Twenty years ago, two Arlington women saw a need and began preparing meals and serving them to homeless people. Meals were a start yet people living on the streets also needed medical care, shelter and a pathway to housing. A-SPAN (Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network) formed in 1991 to address the needs of this vulnerable population. Today, over 1,800 people rely on our range of services that began with a single act of kindness.
Staff regularly visit street homeless people in the wooded areas, underpasses abandoned buildings, parks and other areas where they live, delivering blankets and clothing, and personal hygiene items. Street outreach staff develop trust and build relationships, and then encourage people to visit Opportunity Place.
Homeless Bagged Meal Program (HBMP)
Homeless Bagged Meal Program volunteers prepare and serve up to 80 meals at two Arlington locations near Virginia Square and Rosslyn Metro every night of the year, rain or shine. Meals include a hot portion provided by DC Central Kitchen.
Opportunity Place (OP)
Clients access Opportunity Place Drop-In Center to take a shower, do their laundry, use a phone, get mail, use a computer, or to get clothing or a meal. They may also see a case manager or the Employment Case Manager.
A-SPAN Case Managers help clients navigate assistance programs in order to meet their needs. Case managers provide assistance with disability benefit applications, with getting referrals for mental health care or substance abuse treatment, and with connecting clients with medical care.
The Employment Case Manager assists clients with life skills trainings, job skills trainings, resume writing, interview techniques, and with job searches.
Nurse Practitioners provide on-site healthcare three nights a week at the Emergency Winter Shelter. Nurse practitioners help manage client's health concerns through initial diagnosis and followup visits, as well as writing prescriptions.
Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH)
The Permanent Supportive Housing Program provides apartments and case management for adults who were chronically homeless prior to placement. Clients maintain a lease in their name and case managers provide weekly in-house support with such things as medical appointments, budgeting, and other activities of daily living.
Emergency Winter Shelter (EWS)
Open Nov. 1-March 31, the Emergency Winter Shelter shelters up to 88 adults and provides a range of services including case management, employment counseling, housing case management and placement and medical care through the EWS Nursing Services Program.
Homelessness Prevention & Rapid Re-housing
The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program provides eviction prevention, housing placement and case management to people who are recently homeless or facing homelessness due to the recession.