BEH has been in existence since 1991. It was founded by members of the Beth El Hebrew Congregation of Alexandria, Virginia, who wanted to do something tangible to help others in the community and to insure that children could find a haven from chaos and have continuity in schooling or day care. It is a nonprofit, non-sectarian organization run by a volunteer Board of 12 individuals and employs a part-time executive director/case manager and part-time accountant. There is a volunteer Resident Services Selection Committee which focuses exclusively on serving the needs of residents.
BEH began serving residents in a leased single-family home in the Hybla Valley section of Fairfax County, Virginia. Later, Beth El House contracted with a local agency, Good Shepard Housing to offer a scattered site apartment-style transitional housing program. Residents live in individual apartments depending on family size, within the South County, Route 1 area.
The Executive Director/Case Manager works with the families to help them prepare for living independently. This support includes assistance, instruction in managing personal finances, employment skills, parenting, household organization mental health services, subsidized and affordable housing.
The families are provided referrals to public social services for which the residents may be eligible, including food stamps and public health care, and assists residents in obtaining public housing as they prepare to leave Beth El House.