Arlington’s Homeless Services Center: More Than A Shelter
A-SPAN has the plan, right people and partners, and a powerful new resource in the Homeless Services Center (HSC) to end homelessness in Arlington. The Center is more than a shelter. It houses all of A-SPAN’s supportive services under one roof. It shortens the time it takes to move a homeless individual or veteran from homelessness to a home – the HSC’s 24/7, year-round shelter and support leads to this. A-SPAN and partner organizations in Arlington’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness get results. It is the right thing to do. It is cost effective. It is happening – Arlington was one of the first counties nationally to end veteran homelessness. We have reduced chronic homelessness by 64% since 2013. With a “Housing First” model and a range of around the clock supportive services, we will end homelessness in Arlington.
Supportive Services: Life-Sustaining Care and A Link To Housing
Arlington’s Homeless Services Center (HSC) is more than a shelter. It houses all our services under one roof throughout the year. At the HSC, homeless individuals and veterans can sit in the cafeteria and eat a healthy meal prepared by our chef. They can get a warm shower, or take a job training or computer class. They can see a case manager and work on getting disability benefits, mental health care or housing. All these supportive services combined with our Medical Respite Program make the HSC a first-of-its-kind in the DC Metro area. Through a full-time nurse practitioner, clients get the managed and followup care, speciality treatment, and prescriptions needed for a return to health. Clients exiting a hospital in need of recovery can stay in one of five private Medical Respite rooms. And our Outreach Program extends these services to Arlington’s streets.
A-SPAN: Ending Homelessness In Arlington With Supportive Housing
A-SPAN’s range of supportive services work together towards one goal: ending homelessness in Arlington through housing. All of our housing programs are “Housing- First,” meaning A-SPAN quickly and successfully helps individuals and veterans get into permanent housing without any preconditions or barriers, such as requiring sobriety or service agreements. Our case managers then provide ongoing support, help link clients to resources in the community, rebuild their lives, retain housing, and prevent a return to the streets. Because of the close care our case managers provide, our supportive housing programs have a 95% retention rate. Our clients move on with their lives thanks to our programs – reconnecting with family, working, going to school, being valued members of the community. And it all starts with: Housing. First.
Street outreach workers seek out people living on the streets, in the woods, or other locations unfit for human habitation, and distribute items such as clothing, blankets, bottled water, personal hygiene items, and medical kits. The provision of these items helps staff build relationships with clients over time, and then help them link clients with additional services at the Homeless Services Center.
Volunteers and staff distributed approximately 32,000 meals every year through our bagged meal, outreach, day and shelter programs.
A-SPAN provides 32,000 meals annually
Homeless persons are able to take a shower, get a meal, use a phone, get their mail, do laundry, see the nurse practitioner, and should they choose, engage in case management to apply for benefits, explore housing options, develop job skills, or seek employment. Thanks to classroom space and the contributions of volunteers who share their expertise, A-SPAN provides a number of daily activities through the day program including life and job skills training, job search assistance, health educational classes, computer training, exercise classes, and art and animal group therapy.
Supports 1,000 of our homeless neighbors annually
The year-round shelter program offers sleeping arrangements for up to 80 people per night (55 shelter beds, five medical respite beds, and 25 additional beds from November – March during hypothermia season), provides three daily meals, shower and laundry facilities, and access to case managers and medical services.
Provides shelter for over 500 people annually
Provides free medical care, follow-up, referrals for specialty care, medical respite, and prescriptions through a nurse practitioner, medical assistant, and volunteer doctor from Virginia Hospital Center who also provides program oversight. In addition, the nurse practitioner oversees the Medical Respite Program, which provides five private beds for homeless patients in need of further recovery who are discharged from area hospitals.
Provides over 1,300 free medical visits annually
First provides housing for people who were chronically homeless and suffer from substance abuse and/or mental illness. After clients are housed, PSH provides ongoing support to help clients retain housing through assistance with daily challenges, financial literacy training, assistance with budgeting, and so on.
Has provided permanent housing to over 100 people since 2007
Collaborative, county-wide programs that provide rapid re-housing placement, eviction prevention, utility assistance and case management to households already experiencing homelessness, or those at risk of homelessness.
A-SPAN has provided housing to 181 individuals and veterans through all our supportive housing programs.
According to Arlington County’s latest Point-In-Time Count, 124 single adults remain homeless. A-SPAN is committed to finding the right housing solution for everyone remaining on the streets, and staying in shelter today.