Category Archives: Uncategorized

What it’s like to learn online from inside a homeless shelter – The Washington Post

“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.”

Read more in the Washington Post to learn what it’s like to attend school virtually while living at Doorways and other shelters.

The child in the photograph above is a model whose image has been used for illustrative purposes only.

Doorways Chief Program Officer provides survivors’ perspective on FOX 5 DC

New DNA information leads police to serial rape suspect in Virginia nearly 30 years later
By Evan Lambert and FOX 5 DC Digital Team │ Published December 2, 2020

“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.

Arlington’s Intimate Partner/Domestic and Sexual Violence Resources: You Are Not Alone

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:

Your COVID Impact Report, from Doorways

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.

Thank You

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.
  • Plus more! Download Doorways’ COVID-19 Impact Report to see more ways Doorways has continued to serve clients.

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.

Learn how you can support kids at Doorways this back-to-school season. Stay tuned for more ways to help in our newsletter, This Week at Doorways! Subscribe now.

Open Letter from Doorways’ Board of Directors

“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.

Statement of Solidarity from Arlington’s Safety Net Nonprofits

Safety Net ArlingtonJune 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.

AHC, Inc.
Arlington Community Foundation
Arlington Food Assistance Center
Arlington Free Clinic
Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing
Arlington Thrive
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
Wesley Housing

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.

Triple Your Gift, for Hope

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:

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!

Supporting Survivors, Youth and Families Experiencing Homelessness in Arlington during COVID-19

UPDATE—April 9, 2020—New volunteer opportunities:

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 If you are unable to give, please consider starting a Facebook fundraiser or forwarding this message to your friends.

Donate Now

Thank you for supporting our clients and helping us rally this community behind them!

Additional Resources

*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 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.