ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ — Doorways for Women and Families (formerly The Arlington Community Temporary Shelter, TACTS) along with Congressman Jim Moran and the Freddie Mac Foundation today unveiled the newly built Freddie Mac Foundation Family Home that will provide safe, temporary housing and intensive support services to many homeless women and families within Arlington County and the DC region. The new 7,200-square-foot Arlington shelter was made possible with major investments from the Freddie Mac Foundation and Arlington County, substantial in-kind donations from HomeAid Northern Virginia and NVHomes, and support from many organizations, individuals and foundations including the Philip L. Graham Fund, the Vicky Collins Charitable Foundation, the Virginia Department of Housing, Community Development and the Virginia General Assembly and a national Kresge Foundation Challenge Grant.
“In 2005, Doorways turned away more than 1,300 individuals seeking shelter, half of whom were children with their parents,” said Linda Dunphy, executive director, Doorways. “With family homelessness on the rise, this facility will do more than just provide the basics of food and shelter, it will bring respect, dignity and inspiration to women and families allowing them to focus on the developmental steps needed to rebuild their lives and avoid future homelessness.”
“With this new Arlington shelter, Doorways will be opening the door to help more homeless families and individuals gain the support they need to succeed. I’m pleased to see so many local corporate leaders — such as the Freddie Mac Foundation, HomeAid Northern Virginia, and NVHomes — join together to make this possible,” explained Congressman Jim Moran.
“Helping our region’s children and families succeed is at the heart of our Foundation’s work. That is why we are happy to play a role in helping provide not just a new temporary home but a new beginning for families in Arlington County and throughout the region,” said Ralph F. Boyd, chairman and CEO, Freddie Mac Foundation.
“We are proud to be a part of Doorways’ new Freddie Mac Foundation Family Home that will help enrich the lives of homeless families in Arlington County,” said Arlington County Board Chairman Paul Ferguson. With the new facility, Doorways will be able to provide a lifesaving continuum of care, hope and safety for up to 21 individuals or four to seven families at any given time. The new three-level, energy-efficient home has 10 bedrooms with 21 beds, which is six more bedrooms and five more beds than Doorways’ previous shelter. Additionally, the Arlington home has a new and improved layout to serve families including a full-size double kitchen, laundry facilities, a family room, children’s play room, and back porch. Many “green” features have also been incorporated into the Home including Marmoleum flooring, Energy Star rated appliances, low VOC paints and landscaping with low-maintenance native species.
“This is our largest project to date providing in-kind support and materials to take this building from blueprint to reality,” said Barry H. Schwartz, board president, HomeAid Northern Virginia. “HomeAid wants to eradicate homelessness for families and especially children, so after three years of meetings, planning and construction, we are excited to see this come to fruition.”
“Giving back to the community is the right thing to do,” said Ron Orie, vice president, NVHomes. “It is a great source of pride for us and for our subcontractors that we have been able to be a part of providing an emergency home for women and families in crisis.”
Family homelessness continues to be a serious and growing issue throughout the DC region. Nearly half of the area’s homeless are families and a quarter of the homeless population are children. Also, a majority of the Washington, DC region’s homeless families live in the suburbs. Doorways serves an even greater proportion of children as approximately 52% of their clients are children.
Although many families do not remain homeless for long, the experience can be devastating, increasing the likelihood that families will dissolve. Homeless children are also more likely to be placed in foster care, are less healthy, experience disruptions in schooling, and are more likely to have developmental delays than poor, housed children.
Doorways provides a broad range of services for women and families experiencing homelessness and domestic violence. In addition to the new home, Doorways operates a domestic violence safehouse, a two-year supportive housing program, children’s services, financial literacy training, court companionship and advocacy, and community outreach. Prior to Doorways’ founding almost 30 years ago, the only shelter for battered or homeless women and their children in Arlington was a night in a motel.
Funding supportive housing programs and services that create stable, healthy environments for homeless children and families is an important way that the Freddie Mac Foundation is helping these families and their children be more self-sufficient and independent. Everyday, the Freddie Mac Foundation works to increase family stability and strengthen communities by providing funds for a variety of nonprofit organizations serving children and their families.
Doorways will begin accepting families on December 1 in order to provide emergency shelter during the holidays. To view photos or for more information, visit the Doorways’ web site at www.doorwaysva.org.
Doorways for Women & Families, formerly the Arlington Community Temporary Shelter (TACTS), empowers women and families who are abused, homeless or at- risk to live safe, secure and self-sufficient lives. We provide shelter and services, advocate, educate the community, build and work in coalitions, and influence policy. Created by Freddie Mac in 1991, the Freddie Mac Foundation is dedicated to creating hope and opportunity for children, youth, and their families.
As the largest corporate funder in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, Freddie Mac and the Freddie Mac Foundation have invested more than $321 million in organizations serving the community.
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