Darren Clark is a middle-aged African-American man with a warm smile and a love for gospel music. Severe glaucoma has left him nearly blind and in need of surgery.
Even without his vision, he knows the streets of Rosslyn far too well. He is one of 527 homeless people living on the streets of the County on any given day.
Anh helped Darren qualify for SSI benefits, food stamps and a checking account. Worried about his eyes, Anh took Darren to Lions Eye Clinic, which provided free eye care and drops to relieve pressure from his glaucoma. In addition, Anh helped Darren get Medicaid, giving him the chance to have eye surgery at Washington Hospital Center.A-SPAN Outreach Workers Olivia Payton, Terrence Toussaint and Solomon Abawi first met Darren while distributing bagged meals, clothing and blankets to homeless people at Gateway Park. Time and gentle encouragement convinced Darren to visit A-SPAN’s Opportunity Place where he met with Case Manager Anh Ninh.
Darren is currently looking for an apartment through an Arlington County Housing Grant. The former security guard who liked “helping people feel safe” in his former career will finally have a safe place of his own thanks to A-SPAN.
(The client’s name has been changed for privacy)