Herndon Resident Serves Loudoun's Homeless

Herndon Resident Serves Loudoun's Homeless

Joy Trickett can't say no. And she doesn't want to.

The former financial manager for the U.S. Department of Defense spends her days and nights serving Loudoun's homeless population as the board chairman of the Good Shepherd Alliance, a nonprofit organization that provides emergency housing and support to those in need.

"Serving is what I'm called to do," Trickett said.

When asked what drives her to do the work she does, she referred to Matthew 25:35.

"Jesus tells all of us, 'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. When I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in,'" she said. "There are so many persons trying to just exist in this county."

Trickett was born and raised off of Dranesville Road and attended Herndon High School. She grew up in Herndon's Church of the Brethren.

"My mom and dad always believed in helping others in need," Trickett said. "I guess they rubbed off on me."

TRICKETT SPENDS HOURS in her car traveling from Leesburg's shelter to Ashburn's men's shelter to Purcellville's pregnant women's shelter to Sterling's thrift store and anywhere else she is needed.

Good Shepherd Alliance thrift store manager Mary Fittro works closely with Trickett.

"She doesn't have to do what she does. She's an inspiration," Fittro said. "Even though she's retired, she spends more time in the office sometimes than paid staff."

Right now, Trickett's most difficult job is trying to find land for the organization's headquarters and other nonprofits.

On a daily basis, Trickett struggles to find affordable housing and transportation available at convenient times so that people can work in Loudoun County. She also works hard to keep the public aware of the needs of the impoverished in Loudoun County by attending community meetings and public hearings.

"[One of my biggest challenges is] keeping the public aware of the impoverished in this county and the public being willing to support programs that will help people become self-sufficient," Trickett said.

Good Shepherd Alliance board member Mark Gunderman admires Trickett for her dedication to the organization.

"Joy believes we all have an inherent responsibility to service the poor and needy. She is an energetic, God-loving woman who leads by example," Gunderman said. "It is impossible to say no to Joy. She is all about love. She is the real deal."

For the last eight years, she has dedicated her life to the poor and needy. Her hard work and dedication hasn't gone unnoticed.

In 2005, Tricket received the Loudoun Volunteer Services Adult Volunteer of the Year award and the National Council of Negro Women Outstanding Humanitarian award. In May 2006, she received a Commendation Resolution, an award based on efforts that the Virginia General Assembly considers to be of local, state or national significance, from Del. Tom Rust (R-86).

On Wednesday, Trickett will be featured on Channel 3 Community Spotlight Program, at 11 a.m., hosted by Wendell Fisher. Trickett will discuss the Good Shepherd Alliance's new women's shelter facility in South Riding, the men's shelter and Hurricane Katrina house in Ashburn, the family shelter in Lucketts and the thrift store in Sterling.

TRICKETT'S WORK IS never done. Her vision for the Good Shepherd Alliance is to build a shelter that would house all of Loudoun's homeless. She would also like to create a network of community organizations to share resources.

"We are beginning to outreach and unite the 120-plus Loudoun County churches to assist in empowering the homeless and indigent people," she said.

Trickett said her biggest accomplishment in life has been helping homeless get on their feet.

"[My greatest achievement has been] meeting a person in need, giving them shelter, finding them a car, a job and then a place of their own," Trickett said. "I am seeing more and more individuals becoming self-sufficient and coming back or calling to let me know how they are doing."