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.
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!”
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.
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!
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.
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.”
“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.
— InovaFACT (@InovaFACT) May 21, 2016
Doorways’ Campaign for Brighter Futures
A safe today, a stable tomorrow, and the brightest possible future
The past few years have been ones of dramatic increase, both in number of people reaching out for help and in the ways Doorways is helping. Our Campaign for Brighter Futures calls on all of us to step up like Doorways’ founders did years ago to meet our community’s needs. Whether you’ve been with us since the beginning or are brand new to this community, you have a critical role to play in safeguarding our response to those in crisis.
Download our latest newsletter to learn more about the Campaign for Brighter Futures, client stories, how gift cards empower our clients, the Doorways Model, stakeholder spotlights, and much more:
Special thanks to Doorways Corporate Ambassador Mack Sumner Communications for their beautiful pro bono design of this newsletter and annual report.
- Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Report
- The Power of Plastic: How gift cards empower our clients
- The Doorways Model: Responding to crisis, providing safe housing and empowering stable lives
- Services Matter: New research that validates a holistic approach to family homelessness
- Client Journeys: Meet Daniel, Sasha and Monique
- Meet Our Campain Co-Chairs
- Plus more!
More than 10,000 Women’s March and inauguration attendees have donated their unused Metro cards
“Hundreds of thousands of people traveled to the nation’s capital last month for the inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington. In the weeks since they’ve left, more than 10,000 visitors have donated to local charities Metro SmarTrip cards that might have otherwise been discarded.”
Helping People One Ride at a Time
“People are donating their fare cards to help low-income people get to and from work, school and doctor’s offices on Washington’s subway.”
Despite Arlington’s affluence and prestige, there are still those facing homelessness or suffering abuse in our community. With the generosity of partners and supporters, Doorways helps vulnerable neighbors survive crisis, rebuild their lives and achieve brighter futures.
“We create pathways out of homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault for people,” says Caroline Jones. “Getting people out of harm’s way is our first priority.”
The organization has been transforming lives since 1978, when the organization started with a single shelter. Today, Doorways offers many services and strategies to move people out of crisis and onto a path to long-term safety and stability. This includes operating Arlington County’s 24-Hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline, two emergency shelters, supportive housing, and comprehensive services.”