Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

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.

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!”

Doorways profiled in Arlington Magazine Test of Time

The following is an excerpt of Doorways for Women and Families’ profile in the November/December 2017 issue of Arlington Magazine Test of Time section.

“Last year, Doorways served more than 3,500 people. This year, our 40th, we expect to serve even more. The role of community support has never been more important to our success.”

“Can you imagine having to sleep in a car with your children? Or being financially dependent on an abusive partner who isolates you and controls your every move?” asks Caroline Jones. “We hear these stories every day.”

Doorways interrupts cycles of abuse and homelessness and sets people on pathways to long-term safety and stability. In addition to operating two emergency shelters, Doorways provides supportive housing and comprehensive services to help clients reach stability. Continue reading.

Hear from Our Clients

For many of us, the word “home” conjures images of warmth, happiness and a sense of belonging. But what if the only place you have to call home was where someone was causing you (and your children) harm? What if home doesn’t exist at all, and the only way to stay off the street is to sleep in a car or hotel or ask friend after friend for a couch to crash on? These situations affect more people than you might imagine, including women, men, youth, children and families. Here are a few of stories from community members like you who’ve come through our many doorways seeking safety, stability, hope and, ultimately, a home.

Arlington County police cruisers display purple ribbons during Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Originally posted by the Arlington County Police Department in the Arlington County Newsroom

October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Arlington County Police Department has partnered with Doorways for Women and Families, our community advocate, to bring attention to this worthy cause.

During the month of October a purple ribbon, donated by Doorways, will be displayed on many Arlington County Police Department vehicles in support of the efforts to reduce the incidence and severity of domestic violence in our community. “The purple ribbon is an outward expression of our commitment to investigating incidents of domestic violence in our community and assisting those who may be experiencing domestic violence. Eliminating domestic violence requires collaborative prevention and response efforts and the Police Department believes the partnership with Doorways is a step in that direction,” comments M. Jay Farr, Chief of Police.

In 2016, officers with the Arlington County Police Department made 231 arrests for domestic assault. According to Doorways’ for Women and Families, last year the 24-Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (703-237-0881) responded to 1,471 calls, impacting 2,534 adults and children, a 13 percent increase over the previous year. Their new Revive Domestic & Sexual Violence Program served 373 adults, teens and children, and Doorways’ specially trained advocates offered hospital accompaniment to 30 survivors of sexual assault to pursue a forensic exam.

“Two years ago, we expanded our hotline, making access to safety and services more comprehensive,” says Caroline Jones, Doorways President and CEO. “In the first year, calls increased by 53 percent, and they have continued to increase by about 10 percent each year.  We are glad so many people are getting through to get help.”

Domestic Violence Awareness Month evolved from the “Day of Unity” held in 1981. The intent was to connect advocates across the nation who were working to end violence against women and children. The Day of Unity soon became an entire week devoted to a range of activities conducted at the local, state and national level. The activities conducted had three common themes that remain a key focus to this day: mourning those that have died because of domestic violence; celebrating those who have survived; and connecting those who have worked to end violence.

In October 1987, the first Domestic Violence Awareness Month was observed, and in 1989, the United States Congress passed Public Law 101-112 designating October as the official month.

Get Involved During DVAM 2017

In addition to the Arlington County Police Department, Doorways will also be collaborating with Arlington County Public Schools, Arlington Young Professionals, Phoenix House, Georgetown SigEp, Allstate, PAVE and other partners during DVAM 2017. Learn more about our DVAM events and activities.

If you’re interested in having Doorways participate in your event, please contact Linley Beckbridge, Communications and Outreach Manager, at 703-504-9283 or LBeckbridge@DoorwaysVA.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

Home Is Where The Art Is

Allison Stocks
Arlington teenager Allison Stocks started Home is Where the Art Is, a program in which artists donate their work for formerly homeless people to decorate their new homes. (Photo: Reza Marvashiti)

Meet the Arlington teenager who is helping turn formerly homeless people into patrons of art

By Tara Bahrampour for The Washington Post

When Allison Stocks was 13 and stuck at home during a 12-day run of snow days, she read a newspaper story about a homeless family moving into permanent housing. An accompanying photograph showed the family in an apartment with bare walls. To her, it didn’t look homey.

“The place looked kind of uninviting,” she recalled. “I realized that although there weren’t a lot of things I was capable of doing to help families like this one, I could help make their apartments more inviting.”

Allison, who is now a 15-year-old sophomore at Yorktown High School in Arlington, Va., started talking to artists and homeless shelters and in February 2016 she founded a nonprofit, Home Is Where The Art Is, to start connecting them. The organization has procured donations of hundreds of pieces of art, frames, and mattes, and has provided original artwork to over 50 people in the Washington area – plus one in North Carolina – who are making the transition from homeless shelters into permanent housing.

Continue reading

Home Is Where The Art Is provides framed original artwork at no charge to people transitioning from homelessness or a shelter into their new homes.

Grant Gives Inova Fairfax Hospital 24/7 Care for Sexual Assault Victims

The Inova Ewing Forensic Assessment and Consultation Team (FACT)’s mission is to address the unique needs of children and adults who are abused. 

Grant enables hospital to provide care for survivors 24/7

“On Thursday, Inova Fairfax and local leaders celebrated a grant of more than $500,000 that has allowed the [FACT] unit to expand to a 24/7 operation,” NBC4 reports. “The grant funds four full-time and two part-time nurses.”

See report

“When patients walk through the door of a special secure unit at Inova Fairfax Hospital, it’s often the worst day of their life. It is where a special team of nurses treat survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and gather evidence. ‘It really depends on the type of assault and the person, but typically, it’s scary,’ Ariel Ward, a sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) said. ‘It can be very overwhelming.'”

How Doorways helps

Doorways is grateful to partner with Inova Fairfax to support survivors of sexual assault during what can be a very difficult time. Doorways’ specially trained Sexual Assault Response Advocates (SARA volunteers) provide accompaniment to survivors during SANE exams. Learn more hospital accompaniment.