Official news release from the City of Falls Church, Office of Communications.
Susan Finarelli & Clare Casey
703-248-5210 office
571-402-9102 cell
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City Wins Virginia Municipal League Award for Miller House Project

Award will be presented in October at the 2019 VML Annual Conference in Roanoke

Monday, September 23, 2019 -- The City of Falls Church will be presented the "Community Health" Innovation award by the Virginia Municipal League (VML) in recognition of the Miller House, a group home for adults with disabilities. The award will be presented to the City at the annual VML conference in October.

From the VML news release: "Since 1973, the City of Falls Church had owned a parcel of land with a house donated by the Miller family which was used as a group home for adults with disabilities. In recent years, however, the 'Miller House' has stood vacant and fallen into disrepair. An inspection by city staff concluded that it needed to be demolished. But just because the original group home was unfit for habitation did not mean that there wasn’t a need in the community for such a place. In fact, many parents of adult children with disabilities had contacted city staff with the concern that they were getting too old to properly care for their children.

"Lacking funds to establish a new group home on the site, the city awarded Community Havens, Inc., the property affiliate of CRi (a non-profit organization providing quality services to help empower individuals with disabilities and mental health needs) with the deed to the property for $1.00 with a restrictive covenant on the use of the land to design, construct and deliver services for the operation of a group home. Many community partners worked together to make the new 'Miller House' group home a reality. Today, the Miller House is home to five young adults with disabilities, three of whom have never lived outside of their family’s homes. This is a fantastic example of how a city can meet the specific needs of a segment of its residents using existing resources."

"We are honored by this recognition," said Dana Lewis, Deputy Director of Human Services for the City and Miller House project manager. "Miller House is the result of a productive collaboration between the local government and a private organization, all with the goal of helping adults gain independence. I am proud we were about to be a part of it." 

Last year, the City won two VML Innovation Awards for the composting program, the first in the state: Environmental Quality and the President's Award.

About the Innovation Awards
The statewide competition recognizes innovative problem-solving, excellence in management, citizen participation, and improved services to citizens. VML received more than 50 entries, from which judges selected one winner in each of six categories. One of the category winners will be chosen by VML president and Roanoke council member Anita James Price to receive the President’s Award.

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Falls Church, VA 22046