mothers and between 20 and 24 children in the house.

How long do most families stay?

The average length of stay is about 14 months.

How successful is the program?

In ten years of service 96% of families who successfully complete BARN’s program move into self-sufficient permanent housing and of those 11 families left as homeowners with traditional mortgages thanks to BARN’s escrow policy.

How is BARN funded?

BARN is a private non-profit 501(c) 3 organization funds come from HUD, the State, private foundations such as Freddie Mac, corporate donors, individual donors, and fundraising events.