“We acknowledge with clarity and strength that transgender women are women and that transgender girls are girls. And we believe that honoring the diversity of women’s experiences is a strength, not a detriment to the feminist cause. All of us deserve the same access, freedoms, and opportunities. We deserve equal access to education, employment, healthcare, housing, recreation, and public accommodations. And we must respect each person’s right to bodily autonomy and self-determination.”
Statement of Support for our Asian American Pacific Islander Neighbors from Arlington’s Safety Net Nonprofits
As organizations supporting marginalized people in our community, we condemn xenophobia of all kinds. We stand in solidarity with our Asian American Pacific Islander community members, especially as they face rising incidences of harassment and violence. We continue to work toward the well-being and inclusion of people of all races, ethnicities and religions, and to use our voices to elevate their dignity and humanity. See statement and Safety Net Nonprofit signers.
Hear how people who are experiencing homelessness are faring during these unprecedented times, and learn about ways you can help the shelters that are their lifeline, including Doorways. Guests include Doorways’ President and CEO, Diana Ortiz.
We hope that you and your loved ones are safe. We planned to make the following announcement today before recent events unfolded. We still want to share this exciting news with you as planned, but did not want to do so without first acknowledging the violence in our neighboring community. Such acts of violence impact all of us, and can be particularly frightening for survivors who may be triggered by these events. If you need support, we encourage you to text HOME to 741741 to connect with a Crisis Counselor and access free support 24/7.
Doorways’ board of directors announced today that they have appointed Diana Ortiz, M.Ed., LPC as the agency’s president and CEO. Previously, Ortiz spent nine years as a key leader of Doorways’ client services, including its domestic and sexual violence programs, homeless services, children’s services, and supportive housing.
With nearly 20 years of experience in the field, Ortiz is a passionate leader and advocate who has dedicated her entire career to working for the wellbeing and safety of children, youth, and underserved populations. “Every inch of who I am is committed to Doorways’ mission,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz originally came to Doorways in 2009 as the Child Mental Health Specialist, providing therapeutic interventions to children and families who had experienced a wide variety of trauma. She was promoted to Clinical Director in 2012, and oversaw the spectrum of client service delivery for the organization for more than five years, including domestic and sexual violence programs, homeless services, HomeStart, and children’s services. During her time at Doorways, Ortiz also served with several community-wide efforts, including Arlington’s Action Plan to End Homelessness and Project PEACE. After leaving Doorways, she moved to Japan, where she served as Family Advocacy Program Manager with the Marine Corps Community Services. After nearly three years in Iwakuni, Japan, Ortiz and her family returned to the Arlington area, with Ortiz serving as the Director of Social Services for Ayuda.
“We are thrilled to welcome Diana back to Doorways as our next leader,” said Carmen Oviedo, Doorways’ board president. “With her extensive experience and knowledge of the services we provide, the complex dynamics of this work, and the essential role Doorways plays in the lives of so many, Diana is poised to lead the agency in growing and adapting to the changing world around us. The board and staff are also eternally grateful to Maureen Devine-Ahl, who has served as our interim president and CEO for most of 2020, successfully leading the agency through a truly unprecedented and challenging time in preparation for this next chapter.”
As for the future of the organization, Ortiz envisions Doorways as a leading nonprofit that sets a standard, provides best practices, and has new and creative ways to work with a community that thrives. “I am committed to continue working with underserved communities and leading the next generation of advocates and social services professionals while making systemic changes in our local community to improve the safety and well-being of our neighbors.”
“The shuttering of schools nationwide in March immediately shattered any semblance of stability for millions of homeless children who depend on schools for food, emotional support, or even just a warm, uncomplicated place to think,” wrote Hannah Natanson. “Trying to learn inside shelters for the past nine months, students have faced spotty WiFi, crowded rooms, high noise levels and harassment from some peers who deduce, over Zoom, that they lack a home.”
“I didn’t realize what Doorways did until I started looking at it and now I feel a part of it,” says Lindsey Rosenthal, one of the Yorktown students conducting a toy drive for Doorways this holiday season. Read more (scroll to page 3).
“Knowing that the criminal justice system did its due diligence, (…) for a survivor, in particular, says that, ‘Someone believes me, and what happened to me mattered,’ and that’s incredibly validating for a survivor, especially a survivor of domestic violence or a survivor of sexual violence,” says Samantha Clarke, MSW, MPA, Chief Program Officer at Doorways. Hear more on Fox 5 DC with Evan Lambert FOX 5 DC.
If you a survivor in need of support, please contact Doorways any time at 703-237-0881. Advocates are available to speak with you 24/7. Whether you experienced something recently or years ago, you are not alone, and we are here to help. Learn more.
According to the CDC, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. And those numbers are often higher for folks who are transgender, gender non-conforming, or nonbinary. If you or someone you know has been impacted by intimate partner/domestic or sexual violence in Arlington, you are not alone. We are here to help: health.arlingtonva.us/view/get-help.
Back in March, we asked for your support as we began to navigate this unprecedented time, to enable us to adapt and adjust Doorways’ work in unprecedented ways.
With your support, in just weeks, Doorways shifted our programs and service delivery to meet the needs of current clients while adhering to CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. We hope you enjoy learning more in Doorways’ COVID-19 Impact Report.
Thanks to you, Doorways has remained open, continuing to serve current clients and welcoming new families into our care.
In the four months since COVID-19 hit our community, we served 133 people in shelter and housing, 30 of whom we housed in hotels for their health due to the pandemic.
Unable to provide therapy in person, we secured new technology which enabled our therapists to continue serving clients via nearly 600 telemental health sessions.
We are so grateful for all you’ve made possible these past four months. We thank you in advance for continuing to support families at Doorways as we face new challenges together, such as returning to school, virtually and/or in person.
“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.