Arlington County Board Approves Use Permit for Homeless Services Center

Arlington County Board Approves Use Permit for Homeless Services Center

  • Key part of County strategy to end homelessness
  • Center to offer integrated, comprehensive services
  • Consistent with Comprehensive Plan

ARLINGTON, Va. — The County Board today unanimously approved a Use Permit to allow a dormitory to be part of the new Homeless Services Center in the Courthouse neighborhood. The Use Permit allows the Center to include an overnight shelter, consisting of 50 permanent beds, five medical respite beds, and an additional 25 beds during winter. The Center also will offer comprehensive services aimed at getting clients into permanent housing.

The Homeless Services Center, expected to open in 2014, will occupy two floors of the seven-story County-owned building at 2020 14th St. N. In addition to providing beds, the Center will include support services, a dining area, administrative offices and program space.

“Arlington has long needed a permanent, year-round, comprehensive Homeless Services Center,” said County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada. “This Center will provide integrated services with the goal of getting every person who comes through the door into permanent housing.”

Conditions address community concerns

Tejada noted that the Center is consistent with the County's Comprehensive Plan, including the County General Land Use Plan, and the approved 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness.

The use permit includes conditions that address issues brought forward through a public engagement process, including a series of community meetings. The conditions include developing operational and security plans, constructing a screen wall on the service alley side of the property, designating a Center liaison to the neighborhood, and establishing a neighborhood advisory committee.

“The County has been working with neighboring residents and the broader community, and will continue to work with them to address concerns about security and other areas as this project moves forward,” said Tejada.

About the Homeless Services Center

The Center's low barrier-high-expectation model has been proven to work with a population that includes persons who have serious physical or mental issues or face serious barriers to housing. Services such as case management, mental health and substance abuse treatment, benefit enrollment, employment, and life skills training will be provided by the Department of Human Services and non-profit partners.

Each client will receive an in-depth assessment and individualized case plan that specifies daily programming to include training, employment, treatment, and other activities. Services will focus on developing client strengths, stabilizing clients in emergency situations and providing essential needs such as clothing, meals, showers, and laundry. Ongoing case management will help develop trusting relationships with the expectation of placing persons who are homeless in permanent housing.

Arlington Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the “10 miles square” parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. Slightly smaller than 26 square miles, it is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, and one of only a handful with the prized Aaa/AAA/AAA bond rating. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods and quality schools, and has received numerous awards for Smart Growth and transit-oriented development. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world — including the Pentagon — Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.