Doorways for Women and Families and Northern Virginia Family Services Receive $80,000 Community Impact Grant from Arlington Community Foundation to Benefit Local, At-Risk Youth

(Arlington, Va. – May 5, 2016) Doorways for Women and Families and Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS) have been jointly awarded an $80,000 Community Impact Grant from the Arlington Community Foundation to support their collaborative efforts to launch a pilot Pathways for Youth program to provide young families who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness with trauma-informed care and developmentally targeted services to address life-skills development and complex trauma needs.

Doorways and NVFS are excited to provide two new positions dedicated to young adults and their children who face homelessness: (1) a Youth Advocate positioned in the Doorways programs will work intensively with young families to mentor life-skills development and build connections with young parents to help them better engage in available services for themselves and their children and successfully secure safe and permanent housing, and (2) a part-time Youth Therapist within NVFS’ youth trauma and clinical services will provide youth-oriented, nontraditional trauma/mental health counseling for these youth. This approach draws from clinically proven, research-based strategies to better engage and serve these households.

“NVFS is very excited for the opportunity to collaborate with Doorways and the Arlington Community Foundation in order to create lasting impacts in the community and in the lives of participants,” stated Meredith McKeen, director of Youth Initiatives and the Multicultural Center for NVFS.

“Doorways is elated for the opportunity to deliver a new, impactful approach to improve lives for young adults and children facing homelessness in our community. We are thrilled to partner with NVFS and the Arlington Community Foundation in creating such positive change,” shared Caroline Jones, president and CEO of Doorways for Women and Families.

The Arlington Community Foundation launched its new Community Impact Grant initiative in fall 2015, aiming to enhance the community impact of multiple organizations working together to achieve common goals. These Community Impact Grants, which grew out of a nine-month review of the Foundation’s competitive grantmaking, represent an evolution of the previous Community Enhancement Grants, which were smaller in size and awarded individually to a larger number of recipients.

“We are always looking for new and better ways to benefit the Arlington community,” said Arlington Community Foundation’s Executive Director Wanda Pierce. “By transitioning to fewer, larger grants awarded to multiple organizations working together, we are leveraging our resources to help stakeholders do something better through collaboration. This includes creating new programs or services, or enhancing existing efforts, to significantly improve persistent problems in the Arlington community.”

The Foundation acts as a connector, convener and catalyst for organizations working to make lasting, positive changes in the local community.  The focus areas of these grants, youth in early childhood and at-risk older youth, were identified as priorities by the Foundation with the broader goal to ultimately break the intergenerational cycle of exposure to risk experienced by many in Arlington.  This focus on youth – determined after a series of focus groups of nonprofit leaders, county employees and educators conducted during summer 2015 – provides ample opportunity for nonprofits to address unmet needs through partnership and collaboration.


About Northern Virginia Family Service: Northern Virginia Family Service is the largest private, nonprofit human service organization in Northern Virginia. NVFS helps more than 34,000 individuals and their families each year find housing and emergency services; health and mental health services; early childhood education and child placement services; intervention and prevention programs; job training; and legal services. Throughout its history, NVFS has been recognized as an innovator of efficient and comprehensive service methods, while effectively creating sustained financial and social independence for its clients.

About Doorways for Women and Families: Doorways for Women and Families envisions a community where all people live free of violence and have safe and stable housing. For over 38 years, the Arlington community-based nonprofit has worked to transform the lives of women, men and children who are facing homelessness or suffering from abuse. Beginning with a safe place to stay and continuing with supportive services that address each individual’s needs, Doorways creates pathways out of homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault leading to safe, stable and empowered lives. Doorways’ four-tiered strategy, made possible by community partnerships and generous supporters, meets both the immediate and long-term needs of their clients and addresses the economic and societal issues that lead to violence, poverty and family homelessness.

About Arlington Community Foundation: Founded in 1991, Arlington Community Foundation is an independent charitable organization that actively promotes, protects and improves the quality of life for those who live or work in Arlington. The Foundation provides philanthropic leadership and raises capital for grants and scholarships to address community needs now and in the future.  The Arlington Community Foundation has awarded more than $11 million in college scholarships and grants to nonprofit organizations.  For more information, please visit our website at or call 703-243-4785.