All posts by Linley Beckbridge

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

Doorways Awarded Top Rating from Charity Navigator

Local Nonprofit Celebrates Anniversary Year with Another 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator

Doorways’ strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. This is the 10th time that Doorways has earned this top distinction in the last 10 years.

“Doorways’ exceptional four-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, President and CEO of Charity Navigator. “Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our four-star rating. This adds Doorways to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world’s most pressing challenges. Based on its four-star rating, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity when they decide to support Doorways.”

“This adds Doorways to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world’s most pressing challenges.”

Using objective analysis, Charity Navigator awards only the most fiscally responsible organizations a four-star rating. In 2011, Charity Navigator added 17 metrics, focused on governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, to its ratings methodology. These Accountability & Transparency metrics, which account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating, reveal which charities operate in accordance with industry best practices and whether they are open with their donors and stakeholders. On June 1, 2016, Charity Navigator upgraded its methodology for rating each charity’s financial health. These enhancements further substantiates the financial health of four-star charities.

“Receiving our tenth four-star rating during our 40th anniversary year is a testament to Doorways’ ongoing dedication to accountability, transparency and financial integrity,” said Caroline Jones, MSW, Doorways’ President and CEO. “Since 1978, our donors have given to support their neighbors in times of crisis and empower our clients to build futures free of homelessness and abuse. Doorways is proud and thankful to have earned our supporters’ respect, trust and confidence; we could not provide our life-changing programs and services without our donors’ financial investment in our clients’ safety and stability.”

“Doorways is proud and thankful to have earned our supporters’ respect, trust and confidence; we could not provide our life-changing programs and services without our donors’ financial investment in our clients.”

Doorways’ rating and other information about charitable giving are available free of charge on www.charitynavigator.org.

Local Bars and Restaurants Raise Awareness of Sexual Assault

Businesses Call on Community to Create Change and Support Survivors

Arlington, VA – April 25, 2018 – For 40 years, Doorways has provided survivors in our community with immediate safety, comprehensive support and therapeutic services that ultimately lead to brighter futures. But they have not done it alone, nor can the organization continue to meet the growing need without the support of the Arlington community. There is a role for all of us in this response, Doorways says, including bars and restaurants.

April Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, and several local businesses are partnering with Doorways to raise awareness of the resources available for survivors. This weekend, these bars and restaurants will provide customers with coasters that feature Doorways’ 24-Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (703-237-0881) and the message, “Sexual assault impacts everyone.” Participating businesses include The Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall, Northside Social, Liberty Barbeque, O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub, and Freddie’s Beach Bar.

“It’s important to raise the awareness that sexual violence happens in our community, that we have a local response through Doorways, and that all of us have a role in supporting survivors,” said Stephen Fedorchak, owner of The Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall, Northside Social, and Liberty Barbeque. “This is beyond #MeToo or #TimesUp—survivors have stepped forward, and now it’s up to us to respond. We have to make a shift and create lasting change in our culture. That change starts with us. It happens here.”

This is beyond #MeToo or #TimesUp—survivors have stepped forward, and now it’s up to us to respond.

According to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, someone experiences sexual assault every 98 seconds. In 2015, Doorways responded to an average of 3 survivor calls per day to their hotline; today, the organization receives 6 calls per day. Now in its second year of operating, Doorways’ Revive Domestic & Sexual Violence Program— which offers trauma-informed short-term counseling tailored to the needs of survivors seeking services due to domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and/or stalking—will serve approximately 400 Arlington women, men, youth and children. While these statistics point to an increased willingness to share experiences and seek help, the stories behind the numbers point to an alarming rise in the rate of incidents in Arlington, affecting every demographic.

As Arlington County’s only comprehensive domestic and sexual violence program, in addition to the hotline and Revive, Doorways offers hospital accompaniment provided by a highly trained advocate for survivors who choose to seek medical attention; a bilingual (Spanish and English) Court Advocacy Program; and a Domestic Violence Safehouse.

While bars and restaurants are at the heart of this campaign, Doorways explains that the connection between sexual assault and alcohol is still widely misunderstood. “While perpetrators may use alcohol as a tool to incapacitate their victims, the only person to blame for assault is the one committing the violence. Someone who’s intoxicated cannot consent to sexual activity,” said Christa Carlton, director of Doorways’ Domestic & Sexual Violence Programs. “Sexual violence is never the victim’s fault. It’s on us to believe and support survivors, and never to blame them for what they’ve experienced.”

Sexual violence is never the victim’s fault. It’s on us to believe and support survivors.

As Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month comes to a close, Doorways remains available to survivors, their friends and family and our community all year round. Free and confidential crisis support, information and referrals are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Doorways’ hotline at 703-237-0881. Anyone needing support is encouraged to call Doorways to talk about their situation or that of a loved one.

“Shed Your Coat” at Rocklands Arlington on May 3

Patio Officially Opens with 10th Annual Pig-and-Oyster Roast Benefiting Doorways

After this cool spring, Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company in Arlington invites neighbors and friends to come together to welcome warmer weather with a special anniversary celebration. On Thursday, May 3, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., Rocklands will officially kick off patio season with an evening of food and drink to benefit Doorways for Women and Families. Guests will mingle on the patio enjoying barbecued pork, fresh oysters roasted over a wood fire, and a selection of Rocklands’ signature sides. Rocklands will tap a keg from Right Proper Brewing Company just for the event and offer a selection of wine from the bar.

This year marks Rocklands’ 10th annual fundraising event for Doorways, as well as Doorways’ 40th anniversary. To celebrate these milestones, Rocklands aims to bring community members together to raise $10,000 to support youth and young families transitioning out of homelessness.

“This year, we have a special goal for this event. We are hoping to raise $10,000—a record for this event—to support young adults and families at Doorways as they transition out of homelessness into homes of their own,” said John Snedden, owner of Rocklands. “We are proud to help this vulnerable population achieve stability by investing in this critical step toward the bright future ahead.”

This year, we have a special goal for this event. We are hoping to raise $10,000—a record for this event—to support young adults and families at Doorways as they transition out of homelessness into homes of their own.

Along with the rest of the nation, Arlington County is disturbing trends for youth ages 16 to 24. Not only are young people the fastest growing segment of homeless population, but also the most at-risk group for first-time domestic and sexual violence. In Doorways’ Domestic Violence Safehouse and our Freddie Mac Foundation Family Home, these very young households now comprise 40 percent of clients. Doorways’ Pathways for Youth service model tailors the organization’s existing programs and services to meet the unique needs of youth and young families.

“Most of us just don’t know how many young people are living in unsafe and unstable conditions,” said Caroline Jones, MSW, Doorways’ President and CEO. “With and without children, some are still in high school, some are in violent relationships, and some simply have no safe place to live. By intervening early, we can begin to end the cycles of homelessness and abuse that impact so many young people in our community.”

Proceeds from Rocklands’ event will go directly to supporting young people as they transition from homelessness to safe, stable long-term supportive housing. Rocklands is donating all the food, beer and wine so 100 percent of the ticket price goes directly to Doorways. Tickets to the event are $35 (kids under 10 eat for free), and can be purchased online at www.DoorwaysVA.org/Rocklands2018 or at the door. Raffle tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20. For $40, a special 40th anniversary ticket includes food, drink and two raffle tickets. Raffle prizes include gift certificates to local restaurants and shops and more.

“We are thrilled to celebrate our anniversary with Rocklands’ 10th annual ‘Shed Your Coat’ event,” said Jones. “It’s partnerships like this one that have made the last 40 years possible. Year after year, we are honored to be joined by so many of neighbors offering their support. On behalf of everyone at Doorways, we are so grateful for your investment in our clients’ futures and for your renewed commitment to our newest initiatives to help youth achieve stability.”

Doorways Advocate Speaks to Senate Subcommittee about Domestic Violence and the Military

C-SPAN / March 8, 2018 / “The Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel held a hearing to discuss domestic violence and child abuse in military families. A panel of abuse survivors and an advocate testified about their legal, health care, and treatment experiences with the military, and made recommendations for what could be improved in order to better help survivors and prevent potential abuses. Also, a panel of clinical professionals and a Defense Department official discussed the issues from their perspectives. They also made recommendations as to where and by whom efforts could be made to address existing challenges and prevent future violence, abuse, and neglect.”

Iris Vega, an advocate with Doorways for Women and Families, spoke about the experiences of three survivors and made recommendations for improving our response to their needs. See her remarks just past the one-hour mark:

“Moments are temporary; movements lead to real change.”

Originally published in the Sun Gazette
Caroline Jones, President and CEO, Doorways for Women and Families
Joanne Petty, Board President, Doorways for Women and Families

It seems each day brings a new headline about sexual assault and harassment. The revelation that nearly every industry in America is impacted is both shocking and appalling to the public, yet all too familiar to those working to end the cycles of violence and abuse in our community. The bravery of women and men speaking up about their experiences and bringing a renewed sense of empowerment for survivors is laudable. To many, it feels like something is shifting; daresay, progress in combating sexual assault and domestic violence is moving us toward a society where harassment and assault are never acceptable. These past few months have become, to many, a watershed moment. Yet to truly solve these problems, this has to be more than a moment. Moments are temporary; movements lead to real change.

While we continue the conversation on the national stage, we must remember that the real, on-the-ground advocacy must be rooted in our own community. In recent months, Arlington has experienced a 15% increase in calls to Doorways Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline. Last month alone, Doorways saw a 25% increase in requests for counseling through the new Revive Domestic & Sexual Violence Counseling Program. Now in its second year of operating, the Revive Program is on track to serve far more than the 376 Arlington women, men, youth and children that came forward last year to seek help. While these statistics point to an increased willingness to share experiences and seek help, we know the stories behind the numbers point to an alarming rise in the rate of incidents in Arlington, affecting every demographic.

As headlines fade, we as a community must be purposeful in our work and remain committed to supporting survivors, and whenever possible, preventing sexual assault and domestic violence from occurring in the first place. While systems level change will take time and continued advocacy, there are many ways we can support our neighbors who are experiencing interpersonal violence today and empower them to heal. For almost 40 years, Doorways has provided survivors in our community with immediate safety, comprehensive support and therapeutic services that ultimately lead to brighter futures. But we have not done it alone, nor can we continue to meet the growing need without the support of the Arlington community.

There is a role for all of us in this response. Together, we can educate young people and the community about healthy relationships and the resources available to survivors. If you know someone who is in need of support, please share our 24-hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline at 703-237-0881. Reassure your friend, family member or coworker that they are not alone, and let them know that there is help and support available.

If you are interested in learning about further ways to support survivors in our community, please visit www.DoorwaysVA.org. And let’s all continue to raise awareness about sexual assault and domestic violence so that everyone in our community can feel, and be, safe.

Change is in your hands during #teenDVmonth

Did you know that one in three teens in the United States experiences dating violence, which includes physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse? Most of us aren’t aware of how common abuse is among youth, and many youth who experiencing dating violence aren’t aware of the resources available to them. These forms of abuse affect everyone: survivors, parents, family members and friends. Help is available for everyone. Read more on the Catalogue for Philanthropy blog.

123YouthCount: Sidney’s Story

Sidney came to Doorways after far too many tragedies touched her young life. For years, she watched her mother struggle with multiple sclerosis, ultimately losing her life to the disease when Sidney was only 15. Sidney’s father, who had spent decades in and out of homelessness, tried his best to be there for her, but his chronic instability meant that he could not provide Sidney with a safe home or the care she needed. For a short time, Sidney found a home with her grandmother, grandfather and cousins. But that too fell apart after Sidney was abused in the home. That was when Sidney’s high school guidance counselor told her about Doorways and everything changed. Read more on Arlington County’s website.

Doorways and partners featured in DC Metro Real Producers

The DC Metro Real Producers January edition features Doorways partners Keri Shull of the Keri Shull Team and Michelle Sagatov of The Michelle Sagatov Group. Sagatov “has a long history with Doorways for Women and Families that started well before her career in real estate. Doorways for Women and Families has provided pathways out of violence and homelessness for women, children, and men since 1978. In 2013, Michelle and her husband Yuri Sagatov raised over $300,000 to completely renovate Doorways’ safehouse. They were also able to get a group of local interior designers to help create a beautiful, restorative, and respectful interior for Doorways’ clients during their healing journey. They’ve been involved and giving ever since!”