Community Guide

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. We help Arlington residents find shelter, emergency food, housing and other vital services. Referrals can be made to all Arlington County shelters.

  • Arlington County Community Assistance Bureau – 703-228-1300
  • In case of shelter need or if someone you know is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, please call  703-228-1010  anytime for assistance.
  • 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.

Other County and community services

  • Arlington County Schools: Through Project Extra Step, Student Services staff at each school in Arlington help students who are experiencing homelessness or living in an inadequate or temporary settings such as; shelters, transitional housing, motels, hotels, cars, public places, doubled up with relatives or friends due to loss of housing or economic hardship.  Services also extend to youth that are not accompanied by a parent or guardian and lacking fixed, regular, and adequate housing. Services include:
    1. Immediate enrollment in school
    2. Enrollment in free lunch program
    3. Transportation
    4. Tutoring
    5. Assistance with school supplies and materials
    6. Backpack Buddies Program – weekend food by backpack
    7. Coordination with other agencies and programs

Contact: Homeless Services Coordinator: Barbara Fisher, Homeless Services Liaison – Project Extra Step, 703-228-2585

  • Opportunity Place, run by Path Forward, 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 Homeless Services Center, 2020-A 14th St. N. Phone: 703-228-7803
    • Walk-in hours: 1 to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday
    • Appointment Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
    • For further information about Opportunity Place programs, contact Leonard Chari at 703-228-7810
  • 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 Path Forward. For more information, call 703-228-7803
  • 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.
  • Rapid Re-Housing is provided through agreements with Bridges to Independence (formerly Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless, Inc. (AACH)) which operates the Adopt-a-Family program, Doorways for Women and Families who operates the HomeStart Program and PathForward who operates a Rapid Re-Housing program. Rapid Re-Housing assistance provides homeless households with short-term financial and supportive services to obtain and maintain housing.
  • The Bridges to Independence Adopt-a-Family program provides 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. For more information call 703-525-7177
  • 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
  • The Path Forward  Rapid Re-Housing Program provides individuals with housing subsidies and supportive services to help participants reach housing centered goals. For more information, call 703-842-0152
  • Transitional housing grants provide rental assistance to eligible households that are considered homeless. Borromeo Housing partners 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.
  • 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
  • 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.

You can help end homelessness in Arlington

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 Volunteer Arlington.

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 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.