Community Guide

For immediate assistance

The DHS 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 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 Public Schools: Through Project Extra Step, Student Services at any Arlington public school can help students experiencing homelessness or living in inadequate or temporary settings (such as: shelters, transitional housing, motels, hotels, cars, public places, with relatives or friends due to loss of housing, or economic hardship). Services extend to youth unaccompanied by a parent or guardian, lacking fixed, regular, adequate housing. Services include:
    1. Immediate enrollment in school
    2. Enrollment in free and reduced 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: Laura Steele, Homeless and Foster Care Liaison 703-228-2585

Alicia Martinez Flores, Administrative Assistant 703-228-6046

  • 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 via Adopt-a-Family program, Doorways for Women and Families through HomeStart Program, and PathForward which operates Rapid Re-Housing program.Rapid Re-Housing assistance provides homeless households with short-term financial and supportive services to obtain and maintain housing.
  • Bridges to Independence Adopt-a-Family program provides 14 families with housing and services including rental subsidy and intensive case management to homeless families with children, leading to skills and employment to result in self-sufficiency. Call 703-525-7177
  • HomeStart Supportive Housing Program, operated by Doorways for Women and Families, Inc, provides strength-based, supportive services and 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 being unhoused. Families are assisted in finding private housing, provided with housing subsidies and supported in their progress to sustain housing through intensive home-based services. Call 703-907-0022
  • Path Forward Rapid Re-Housing Program provides individuals with housing subsidies and supportive services to help participants reach housing centered goals. 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.