Category Archives: Press Release

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.

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.

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.

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.”

Expanded Services Prove Pivotal to Arlington’s Response to Abuse and Homelessness

Content warning: This post includes vivid descriptions of physical abuse.

Doorways for Women and Families Meets Growing, Increasingly Complex Needs

“My son was diagnosed with special needs,” shared Danielle, an Arlington mom of two who is also raising her nephew, at Doorways’ Campaign for Brighter Futures Breakfast. “There was a moment when I was restraining my son, who was having a meltdown. My son actually…leaned forward to try and bite my ex-husband, and so my ex-husband punched him in the face in retaliation. And that was it. That was the moment for me that I was like, ‘I won’t live with this. My son shouldn’t have to live with this.’ He didn’t deserve that.”

“That was the moment for me.”

Danielle, a Doorways graduate, is one of several clients who shared their story at the Campaign for Brighter Futures Breakfast. Hundreds of community members listened as Doorways’ clients and leadership described the challenges facing neighbors like Danielle; how Doorways is responding to their needs through the Campaign for Brighter Futures; and how the community’s support is making a transformative impact.

Danielle came to Doorways with her children to escape from her abusive ex-husband. Beyond basic safety and shelter, she found special accommodations for her son who has autism, dedicated children’s services to help all of her children heal from the abuse they had experienced and witnessed, and support services to help her gain confidence and learn how to maintain her budget and provide for her family on her own. She is now living in her own apartment through Doorways’ HomeStart Supportive Housing Program, empowered and safe.

Michelle Sagatov

“While difficult to believe, there are thousands of women, men and children right here in our prosperous community who, to achieve a brighter future, need a safe place to call home and the help of committed and compassionate professionals,” said Michelle Sagatov of the Michelle Sagatov Group, co-chair for the Campaign for Brighter Futures. “The challenges they face don’t always get the most attention, and often times, their voices are not heard. But these challenges, while profound and complex, can be overcome.”

Sagatov expressed Doorways’ deep gratitude for the supporters who gave a total of $6.5 million during the first two years of the Campaign for Brighter Futures, and called on the community to keep up this momentum. “Our work is not over. In this, our final year of the campaign, we must raise an additional $3.5 million in private support in order to ensure that our vital response continues for those in crisis as long as there is a need,” said Sagatov. “Our collective will to turn tragedy into triumph, and despair into hope, will directly fill the gaps we currently face as well as ensure no call for help goes unanswered.”

This past year, Doorways helped more than 3,600 people—almost double the total people the organization served just 3 years ago. In recent years, Doorways has received nearly 1,500 calls per year to its 24-Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (703-237-0881), an increase of more than 60 percent compared to 3 years ago.

Caroline Jones

“I know these numbers are shocking and not what we expect to hear, especially in a place like Arlington, where so many do so well. Yet, behind these rising numbers, there is positive change happening. By empowering people to know they are in danger, they are empowered to seek the right help. This is positive change,” said Doorways’ President and CEO, Caroline Jones. “I have never felt more proud to live in Arlington—a community with such determined compassion and will to look out for our neighbors,” said Jones. “This is absolutely our community to shape, and your support empowers us to reach our neighbors—to be inventive and bold when we see a need emerging or going unmet.”

Through the Campaign for Brighter Futures, Doorways is addressing this increasing demand for safety, the growing complexity of the needs of survivors and families seeking self-sufficiency, and the uncertain, restrictive funding climate that threatens the nonprofit’s ability to deliver lasting change in clients’ well-being. With funds given to the campaign, Doorways is maintaining their current and newer services that bring people to safety and meeting the long-term, more complex needs of their clients, especially the increasing number of youth and teens seeking help. Doorways is also working to ensure that its many doors will always remain open to all those who need their help tomorrow and in the months and years to come.

“Each part of our mission—from our hotline to our shelters to our services—is essential to the safety, healing and ultimate stability of the women, men and children we serve, especially the increasing number of youth and young families that need housing and support,” said Diana Ortiz, Doorways’ Client Services Director. “We are getting more and more calls for help, and we are able to answer with new and strengthened services. When people are unsafe or in crisis, we cannot tell them to wait. Our programs are transforming lives; we cannot afford to cut their funding. This campaign—our donors, our partners—are making it possible for us to meet our community’s needs in innovative and impactful ways.”

“Each part of our mission—from our hotline to our shelters to our services—is essential.”

“The words ‘thank you’ aren’t big,” Danielle said. “It’s like they don’t mean enough to express how grateful I am for everything that Doorways has done for me and my family, and given me… I think what I’m going to take from this is, it’s so much bigger than just ‘thanks.’”

To join Doorways in creating pathways out of homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault leading to safe, stable and empowered lives, visit www.DoorwaysVA.org/join-our-cause.

The Brighter Futures Breakfast was made possible by the following generous sponsors: Brighter Futures Sponsors – The Keri Shull Team and Orange Line Living; Ensuring Safety Sponsor – AvalonBay Communities; Economic Independence Sponsors – Clark Construction and the Shooshan Company; Strengthening Long-Term Stability Sponsor – The Michele Sagatov Group with Washington Fine Properties; Future Response Sponsors – Crystal City BID, FVC Bank, McGuire Woods, and Walsh Colucci Lubeley & Walsh PC; Community Partner Sponsor – John Marshall Bank; Media Sponsors – Arlington Magazine and Tania Hossain Photography; and Printing and Graphics Sponsor – Image 360 (formerly Signs By Tomorrow).

Doorways Launches Public Service Awareness Campaign

Did you know that one in three women and one in four men in the United States will be in violent relationship in their lifetime? What about the fact that families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population, now approaching 40 to 50% nationally? Or that every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted.

The truth is that most people don’t know these alarming facts — and, if they do, many don’t realize that it’s happening in their community. That’s right, Arlington: These issues are affecting the women, men and children of our very own county.

For the past 39 years, Doorways for Women and Families has been Arlington’s go-to resource for this escalating need. According to Doorways’ President and CEO, Caroline Jones, “Over the years, our response has grown and developed as we learned more and more about the lasting impacts of trauma and what it takes to not only help women and families escape crisis, but be empowered and achieve stability. Today, our comprehensive response to homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault in our community includes an immediate, safe response to our neighbors in crisis, including Arlington County’s only 24-Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (703-237-0881); safe housing options, from emergency shelter through long-term housing, including Arlington’s only Domestic Violence Safe House, Safe Apartments and Safe Kennel; and comprehensive support services that help our clients achieve and maintain stability.”

What’s surprising though is that “there are still many people who do not know the pervasiveness and impact that homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault have on the member of our community,” Jones says. In response, Doorways is launching a public service awareness campaign to inform people of these startling issues, motivate them to get involved in the cause and even, perhaps, shift the paradigm.

There are still many people who do not know the pervasiveness and impact that homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault have on the members of our community.

Enter: #Knowthe5, a social media campaign for change.

Says Heather O’Malley, Director of Development and Communications: “Through #Knowthe5, we hope to raise critical awareness of the issues facing too many of our neighbors. Once people are aware, they can make a difference; we know that when our community comes together, we can create real and lasting change.”

Supporters are asked to post selfies with their hand held up, palm facing the camera, fingers outstretched, to bring attention to five must-know facts, which will be updated each month to tell the comprehensive story. This strong and recognizable visual will urge our friends, fans and followers alike to stop the vicious cycle of violence, sexual assault and family homelessness and, ultimately, remind us all that change is in our hands.

“Our goal is twofold—first, we hope our community understands that homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault impact thousands of women, men, youth and children here in Arlington, and second, we hope that we empower them to do something about it. From gaining more support for our efforts to serve our neighbors in crisis, to changing conversations around the dinner table, we aim to create real change in our community in many ways, big and small,” O’Malley says.

To find out what the five must-know facts are and to be a part of the change, go to www.DoorwaysVA.org/knowthe5.