Six Steps to Self-Sufficiency from the Good Shepherd Alliance

Good Shepherd Alliance pic
Good Shepherd Alliance
Image: goodshepherdalliance.org

As co-founder of the Linked Economic Development and Affordable Housing Foundation (LEDAHF), Richard deGorter has been a leading figure in guiding the non-profit organization’s work to improve low-income housing and stimulate economic development through strategic partnerships with several universities. Through LEDAHF, Richard deGorter has also supported charitable organizations such as the Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter and the Good Shepherd Alliance (GSA), the latter of which provides resources for homeless individuals and families in the Ashburn, Virginia, area.

The Shepherd Alliance utilizes a six-step approach to addressing homeless in the community. First, the organization provides emergency services that may include counseling, medical care, or substance abuse treatment. Then, trained GSA case managers work with individuals to develop life skills and address issues such as transportation that can be obstacles to self-sufficiency.

GSA staff members also help clients attain job training and placement and offer financial guidance that allows them to move towards independence. Finally, individuals find permanent housing and develop a long-term financial plan they can maintain once they leave the program.

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The LEDAHF’s Healthy and Sustainable Communities Initiative

Richard deGorter pic
Richard deGorter

Richard deGorter works as a manager at Crescent Development Partners LLC and Biofuels Development Partners LLC, in Aldie, Virginia. Beyond his activities in the for-profit sector, Richard deGorter serves as the executive director of the Linked Economic Development & Affordable Housing Foundation, Inc. (LEDAHF), a nonprofit organization that works to promote affordable housing and local economic development and to relieve the burdens of government by developing thriving planned communities.

In its efforts to relieve one of the largest the burdens of government by promoting improved population health, LEDAHF recently launched the Healthy and Sustainable Communities Initiative in various development projects including a Public-Private Partnership with Prince George’s County, Maryland. With a focus on interfacing the health care industry and the real estate development community by incorporating Health Centered Design in community planning, the Initiative seeks to advance residential real estate projects which promote population health, and create strategic partnerships between real estate and health care groups, government, university, non-profit, and for-profit organizations.

The ultimate goal of the Initiative is to create communities that help reduce rates of chronic disease by promoting healthy lifestyles. The LEDAHF is currently engaged with several strategic partners, including the University of Maryland, John Hopkins University, Bowie State University, and the YMCA. The organization is in discussions with a number of other groups and is now working to develop an advisory board to oversee the Healthy and Sustainable Communities Initiative. For more information, visit www.ledahf.org.