All posts by Linley Beckbridge

Open Letter from Doorways’ Board of Directors

“It has been an incredibly painful few weeks as we have all watched events unfold in the wake of the awful murder of George Floyd and loss of many other Black lives. The aftermath and outpouring of emotions across the country has demanded justice. The new calls to end racism are steady and justified. We support these efforts and join the community in a call to end the systemic economic and racial injustice that persists and devalues Black lives. All of this is happening in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and an unprecedented economic downturn that is bringing massive job and wage loss, housing instability and overall insecurity to families, amplifying the need for the housing and supportive services Doorways brings to the Arlington community.” Download the complete statement to continue reading.

Statement of Solidarity from Arlington’s Safety Net Nonprofits

Safety Net ArlingtonJune 4, 2020 — As Arlington safety net nonprofits working with marginalized people in our community, we feel and recognize the pain and suffering of so many over the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many more not caught on camera. These deaths are reminders of just how far we still must go in the name of racial justice, while the protests are a sign that many Americans are sick and tired. Within our network are leaders and staff who, as people of color, also regularly face biases from the police, general public, and colleagues.

Safety Net Arlington stands by protestors who step up in the name of eradicating racism and advancing racial equity. The very fact that the majority of the families we serve are people of color is a result of systemic oppression and racism, which lies deeply rooted in the foundation of our nation and our own history here in Arlington. As safety net providers, we pledge to redouble our efforts to serve and connect in solidarity with our community members who are people of color and to influence change to elevate their dignity and humanity.

AHC, Inc.
Arlington Community Foundation
Arlington Food Assistance Center
Arlington Free Clinic
Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing
Arlington Thrive
A-SPAN
Aspire!
Bonder & Amanda Johnson CDC
Bridges to Independence
BU-GATA
Doorways for Women and Families
Edu-Futuro
Northern VA Family Service
Offender Aid and Restoration
Phoenix House MidAtlantic
Shirlington Employment and Education Center
Virginia Cooperative Extension, Arlington
Wesley Housing

Safety Net Arlington is a group of Arlington nonprofits who provide direct safety net services to Arlington’s most vulnerable residents in partnership with Arlington County. Arlington Community Foundation serves as its convener.

Triple Your Gift, for Hope

On a quiet, tree-lined street, Hope and Micah walk together in the sunshine. For the first time, in a very long time.

Because they are safe. Safe from a loved one who hurt them. Safe from angry words and threats. Safe to walk, and smile, and snuggle, and giggle — things that abuse took from them.

You helped get them here. Your gifts to Doorways gave Hope and Micah a home to call their own, counselors to help them heal, and the tools to start over and succeed. But even now, there are so many more who need you, just like Hope

Today we are launching our Open Hearts, Open Doors match campaign, and I am asking you to be a part of it. From now until June 15th, 2020, every gift made to Doorways will be matched $2 to $1 by a generous coalition of Doorways Board Members, former Board Members, and Emeritus Board members. 

Your gift of just $50 would mean $150. $100 would grow in impact to $300. $1,000 would triple to $3,000 — please, consider your gift for families just like Hope and Micah.

Just click this link to make your matched gift online: www.DoorwaysVA.org/donate.

Because you know that open hearts open doors to so many things — safety, security, serenity, and yes, hope. 

Your gift will change lives. Thank you.

Give to Open Hearts, Open Doors today! This special $2 to $1 match won’t last long! We need you!

Supporting Survivors, Youth and Families Experiencing Homelessness in Arlington during COVID-19

UPDATE—April 9, 2020—New volunteer opportunities:

A Message from Maureen Devine-Ahl, Doorways’ Interim President and CEO

March 18, 2020—As we shared in last week’s statement on COVID-19, Doorways is dedicated to the safety of our clients, staff, and volunteers. We are also committed to the continuity of our critical services for youth and families experiencing homelessness and for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

As we are all challenged to modify our day-to-day in the coming weeks, we ask you to think of community members who will become even more vulnerable and at risk during these times, and consider how we—all of us, together—are their safety net. We anticipate that changes in school, childcare, work, income and finances, health needs and management, and living situations may increase instances of domestic violence, sexual assault, homelessness, financial insecurity and more.

We ask you to think of community members who will become even more vulnerable and at risk during these times, and consider how we—all of us, together—are their safety net.

Maintaining Doorways’ Response in the Midst of a Crisis

Our goal is to continue delivering Doorways’ critical response to our clients while doing all we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially among our clients and staff. As such, we have shifted as many of our employees as possible to remote work, cancelled group activities and meetings, and are adjusting the ways in which we deliver some of our services as needed to ensure continued support:

  • Our 24-Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (703-237-0881)remains operational all day, every day, with a trained advocate ready to answer your call.
  • Court advocacy services are also still available, with some adjustments in light of COVID-19.
  • In-person hospital accompaniment and mobile advocacy services have been suspended for the time being. Please call the hotline (703) 237-0881 to learn about the support available.
  • Our Revive Domestic & Sexual Violence Counseling Program therapists are working one-on-one with clients to manage ongoing support.
  • At this time, we are still accepting new clients in our Domestic Violence Safehouse and Safe Apartments, and Family Home shelter for youth and families experiencing homelessness, according to our standard eligibility criteria and protocols, plus additional measures being taken in light of COVID-19.
  • Our team members supporting clients through Doorways’ HomeStart Supportive Housing Program, Children’s Services and Financial Independence Track are working creatively one-on-one with clients to provide continued critical support as we practice social distancing.

How You Can Help

Beyond the immediate term, the ripple effects of this crisis will continue to impact our clients and our community. Many of our clients earn minimum or low wages and have little or no paid leave. As schools and daycares close, many of our clients do not have childcare alternatives. Some clients may lose income, and others may lose their jobs altogether; we have already had client lose jobs due to COVID-19.

During this crisis and beyond it, Doorways is here to support our clients, because you—our partners in the community—are here to support Doorways. In a time of such fear, confusion and uncertainty, we need to come together like never before. We know this is no small ask, as we are all trying to manage moment-to-moment, unsure of what is next. But now is the time to ensure that our community’s vulnerable members do not get left behind or lost in the gaps created by circumstances like inadequate wages and nonexistent paid leave.

Because our clients are at greater risk of suffering the deeper, longer-lasting impacts of this crisis, we need you to invest in them, in us, now. If you have extra to share, now is the time to share it. Donate now at www.DoorwaysVA.org/donate. If you are unable to give, please consider starting a Facebook fundraiser or forwarding this message to your friends.

Donate Now

Thank you for supporting our clients and helping us rally this community behind them!

Additional Resources

*For any victims and survivors not in Arlington who need support, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is here for you, 24/7. Call 1-800-799-7233 or 1-800-799-7233 for TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org or text LOVEIS to 22522.

Staying Safe During COVID-19

Avoiding public spaces and working remotely can help to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but for many survivors, staying home may not be the safest option. We know that any external factors that add stress and financial strain can negatively impact survivors and create circumstances where their safety is further compromised.

Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s website to learn how COVID-19 could uniquely impact intimate partner violence survivors, and get are a few suggestions for survivors that may make this uncertain time feel a little bit safer.

Special Statement on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

A Message from Maureen Devine-Ahl, Interim President and CEO

Doorways is dedicated to the safety of our clients, staff, and volunteers. We are also committed to the continuity of our critical services for youth and families experiencing homelessness and for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Along with our fellow safety-net partners, Doorways is closely monitoring developments regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) and taking every precaution to keep our facilities clean and our staff and clients healthy. More than ever, our clients—many of whom are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19—will rely on Doorways and our community partners to maintain a healthy and hopeful standard of living. We anticipate that the need for our services may increase during and after this time.

Doorways is working to ensure the best possible provision of our services to the youth, families, and survivors in our care, and we need your help. Together, we can gather and command the additional resources available to respond to COVID-19 and its impacts in our community.

To support our ongoing critical response to youth and family homelessness, domestic violence, and sexual assault, during and beyond the COVID-19 crisis, please visit www.DoorwaysVA.org/donate and make your gift now.

Donate now

Additionally, we are in need of the following essential items for our clients in shelter: hand soap, hand sanitizer, dish soap, toilet paper, diapers, pull-ups, paper towels, trash bags, cleaning spray, and cleaning wipes. All of these items can be purchased online via our Amazon wish list and sent to Doorways directly. Donations of gift cards for Amazon, Target, and local grocery stores like Giant and Safeway are also encouraged, as they enable our staff to purchase these items moving forward. These can be sent via email to Doorways at info@doorwaysva.org or mailed to PO Box 100185, Arlington, VA 22210.

Shop Amazon wish list

We will keep you updated as this situation develops. Thank you for partnering with Doorways to support our clients and our agency during this time.

Doorways Appoints Interim President and CEO

Maureen Devine-Ahl
Maureen Devine-Ahl

Doorways’ Board of Directors announced that it has appointed Maureen Devine-Ahl, Principal, MK Fundraising Solutions, as the agency’s Interim President and CEO. Devine-Ahl brings nearly two decades of nonprofit leadership and consulting experience to Doorways, with a personal interest in serving women and families in our local communities. A passionate advocate for the health and well-being of the social sector, Devine-Ahl founded MK Fundraising Solutions (MKFS), a full-service nonprofit consulting firm, in 2014. Since then, she has partnered with more than 20 local, national and international organizations. 

“Maureen comes to Doorways with a passion for our mission, a strong track record, and deep connections to our community,” said Carmen Oviedo, President of Doorways’ Board of Directors. “We look forward to partnering with Maureen to continue moving Doorways’ critical mission forward.”

“Doorways is a cornerstone of hope and healing for Arlington,” said Devine-Ahl. “I am thrilled to partner and serve as Doorways’ interim CEO for this important work.”

Doorways thanks Caroline Jones, MSW, outgoing President and CEO, for her 17 years of service to the organization and its mission. During her tenure, Jones facilitated significant growth in Doorways’ public and private community partnerships and built a strong, stable organization poised to continue strong service to the Arlington community.

Doorways Announces Executive Transition

Doorways announced today that the agency’s President and CEO, Caroline Jones, MSW, will be leaving the organization in February. Since 1978, Doorways has operated at the many intersections of homelessness, poverty, and intimate partner violence, responding to community members in crisis. Jones has led the agency for nearly a decade, and served as a key leader of Doorways’ client services for the eight years prior.

“On behalf of the board of directors and everyone at Doorways, we sincerely thank Caroline for her 17 years of service to our mission, both as the agency’s leader and as a prominent voice among local and state advocacy groups and continuums of care,” said Carmen Oviedo, Doorways’ Board President. “Caroline has done a terrific job facilitating significant growth in Doorways’ public and private community partnerships and building a strong, stable organization poised to continue strong service to the people of Arlington County.”

“I have worked with Caroline (…) shoulder to shoulder to prevent and end family and youth homelessness, and to expand services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence. She is an extraordinary community leader who strives to strengthen and empower vulnerable families through the services at Doorways and through strong partnerships she has built throughout the community,” said Anita Friedman, Director of Arlington County’s Department of Human Services.

The organization is a statewide leader in providing services for people in crisis. While continuing and expanding the fundamental programming that the organization has for decades provided to families experiencing homelessness and domestic violence, under Jones’ leadership Doorways has grown to include Arlington’s comprehensive 24-Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (703-237-0881); Hospital Accompaniment Response Program; Safe Apartments to increase emergency shelter capacity and options for survivors; and the Revive Domestic & Sexual Violence Counseling Program for survivors of all ages. Today, Doorways is Arlington County’s sole domestic and sexual violence service provider, and serves more than 3,000 people each year across its programs.

“I’m honored to have served as Doorways’ leader, and I could not be more proud of all we together achieved,” said Jones, who points to her work with clients as her greatest source of learning and continuous inspiration. Looking forward, “I am excited about what the future holds for Doorways,” Jones shared. “This organization’s response is more critical than ever. I will forever be a donor, advocate and ally to this amazing agency that has inspired and taught me more than words could ever capture.”

“Caroline has galvanized community support and investment in Doorways’ innovative and impactful programming,” said Christy Cole, Chair of Doorways’ Emeritus Board. “Thanks to her leadership and the robust foundation built during her tenure, Doorways is poised to grow even stronger in the years to come.”

“We look forward to the next chapter in Doorways’ service to the community and wish Caroline well in her next role serving Arlington as she joins our long-time community partner, APAH, as Director of Resident Services,” Oviedo said.

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.