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An opportunity to work, to save money, and get themselves out of homelessness is what many of our shelter clients want most. New Hope Housing is proud to partner with the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) and Office to Prevent and End Homelessness (OPEH) on Operation Stream Shield which provides this opportunity. Begun as a pilot program in 2019, Operation Stream Shield (OSS) became permanent in 2020.

What is Operation Stream Shield?

Rainstorms often wash trash, branches, and construction debris into Fairfax County waterways, and that often leads to major flooding. A small county department with a big name (DPWES) had to try to solve this problem.

A program in Albuquerque, New Mexico, called “There’s A Better Way” provided a model: hire people experiencing homelessness on a part-time basis to help clear waterways, pick up trash, and remove invasive weeds. That program began in 2015, employed over 1,000 people in its first three years, and led to permanent jobs for many of the workers.

DPWES created a pilot program in 2019 in partnership with the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness (OPEH). They would hire clients from the Bailey’s Shelter, Kennedy Shelter, and The Lamb Center on an hourly basis several days a week. The pilot was such a success that it became permanent in 2020 and was named Operation Stream Shield. The project began with only trash and litter removal, but has expanded to removing non-native invasive plants and assisting with maintenance at the Norman Cole Pollution Control Plant. In the past few years, several clients at NHH have used OSS as a stepping stone to being hired by Fairfax County for full employment.

Many community members quickly became supporters! Citizens can report litter “hotspots” and problems all around the county using the information below.

Litter Hotspots Map

Clean Fairfax manages the Litter Hotspots Information Map which has the sites that Operation Stream Shield visits, as well as volunteer cleanup sites.


For more information, please email, or call 703-324-5500, TTY 711.

To report a litter spot, please email

For more information on Litter in Fairfax County, visit Litter.

Additional Resources & Media

Fairfax County Operation Stream Shield

Streams Get A Lift From County Program – Connection Newspapers

Fairfax County Enlists Homeless to Help With Stormwater Cleanup – NBC4



This program is for adults only. While adults do not need to be physically staying at the shelter to be employed through this program, they do have to be referred by a New Hope Housing Employment Case Manager at either Eleanor U. Kennedy Shelter or the Bailey’s Shelter & Supportive Housing programs.


Eleanor U. Kennedy Shelter
9155 Richmond Highway
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060

Bailey’s Shelter & Supportive Housing
5914 Seminary Rd.
Falls Church, VA 22041