LCAC’s new leader gears up for move to new Lorton Community Center
Rob Rutland-Brown, the newly named executive director of the Lorton Community Action Center (LCAC), is just a few weeks into his new position, but he already has gotten a good deal of hands-on experience serving LCAC’s client base in southeast Fairfax County.
Besides getting up to speed on the nonprofit’s partnerships, funding streams and array of services, Rutland-Brown has worked with LCAC volunteers at several food distribution events and helped staff prepare a birthday surprise for a young girl in the community. It’s this client-facing work that attracted him to the executive director position in the first place, after spending nine years leading a national nonprofit that provides legal aid to low-income immigrants and refugees.
“What I found was that I was eager to get back into community-based work,” said Rutland-Brown. “While the mission of LCAC is different from that of my prior position, there are a lot of similarities in terms of partnerships, funding, volunteers and staff management. I’m excited to be more connected with volunteers and those whom we’re serving.”
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Based at the southern end of the Richmond Highway corridor, LCAC provides low-income individuals, senior citizens and families residing in Fort Belvoir, Lorton, Newington and other parts of southeast Fairfax County with access to basic needs like food and clothing, as well as emergency financial assistance and self-empowerment programs.
Soon to occupy new office space at the nearly finished Lorton Community Center — Rutland-Brown anticipates a late summer move-in date — LCAC is preparing to restart in-person programming, including nutrition classes, financial literacy classes, job training and more.
“As we emerge from COVID, we’re looking forward to engaging more deeply with the client community to learn what they need to become self-sufficient and how we can best help them,” he said. “We’ll have the client community tell us what’s needed, identify gaps and mobilize staff and volunteers to make that happen.”
Additional types of volunteers may be needed at LCAC once new service offerings are identified, said Rutland-Brown.
“I continue to be amazed by the number of people involved with LCAC as volunteers or clients,” he said. “It’s impressive what an impact it’s had for the community and inspiring to be a part of that.”
Collocating LCAC with other organizations like the Lorton Senior Center and Lorton Teen Center at the new community center will offer significant benefits to the community, said Rutland-Brown.
“It’s exciting to think about the ways we’ll be able to serve those in the community more holistically by meeting a variety of needs,” he said. “I think we’ll be able to work more efficiently together under one roof.”
The new Lorton Community Center is located at 9520 Richmond Highway. The grand opening of the facility is expected to take place in September 2022. Until move-in, LCAC is located at 9518 Richmond Highway. LCAC’s thrift store, Lorton’s Attic, operates out of a separate building at 9506 Richmond Highway.