Human Services

Community Guide to Homeless Services


New Emergency Needs - Homelessness Prevention Fund Needs Your Help

This new community resource will help provide temporary, emergency assistance such as rent, food and services to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

  • We need your help! Monetary contributions to the fund are requested from the public, business community, civic and faith organizations — anyone interested in helping Arlington’s efforts to prevent homelessness and lend a hand to our most vulnerable residents.
  • Contributions to the fund will reach those in need through non-profit organizations whose primary mission is to provide safety net services.

Learn more>>

As the weather gets colder, the consequences of not having a place to spend the night can be dire.  If you are out and about and encounter a homeless person, here is a list of helpful services.

Where to call for immediate assistance:

The Department of Human Services Community Assistance Bureau (CAB) is the first call to make for help if you or someone you know is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The Community Assistance Bureau's Social Work Unit helps people find shelter, emergency food and other vital DHS and community services. Referrals can be made to all Arlington County shelters.

  • Arlington County Community Assistance Bureau – 703-228-1300
    • Please contact the CAB if you or someone you know is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. (Normal business hours only. After hours, weekends and holidays contact CrisisLink at 703 527-4077.)
  • CrisisLink – 703-527-4077 
    • CrisisLink gives vital support to those facing life crises, trauma and suicide, and provides information, education and links to community resources to empower people to help themselves.

Where can people go for shelter? (Please note that shelter services may require a referral by Arlington County DHS.)

  • The Emergency Winter Shelter (EWS) is operated by Arlington Street People's Assistance Network (A-SPAN) and provides seasonal winter shelter Nov. 1 through March 31. The shelter is located in a County-owned building at 2049 15th Street North (Courthouse area). Other facilities have been designated to handle overflow in the event of extremely severe weather.
  • The County's primary emergency shelter for single adults is at the County-owned Residential Program Center (RPC), which contains 44 beds and is operated by Volunteers of America-Chesapeake. The program helps individuals address personal problems through required participation in case management. It also helps them locate permanent housing and find jobs through assistance of the Arlington Employment Center. Persons with disabilities are assisted to achieve income and housing through existing mainstream resources.
    • 1554 Columbia Pike 
      Arlington, Virginia  22204
  • The County provides Emergency shelter for battered and homeless women and their families through an agreement with Doorways for Women and Families, Inc. The shelter and case management programs are designed to protect women and their children from abusive living situations and to assist homeless women and families by helping them develop plans leading to safe, self-sufficient living.
  • An Emergency shelter for families is provided through an agreement with the Doorways for Women and Families, Inc ., which operates a 21-bed facility. The program provides shelter and case management services to homeless families leading to employment, permanent housing, and achieving self-sufficiency.
    • For more information call 703-907-0022
  • The newly rebuilt Freddie Mac Foundation Family Home operated by Doorways for Women and Families, Inc . provides housing (21 beds), food, skill building opportunities, referrals, and supportive counseling and goal planning services to women, children, and families experiencing homelessness. The typical length of stay at our homes is 90-120 days; however with fewer affordable housing options in Arlington, many families are staying 120 days and longer. 
    • For more information call 703-907-0022
  • An Emergency shelter for families is provided through an agreement with the Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless, Inc. (AACH) , which operates a 50-bed facility in a County-owned building. The program provides shelter and case management services to homeless families leading to employment, permanent housing, and achieving self-sufficiency.
    • 3103 9th Road North
      Arlington, VA 22201
  • Susan’s Place Safe Haven, operated by New Hope Housing, Inc. (, provides a unique supportive housing option for chronically, treatment-resistant homeless individuals who are unable to comply with the structure of other programs. On-site 24/7 staff offer housing first and then use an engagement approach to build trust over time and to link residents to services when they are ready to use them. 
    • For more information: 703-465-0520.

What other County and Community Services are available?

  • Arlington County Schools: Through Project Extra Step, Student Services staff at each school in Arlington help students who are homeless, including those in living in shelters or transitional housing. Services are available for unaccompanied youth, students awaiting foster care and students who are "doubled-up" due to loss of housing. Services include:
    1. Transportation
    2. Tutoring
    3. Assistance with school supplies and materials
    4. Immediate enrollment in school
    5. Enrollment in free lunch program
    6. Backpack Buddies Program - weekend food by backpack
    7. Coordination with other agencies and programs

Contact: Homeless Services Coordinator: Susan Miller, Homeless Services Liaison - Project Extra Step, 703-228-2585

  • The Department of Human Services' Treatment on Wheels (TOW) Program links homeless, seriously mentally ill and substance abusing adults to appropriate mental health and substance abuse services as well as appropriate housing resources. TOW provides mental health and substance abuse assessment, treatment and case management services at a variety of Arlington based shelters as well as through street outreach in the community.
  • The Homeless Bagged Meal Program serves 50-60 meals to homeless persons daily at two sites in the Ballston-Rosslyn corridor. The program is operated by the Arlington Street People's Assistance Network (A-SPAN).
  • For more information, call 703-820-4357
  • Opportunity Place, run by A-SPAN,  provides street outreach, case management, and employment services including job training and placement. Opportunity Place programs are designed to assist clients in addressing their personal barriers to self-sufficiency with the support of staff and volunteers. Counseling, clothing, hygiene items, showers, washer & dryer, free local phone call, voice mail answering service, assistance obtaining personal identification, mail drop, and other services are available to homeless individuals during walk in hours.
    • Opportunity Place is located in the Shirlington area of Arlington County at 2708 S. Nelson Street on the second floor. 703-820-HELP (4357).
    • Walk-In Hours: 1 to 5 PM, Monday through Thursday
    • Appointment Hours: 9 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday
    • For further information about Opportunity Place programs, contact Leonard Chari at 703-820-4357, ext. 19.
  • Transitional housing is provided through an agreement with the Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless, Inc. (AACH) which operates the Adopt-A-Family Transitional Housing program in scattered site, private apartments that provide 14 families with housing and services. The program provides rental subsidy and intensive case management services to homeless families with children leading to skills and employment which will result in self-sufficiency.
    • 3103 9th Road North
      Arlington, VA 22201
      phone: 703-525-7177
  • Transitional housing grants provide rental assistance to eligible households that are considered homeless. Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless , Borromeo Housing, and Doorways for Women and Families partner with DHS and participate in teaching clients self-sufficiency and developing the necessary skills to live independently. The funding for this effort is budgeted in the Public Assistance Bureau.
  • The HomeStart Supportive Housing Program operated by Doorways for Women and Families, Inc . provides strength-based supportive services and housing subsidies to assist families as they transition from shelters to self-sufficient lives. When space allows, HomeStart also offers homeless prevention services to families at risk of homelessness in Arlington. The program serves 20 families at a time—all of whom receive help in defining achievable goals and following plans toward alleviating the root causes that led to their homelessness.  Families are assisted in finding private housing, provided with housing subsidies and supported in their progress to sustain housing through intensive home-based services. For more information call 703-907-0022

  • Milestones Programs are permanent supportive housing programs funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which serve homeless persons with a disability. The supportive services provide on-going assistance to participants to maintain tenancy in the community. Milestones provides rental assistance to nine households while Milestones II and III provide six units of housing each.

What Can You Do to Help?

Arlington’s network of community homeless services relies on financial contributions, donations of food, clothing, and other items, and community volunteers. For more information on how you can help, visit the Online Volunteer Connection .

Did you know that:

  • In 2006 Arlington County adopted a 10 Year Plan to End homelessness which provides an important framework for both preventing and combating homelessness.
    • It focuses on strategies and action steps that include prevention, transitional and permanent housing, as well as access to training and employment opportunities.
  • In 2005 the Arlington County Board adopted a Comprehensive Supportive Housing Plan for persons with disabilities developed by the Department of Human Services. 

    • Some of the results so far show that out of the persons obtaining housing under this plan, 49 percent were homeless persons and more than 90 percent have been able to successfully retain their housing with support services.

Remember that while no one will ever be turned away from a shelter many homeless persons are unwilling to use shelter and other services despite our best efforts to encourage them to use the available resources. 

Last Modified: April 10, 2014
2100 Clarendon Blvd. Arlington, VA 22201 Tel: 703-228-3000 TTY: 703-228-4611