“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.
Safety Net Arlington — June 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.
Arlington Community Foundation
Arlington Food Assistance Center
Arlington Free Clinic
Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing
Bonder & Amanda Johnson CDC
Bridges to Independence
Doorways for Women and Families
Northern VA Family Service
Offender Aid and Restoration
Phoenix House MidAtlantic
Shirlington Employment and Education Center
Virginia Cooperative Extension, Arlington
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.
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!
UPDATE—April 9, 2020—New volunteer opportunities:
- Print and share posters to connect survivors with support
- Sew cloth face coverings for Doorways’ staff
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.
Thank you for supporting our clients and helping us rally this community behind them!
*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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to PO Box 100185, Arlington, VA 22210.
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.
Watch this conversation among the leadership and community partners of Arlington’s Project PEACE—Partnering to End Abuse in the Community for Everyone—including Doorways’ Chief Program Officer, Samantha Clarke, MPA, LCSW:
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.
“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.
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 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.
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.