On December 4th, 2022, 485 VOICE leaders across 39 member and allied institutions packed out Trinity Presbyterian Church in Herndon and made a unified demand for action toward Crisis Receiving Centers in Northern VA. As part of their commitment to bringing about tangible change to the area, VOICE leaders proudly announced their coalition with the Virginia Hospital & Health Care Association and the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police.
Key takeaways from the Action
Prince William Public Defender's Office
Prince William leaders celebrated, for the first time in person since the pandemic, the hard-fought win of the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) in Prince William County. The office is up and running, providing quality, equitable representation but VOICE leaders made clear that the $350,000 supplement from the County was not keeping pace with the rising costs and the resources needed to keep and attract qualified attorneys. So leaders sought and gained commitments from Chair Wheeler to make the OPD a priority in FY2024
Fairfax Crisis Receiving Center
In a critically important first step, VOICE Fairfax leaders won a commitment from Chair Jeff McKay to work closely with VOICE during Fairfax's next budget cycle. The goal: provide the necessary funding for the full build-out of the Crisis Receiving Center in Fairfax, an integral piece of the larger network of care across Northern VA. He made a hard commitment to meet with VOICE leaders in March and also made a strong commitment to partner with VOICE on our statewide work.
VOICE Prince William leaders also gained strong commitments from Chair Wheeler to make building out the full continuum of the CRC in PWC, including the youth component, a budget priority for Prince William County in FY2024.
Given the wide-reaching commitments, the 485 VOICE leaders left Trinity Presbyterian Church in Herndon with a renewed spirit of hope and determination to transform Northern Virginia's mental health system and more broadly in the state of Virginia.