- Services aimed at efficiently moving homeless persons into permanent housing
- Key component of overall community commitment and strategy to end homelessness
- 50 year-round beds; 25 winter hypothermia prevention beds; 5 medical respite beds
Arlington County’s efforts to end homelessness take a major step forward this week with the opening of a new Homeless Services Center. The Center, located in the Courthouse neighborhood, will begin serving clients Friday, Oct. 2. Community members are invited to an open house and ribbon-cutting event Thursday, Oct. 1 from 4-7 p.m.
The facility replaces the County’s aging and inadequate Emergency Winter Shelter also in the Courthouse neighborhood. The new center will provide much more than shelter to homeless individuals. Clients will have housing-focused case management and specialized programming that will include employment training, life skills training, benefit enrollment and mental health and substance abuse counseling and treatment.
“Since 2010, we’ve made great strides – we’ve reduced homelessness in the County by more than 50%,” said County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “This center is an important next step in meeting our commitment to end homelessness in Arlington. The center will take the County’s efforts to end homelessness among individuals to an entirely new level of comprehensiveness and effectiveness. We’re excited to bring these many resources – public and private – together in one place.”
“Our work isn’t done,” Hynes continued. ” Looking forward, addressing homelessness among Arlington families and preventing homelessness for the many households that are a missed paycheck or a medical crisis away from losing all they have are among the more persistent challenges we will continue to tackle.”
10 Year Plan to End Homelessness
Arlington’s overall approach to preventing and ending homelessness is guided by the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. Arlington launched the plan in 2008 with a consortium of more than 100 stakeholders from public, private and faith-based community organizations. The plan’s primary goal is that no individual or family shall lack access to decent, affordable housing.
The Center is at 2020-A 14th St. N, in the Courthouse area. It occupies the second and third floors of the building and includes office space for A-SPAN, the Arlington non-profit that will operate the shelter for the County.
“With the opening of this new center, Arlington is embracing an approach to ending homelessness that has proven to produce results,” said A-SPAN President and Chief Executive Officer Kathy Sibert. “In addition to a shelter program that protects people from being on the streets on frigid winter nights, we will provide a day program and a medical respite program. The respite program will accommodate clients who require short-term bed rest due to illness, injury or after a medical procedure. Most importantly, the Center will serve as a bridge – it will allow us to move people more quickly from homelessness to a home.”
The County purchased the seven-story building in 2012 for $27 million. The construction budget for the Homeless Services Center is $9.679 million and the project is currently within budget. County offices are expected to occupy the remainder of the building in the coming years.