Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Organizations that assist the homeless have taken notice of the increasing importance of providing access to technology.
Technology is no longer a luxury item, but a necessity for job searching, staying connected and living — particularly for those living on the streets. To Gerald Davis, a homeless man who hopes to get his own apartment, the disability insurance dollars he spends on a $50-a-month flip phone allows him to talk with his daughter and helps him stay in contact with the Arlington County Department of Human Services. “I’m not crazy about the telephone, but it’s a necessary evil,” said Davis, who has been staying at the Arlington County Emergency Winter Shelter. “If (friends) happen to come up with a job lead for me, they’ll let me know.” To men and women living on the streets, access to a computer or phone can be the key factor in gaining a job or…
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
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Tuesday, March 19
The following opinion column was submitted to Patch this weekend by Ken Robinson, president of the Woodbury Heights Condominium Association, regarding Arlington County's planned year-round homeless service center. Links added by Patch. It’s too bad Arlington undertook this expensive project without a lot of consideration of the alternatives. The county, for example, could have issued a request for quotations to provide homeless services — and contracted with one of the proven, national shelter operations such as the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, or Volunteers of America. Arlington would not have needed to buy and build a shelter and kit-out offices for its preferred vendor, A-SPAN. Arlington could have rehabilitated the existing …
Monday, March 18, 2013
County will establish a neighborhood advisory council and designate a homeless service center liaison in an effort to minimize its impact on the surrounding community.
A year-round homeless service center on two floors of the seven-story office building at 2020 14th St. N. in the Courthouse community has received final approval from the Arlington County Board. For advocates of ending homelessness, it was a victory a long time in the making. It advances Arlington's goal of providing the services needed to move more of the area's homeless into permanent housing. And it concentrates those services in a single place that's open all year as opposed to the current emergency winter shelter, about a block away, that's open only during the winter. For some residents of Woodbury Heights, the condominium building next door to the planned center, it was the latest move by Arlington County to balance the good of the …
Friday, March 8, 2013
The Arlington County Board will vote on whether to allow a year-round homeless service center in Courthouse later this month.
Residents of the Woodbury Heights condominiums in the Courthouse community began mobilizing in November 2011 to oppose Arlington County's plan to acquire a seven-story office building and convert two floors to a year-round homeless service center. They showed up at meeting after meeting, voicing concerns over security and, in some cases, the potential effect on their property values. Elected officials assured them that all they were doing at that point was voting on whether to pursue the acquisition of the Thomas Building at 2020 14th St. N. They would have time to voice their concerns about the homeless center during a permitting process later on. They recall the county saying it looked forward to public discussion — after all, that's …
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Ernie Maas, 61, has been homeless in Arlington County for at least the past two years.
A 61-year-old U.S. Navy veteran who has survived on the streets of Arlington for at least the past two years has a lot to be thankful for today. With the help of the Arlington Street People's Assistance Network and others, Ernie Maas now has a home. "It's great to know there are so many good people in the world," Maas said in his new bedroom Wednesday. "Since I served my country, I feel good about that — I was serving for good people." Volunteers and staff with A-SPAN and others had just finished moving in donated furniture and other items, along with a few bags of clothes and personal effects Maas had managed to collect and keep with him over the years — an old high school yearbook and boot camp book among them, he said. Maas said he'd …
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Four-part series goes beyond the numbers.
It's easy to get caught up in statistics when talking about homelessness. In Arlington County, for instance, there were an estimated 461 homeless people last year -- including 112 children. The overall number is down about 13 percent from 2010, though organizers believe the number may have been skewed by a snow and ice storm that hit the day of the count. The four-part Faces of Homelessness series below goes beyond the numbers. It focuses on people who are or have struggled with homelessness in southern Fairfax County. It's a good reminder that there's more to this problem than statistics. Arlington County has been working on a 10-year plan to end homelessness. Partners like the Arlington Street People's Assistance Network, or A-SPAN, help…