Hope for Tomorrow Today

aka Cornerstones   |   Reston, VA   |


For nearly 50 years, Cornerstones has been helping neighbors in need overcome tough economic times in an already high cost-of-living region. The service area of Cornerstones has grown to include most of northwestern Fairfax County. Each of us can become a Cornerstone and continue our history of helping people build more stable lives by connecting them to vital resources that solve their needs for housing, childcare, food or financial assistance.

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Kerrie B Wilson

Main address

11150 Sunset Hills Road Suite 210

Reston, VA 20190 USA

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NTEE code info

Other Housing, Shelter N.E.C. (L99)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Housing instability is a growing crisis in Northern Virginia. Despite being one of the most affluent areas in the United States, this region’s dwindling affordable housing options and a dearth of employment opportunities that cover necessary living expenses, healthcare, transportation, and childcare costs – let alone build savings and other assets – bring thousands of hard-working, lower-income families to the brink of losing their homes and many into actual homelessness. For those economically-vulnerable residents who also experience social and racial inequities, physical and mental health illnesses, or undocumented status, housing instability is compounded even further. Addressing real and imminent poverty and building communities where all can thrive requires an integrated, collaborative approach at the ground level and greater advocacy at the systems level – both of which have been Cornerstones’ expertise for almost 50 years

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?


Cornerstones exists so that individuals and families in the Dulles Corridor who are homeless, living in poverty or facing other needs can access resources that offer stability, empowerment and hope for healthy and connected lives.

Population(s) Served

The majority of people without homes in our community are children and working families? 66% percent of adults in families that are homeless are employed.

The real challenge in Northern Virginia is that it takes an average household income of $70,560 to cover the basics of housing, transportation, food and clothing, without even thinking about other extras.

Low incomes and expensive housing are the main reasons for homelessness in our community. The average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment is more than $1,700. Thousands of individuals and families in Fairfax County spend more than half of their income each month on housing costs.

Cornerstones reached a milestone in 2015 when it doubled its stock of local, affordable housing, but we would need to double that again year after year to meet the projected 3,000 new households with extremely low- and very low incomes who will be working and living in the greater Reston-Herndon area over the next 15 years.

Population(s) Served

Opportunity Neighborhood Reston (RestON) exists to champion community priorities that relate to improving the lives of children, youth and their families, creating brighter futures full of opportunity for every child and youth in Reston.

Whether it is in areas of health, or being ready and prepared for school, feeling safe in our home and community, or having a plan for graduation and beyond—Opportunity Neighborhood helps our community identify the priorities and work together toward that change.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Exponent Award 2006

Eugene and Agnes C. Meyer Foundation

Neighorhood Excellence Award 2009

Bank of America

Asset/Property Management - National Award (2nd Place) 2008

Enterprise Foundation/MetLife

Affiliations & memberships

Association of Fundraising Professionals - Member 2001

Afterschool Alliance 2005

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) 2000

NeighborWorks Organization Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation - Member 2008

United Way Member Agency 1980

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Cornerstones is passionate about preventing and ending homelessness, attacking root causes of poverty, and connecting everyone to opportunities to thrive and succeed. The nonprofit has three primary goals: a) to remove barriers to individual success; b) to promote individuals and communities advocating for themselves and working together for their children’s futures; and c) to work in cross-community partnerships focused on removing systemic barriers and promoting equitable access to education, housing, and employment.

Cornerstones convenes and collaborates with community stakeholders around five key strategies:

• Stable Housing – To increase the number of housing units affordable to low-wage workers; prevent evictions and ensure that low-income households find and maintain homes; limit the time spent on the streets and in shelter, moving adults and children as soon as possible to more appropriate housing; and provide care management support while families are working to thrive.
• Successful Youth and Children – To provide quality childcare and early learning to children in low-income families; promote and provide neighborhood services for youth to have safe, enriching out-of-school services; support parental engagement for family stability and success, and engage at-risk youth in academic and social services.
• Connected Communities – To promote self-advocacy and neighborhood engagement on common issues; provide training and opportunities for adult and youth leadership; and lead collaborative efforts to focus public and private partners and residents around successful children, from cradle to career.
• Self-Sufficiency – To increase the ability of youth and adults to envision and achieve long-term career goals; ensure access to basic needs such as food and medical services; and provide one-on-one support to low-income residents facing multiple barriers to life-sustaining goals.
• Partnerships and Advocacy – To facilitate public and private partners and community groups working together, with and for low-income households; and promote efforts to break down barriers that hinder the long-term success of community members at the local, regional, and state levels.

Cornerstones is a trusted and influential nonprofit that has offered life-sustaining human services and housing stability in Northern Virginia since 1970. Cornerstones’ capabilities include:

• Critical community assets such as emergency shelter, food pantry, quality childcare, school readiness and academic enrichment, and affordable housing units; as well as, on-the-ground presence in four apartment complexes, and two neighborhood resource centers;
• 140+ staff, including specialists in homelessness prevention and rehousing, social work, self-sufficiency services, housing counseling, out-of-school-time programming, adult educational enrichment, and monitoring and evaluation;
• A vibrant, engaged Board of Directors, with diverse expertise and experience in the regional and state public and private sectors; and
• 6,000+ local volunteers bringing non-professional and professional support to Cornerstones’ efforts.
Cornerstones stands out as a community-based organization due to its unique ability to offer integrated, accessible services; to provide information and referrals (either directly or in coordination with others); and to adapt programs quickly to meet changing needs.
Cornerstones is respected and consulted by elected officials and agency staff at the local and state level and supported by a diverse array of public and private partners, foundations, faith communities, and social and neighborhood associations.

Over the past 50 years, with the dedicated support of funders, partners, and volunteers, Cornerstones has:
- Reduced the number of people experiencing homelessness in Fairfax County by 46 percent;
- Purchased 108 housing units for formerly-homeless, very low-income households, including seniors and families;
- Worked with community leaders and public/private partners in low-income neighborhoods to promote self-advocacy and a stronger bridge to success for children and youth;
- Helped more than 15,000 community members a year get through difficult times with access to basic needs assistance, self-sufficiency services, and wrap-around caring support;
- Improved access to affordable childcare, early learning, and out-of-school-time programming to keep participating families on track for school and career success.
Plans for 2020 and the future, include:
- Making long-term plans for developing 200+ new units of affordable housing in the Dulles corridor region for low-income families and individuals leaving homelessness;
- Marking our 50th year of service by educating and engaging our community in ongoing needs and securing resource commitments for Cornerstones’ efforts to ensure Strong Stable Families and Communities;
- Increasing alignment between client services and advocacy, to ensure greater impact and equitable access to resources across the community; and
- Promoting community involvement in the 2020 Census, especially in traditionally undercounted areas.



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Board of directors
as of 11/15/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Sara Leonard

Christ the Servant Lutheran Church

Board co-chair

Vice Chair Susan Jones

St. Anne’s Episcopal Church

Debra Allen

Heritage Fellowship Church

Sharon Davis

Washington Plaza Baptist Church

LaVerne Gill

United Christian Parish

Georgia Graves

Bridgman Communications, Inc.

Andrew Lacher

Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation

Michael Cooley


Diane Ellor

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Roberta Gosling

AlphaSix Corporation

Joan Kasprowicz

St. John Neumann Catholic Community

Andrew Lacher

Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation

Constance Laurent-Roy

Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston

Deborah McCormick

Herndon Friends Meeting

Jake McGlothin

Floris United Methodist Church

Jill Norcross

St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church

Lawrence Schwartz


Gillian Sescoe

Congregation Beth Emeth

Stephen Smith-Cobbs

Trinity Presbyterian Church

John Thomas

Leidos (ret.)

Robert Van Hoecke

Regulatory Economics Group, LLC

Mark Watts

CST Group