All posts by Linley Beckbridge

A new name for Doorways’ hospital accompaniment program

Doorways’ hospital response for survivors of sexual and domestic violence to be called ‘HARP’ – the Hospital Accompaniment Response Program, supported by ‘HART’ – Hospital Accompaniment Response Team

Doorways launched the Sexual Assault Response Advocate (SARA) program in fiscal year 2015, supporting survivors with 4 accompaniments. In 2017, our staff—including our Mobile Advocate—and volunteers provided 30 accompaniments to survivors.

“Seeing the growing need in our community for our hospital response to be inclusive and comprehensive, we added domestic violence forensic exams to our hospital accompaniment response in fiscal year 2018,” said Samantha Clarke, Doorways’ Chief Program Officer. “That year, advocates provided a total of 60 accompaniments for survivors of sexual and domestic violence, showing just how much our response has grown. In fiscal year 2019, in addition to our accompaniments for sexual assault, we accompanied 6 survivors of domestic violence and 3 survivors who had experienced both sexual assault and domestic violence.”

Now, to reflect the comprehensive response Doorways provides through hospital accompaniment, we will be embracing a new name that best supports our mission and ensures our community’s understanding of their options.

“Going forward our hospital response for survivors of sexual and domestic violence will be called ‘HARP’ – the Hospital Accompaniment Response Program, supported by our ‘HART’ – Hospital Accompaniment Response Team, comprised of our staff and volunteer Hospital Accompaniment Advocates.”

We are grateful to these advocates for providing compassion, support, and guidance to survivors of sexual and domestic violence, and to all of you who support this critical effort.

The Fund for Children, Youth and Families Supports Doorways

The Fund for Children, Youth and Families at the Greater Washington Community Foundation is proud to announce $1.95 million in grants to 46 nonprofits serving disadvantaged children, youth and families across the Greater Washington region, including Doorways for Women and Families.

These organizations will receive grants up to $50,000 for project/program support or general operating support addressing the following issue areas: Stable Homes Stable Families, Foster Care & Adoption, and Academic & Career Success.

“These nonprofits all work to build thriving communities for today and for future generations,” said Bruce McNamer, President and CEO of The Community Foundation. “We are committed to addressing inequities for youth and families to help our most marginalized neighbors—people experiencing homelessness, unstable housing, or underemployment—find pathways out of poverty. These grants allow some of our region’s most effective nonprofits to make a difference around some of our region’s biggest challenges in education, homelessness, and foster care.”

The Community Foundation administers the Fund for Children, Youth and Families, charged with implementing its grantmaking by the former Freddie Mac Foundation. This is the third grant cycle of a five-year implementation structure. The Community Foundation continued to employ a substantial, rigorous, and highly competitive grantmaking process for the Fund for Children, Youth, and Families’ third and latest grant cycle. The grantmaking process utilizes a grant review committee of regional partners, issue experts, and staff to review grant applications against the criteria established by the Freddie Mac Foundation before its wind down.

The organizations who received grants stood out through our substantial, rigorous and highly competitive grantmaking processes, in which the Community Foundation utilized a grant review committee of regional partners, issue experts, and staff to review grant applications against the criteria established by the Freddie Mac Foundation before its wind down.

“The Community Foundation received over 200 proposals totaling approximately $8.6 million in funding requests,” said Tonia Wellons, Vice President of Community Investment at The Community Foundation. “The funding opportunity highlights the intense need in the community and the great value that organizations throughout the region offer in responding to this need.”

In mid-late 2019 The Community Foundation will release information regarding the 2019 Fund for Children, Youth and Families grant cycle.  Please visit www.fund4cyf.org for more information.

ABOUT THE GREATER WASHINGTON COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

Since 1973, the Greater Washington Community Foundation has been a champion of thriving communities and a catalyst for change made possible through local philanthropic engagement, effective community investment, and civic leadership. The Community Foundation works with donors and partners to make a real difference every day in the District of Columbia, Montgomery County, Northern Virginia and Prince George’s County by aligning resources and leveraging shared interests to amplify impact. As the region’s largest local funder, The Community Foundation has invested more than $1.2 billion to build more equitable, just, and enriching communities where all residents can live, work, and thrive.

ABOUT THE FUND FOR CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES

The Fund for Children, Youth and Families was established to invest in the betterment of underserved children, youth and families in the Greater Washington region – specifically to invest in organizations achieving significant impacts across the fund’s three issue areas and eight outcomes. Through its grantmaking, the fund supports effective organizations working to make the community healthy and stable. Please visit www.fund4cyf.org for more information.

Amazon’s latest donations to support housing and homelessness programs

“By teaming with our passionate employees, we hope to have a greater impact on housing and homelessness in our HQ regions of Seattle, WA and Arlington, VA.”

“Housing and homelessness is a focus area for Amazon and we know it’s important to our employees too. We chose 20 organizations to receive a match donation as way to hone our impact and join with our employees in a new way. The organizations were chosen based on existing employee involvement and proven results. Amazon will match dollar-for-dollar any employee donation – there is no limit on the match amount for any one donation or any one organization – made to the select nonprofits through September 30, up to $5 million. We invite you to join us in supporting frontline organizations making a difference in our communities.Read more.

Get Involved

Doorways is honored to welcome Amazon to our community as a partner working to solve homelessness. Volunteering with Doorways is easy! We need your support—whether you are an individual or group—at all levels throughout our programs. We provide community-based support, emergency shelter, long-term housing, and wraparound services to youth, families, and survivors of abuse experiencing homelessness. Our programs impacted more than 4,100 adults, youth, and children last year alone, and the need for our services is growing. We can’t do it without you! Join us today.

Doorways Selected by Amazon for Employee Match Campaign

Amazon employees can learn more about getting involved here.

Now through September, Amazon employee gifts to 20 select nonprofits matched one-to-one up to $5 million total

Arlington, VA – June 11, 2019 – Today, Amazon announced that the company is matching employee donations to 20 select charities that address housing and homelessness in its two headquarter regions, Arlington and Seattle, through September 30, 2019. Doorways is among the organizations selected to receive these donations and a portion of up to $5 million in one-for-one matching funds from Amazon. Amazon focuses on building long-term, innovative, and high impact programs, as well as programs that support immediate needs. Doorways’ comprehensive response includes emergency shelter, long-term housing and supportive services that ensure clients’ immediate safety and build long-term stability.

“Together with our employees, we will donate to nonprofits located in Washington State, Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia, whose missions support affordable housing and people experiencing homelessness,” said Jay Carney, SVP, Global Corporate Affairs at Amazon, in their press release. Furthermore, Amazon is committed to helping all children and young adults, especially those from underrepresented and underserved communities, have the resources and skills they need to build their best future.

“We are honored and grateful to be chosen by Amazon as a community partner addressing housing and homelessness,” said Caroline Jones, MSW, Doorways President and CEO. “We see tremendous opportunity and potential to fill a critical gap in our community for families and young people in particular.”

Over the course of the last five years, transition-aged youth—those ages 18 to 24—have been the fastest-growing population that Doorways serves. Youth now comprise 40% of adults living in Doorways’ Family Home shelter and HomeStart Supportive Housing Program. Some are still in school, and some are parenting children of their own. Recent groundbreaking research from Voices of Youth Count, an initiative of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, found that 1 in 10 transition-aged youth experience homelessness each year. Chapin Hall found that youth with less than a high school diploma or GED had a 346 percent higher risk for homelessness; unmarried parenting youth had a 200 percent higher risk; and Black or African American youth had an 83 percent higher risk. As their research shows, early intervention is essential to preventing these youth from becoming trapped in cycles of poverty, homelessness and violence.

Doorways’ programs and services, including its innovative Pathways for Youth, impacted more than 4,100 adults, youth and children last year alone. Ninety-seven percent of residents in Doorways’ emergency shelters were people of color, and 97 percent were women. Sidney, a young woman of color, described Doorways as “a do-over, and a fresh start.” She became homeless before her senior year of high school. Her school guidance counselor connected her with Doorways, who welcomed her into the Family Home, where she lived throughout her senior year. While supporting her in school, Doorways also provided Sidney with the resources and skills she needed overcome the negative impacts of trauma and to build a brighter future, including helping her continue immediate and plan long-term educational goals and secure an apartment of her own after she graduated. Today, Doorways continues to support Sidney as she works toward additional education and career goals. Doorways is proud to share that Sidney has been stably housed for nearly two years.

For youth like Sidney, Doorways offers the only support of its kind in the community. There is no dedicated youth shelter in Arlington. Doorways has only one Youth Advocate dedicated to providing the essential, developmentally targeted supports that young people need. Through its Revive Domestic & Sexual Violence Counseling Program, Doorways provides Arlington’s only trauma-informed counseling for children, teens and adults who have experienced intimate partner abuse, which often occurs before, during and after homelessness. Doorways’ Children’s Services provides dedicated support for kids of all ages impacted by homelessness and domestic violence who are living in shelter or supportive housing.

“There is already a gap between the need and this community’s response,” said Jones, “and the need is only growing. I am so proud of what our team and our community has accomplished so far, yet there is so much more to be done. Joining forces with a partner like Amazon would be a game-changer for these youth and for generations to come.”

Amazon also announced a $3-million one-time gift to the Arlington Community Foundation. “Since 2000, Arlington County has lost nearly 90% of its market affordable housing stock. Amazon’s donation is a significant investment in our community and will support critical issues like housing affordability that are important to Northern Virginians,” said Jennifer Owens, the foundation’s President and CEO, in the release. Amazon chose to support the foundation “because of their work and progress on housing stability and helping families improve their quality of life,” said Carney. “We believe this gift can help offer additional housing and support services for our neighbors in need.”

“Together with Amazon and our partners, we can change homelessness in this community,” Jones said.

Doorways’ Youth Specialist named a “Connect with Kids Champion”

Carlyssa Winstead, Doorways’ Youth Specialist, was named a “Connect with Kids Champion” by the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families.

The Connect with Kids Champions award was created by Mary Ann Moran in 2004 as a way to recognize people in the community who go out of their way to develop positive, supportive relationships with youth and inspire others to do so. Learn more.

From Promise to Practice: Aligning Housing and Services to Support Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence

by Caroline Jones, MSW, Doorways for Women and Families President and CEO

Historically, approaches to ending homelessness and those for ending IPV have operated, at best, in parallel. Despite evidence that domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness among women, youth, and families and that abuse and its impacts continue long after survivors leave relationships, very few survivor-centered housing options exist. But this is beginning to change. Ending homelessness for families and youth is now a national priority. In response to this shift, several IPV providers have developed promising models for safely and stably housing survivors while ensuring survivors have the support and empowerment necessary to move forward after abuse. Continue reading on How Housing Matters.

2018 Annual Report

2018 marked an incredible moment in our history. Not only did we experience a tremendous increase in need for all of our programs, but we also learned of new areas where our service was needed.

Thanks to you, we were able to reach populations who have been traditionally underserved, including youth, male survivors, and members of the LGBTQ community. These opportunities to grow brought new members to our team and new clients through our many doorways, representing a 140% increase in people impacted compared to 2014. Download our 2018 annual report to learn more.

Doorways client speaks with Arlington Magazine

The following are excerpts from Arlington Magazine. Read the entire piece here. Photo by Dixie Vereen.

“Doorways didn’t try to pathologize me. They saw and treated me as a human being who had experienced complex trauma. I was in a safe place knowing that I could finally tell the truth—all the truth—and not have it define the way I was treated or looked at. I can’t go back and change what’s happened to me, but I can choose to move forward with hope.”

Each survivor is paired with a personal advocate who can guide her or him through the entire medical examination—which is often an intensely emotional ordeal lasting several hours. Advocates are specially trained and provided for free by Doorways for Women and Families, an Arlington-based nonprofit that offers a safe haven and support system for people in crisis.

In 2015, Doorways became Arlington County’s consolidated resource for victims of sexual assault and their families, regardless of the victim’s age, gender or where the assault occurred. In each case, the nonprofit’s Revive program helps create a holistic plan that considers the victim’s personal safety, legal options, mental health counseling and financial support, if needed. These services are provided even if the person chooses not to take legal action.

Last year, Doorways helped more than 60 individuals through their hospital accompaniments. That’s up from 30 in 2017, and almost eight times the number of victims the nonprofit was able to help during its first official year in this role, says Doorways president and CEO Caroline Jones.

Some may be tempted to attribute the increase to an overall rise in sexual assaults, but police and hospital personnel say it’s more likely the result of coordinated efforts to reach victims—as well as greater awareness of what constitutes sexual assault and how to report it.

Since 2015, Doorways’ Revive program has provided short-term post-trauma sexual assault counseling for more than 400 individuals between the ages of 2 and 82.

It happens here. Sexual assault may not be talked about at soccer games and cocktail parties, but it is more prevalent than we think. Continue reading.

VA General Assembly commends Doorways on its 40th anniversary

SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 327
Offered January 25, 2019
Commending Doorways for Women and Families.

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Patrons– Favola, Barker, Black, Boysko, Carrico, Chafin, Chase, Cosgrove, Dance, Deeds, DeSteph, Dunnavant, Ebbin, Edwards, Hanger, Howell, Lewis, Locke, Lucas, Marsden, Mason, McClellan, McDougle, McPike, Newman, Norment, Obenshain, Peake, Petersen, Reeves, Ruff, Saslaw, Spruill, Stanley, Stuart, Sturtevant, Surovell, Vogel and Wagner

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WHEREAS, for 40 years, Doorways for Women and Families has provided safety and stability to members of the Arlington community suffering from homelessness, violence, or abuse; and

WHEREAS, established in 1978 as the Arlington Community Temporary Shelter, Doorways for Women and Families (Doorways) was the first emergency shelter for children and adults in Arlington County; and

WHEREAS, in its 40-year history, Doorways has grown to provide a range of life-saving and life-changing services that address the complex challenges of homelessness, domestic violence, and sexual assault with dignity, respect, and compassion; and

WHEREAS, as a public-private partnership, Doorways utilizes every resource available to strengthen the community and has helped people of all races, ages, genders, and income levels reduce the impact of traumatic events and build personal resiliency; and

WHEREAS, in 2017, Doorways provided emergency residential services to 253 adults and children, 96 percent of whom subsequently returned to safe housing; of the 138 children in the program, 87 percent were enrolled in a licensed daycare; and

WHEREAS, the Doorways Sexual and Domestic Violence Hotline responded to 2,390 calls, and members of Doorways accompanied and supported 60 survivors of abuse during hospital visits and forensic exams; and

WHEREAS, 407 survivors received trauma counseling through the Doorways Revive Domestic and Sexual Violence Counseling Program, with 95 percent of participants reporting a reduction of trauma symptoms, and 342 survivors seeking legal representation through the Doorways Court Advocacy Program; and

WHEREAS, Doorways has succeeded in its mission with the dedicated leadership of its board of directors, the hard work of its staff and volunteers, and the generosity of community partners and donors; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend Doorways for Women and Families for its legacy of support to victims of homelessness, violence, or abuse on the occasion of its 40th anniversary; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the Senate prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Doorways for Women and Families as an expression of the General Assembly’s admiration for the organization’s vital role in the Arlington community.

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Download a PDF of this resolution.

Download our latest newsletter and annual report

Thanks to our partner Deliver Strategies, a Doorways Corporate Ambassador, for producing this beautiful newsletter and report at no cost to Doorways. We appreciate your support!

In this newsletter, you’ll learn about:

  • The final stretch of the Campaign for Brighter Futures
  • 10 ways your child can get involved in the cause
  • Revive, our latest response to violence in our community
  • How to help a friend who has experienced sexual assault
  • And more, including partner spotlights and our latest annual report

Download Now