Open Arms Housing, Inc

Rating: 4.64 stars   14 reviews

Issues:

Location: 57 O St NW Washington DC 20001 USA

Mission: The mission of Open Arms Housing, Inc. is to provide permanent housing with a welcoming and supportive environment to women who are homeless.
Results: Since opening in June 2009 15 residents have been housed. All remain housed, all have financial benefits they are entitled to, all chose their apartment units and moved in voluntarily.
Target demographics: Single adult women who have experienced at least one year of homelessness or at least 4 episodes of homelessness in the last three years. Open Arms Targets homeless women who have been identified as vulnerable by the Department of Human Services.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 18

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

My wife is on the staff and I have volunteered as a photographer and technology consultant. this is an outstanding program housing woemn who have been chronically homeless. THey have transformed many lives and will continue to be a model program for women.,

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Washington, D.C.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

help them get a grant to improve technology.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 4 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

The staff at Open Arms worked with our organization to help move a client into housing. Open Arms was very welcoming and worked with us to help the client feel comfortable. They listened to our client's needs and concerns and were very hospitable. It is always a pleasure to see OAH staff at meetings and at advocacy efforst throughout the city.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

being welcomed and respected as a colleague in the field.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

12 people found this review helpful

Open Arms is doing great work in this community of women. While living in Dunbar House, I have seen the organization grow and expand their services to serve the women. They have done an amazing job with the resources at their disposal and I have no doubt that they will continue to do great work with these fabulous women.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

creating space and a home for women to learn, grow and get on their feet - providing resources where needed and also the freedom for the women to be able to take initiative and develop their own sense of self-worth and dignity.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

getting to know the women. They really are amazing.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind, energetic, dedicated to the mission of Open Arms.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I was greatly impressed with the dedication and perseverance of the Open Arms team in developing their vision into an amazing permanent housing model for chronically homeless, mentally ill women. There were many challenges to what they were doing, but they made it happen and continue to do an amazing job in keeping a fragile population of women in safe, comfortable, and supportive environments.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

their ongoing mission to help serve women who have experienced years of homelessness and, due to their disabilities, could not thrive in standard housing alternatives. The dedication of the volunteer board and staff is exemplary.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-6-01

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Rating: 4 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

This is an organization which as established a model, welcoming residence for homeless women in a transitional part of town. In a jurisdiction with many levels of bureaucracy there are many hurdles to overcome to innovate and the staff has done an admirable job in creating a beautiful residence . By providing both service and some stability in housing Open Arms Housing should be able to help restore dignity to the lives of its clients

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Have not

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 4 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

Open Arms serves a much needed purpose in the District, providing housing for women who would otherwise have no where else to go. I have followed the progress of the organization from the beginning and have seen the growth and number of residents steadily increase. We, as a community, rely on small non-profit organizations such as Open Arms; they need our support.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Following their progress through conversations with the director.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

When Open Arms first opened its doors, it was a revelation! The serenity and cleanliness of the facilities, as well as the warmth and caring of the staff, provide a safe environment that, on its modest scale, can enable women to break the cycle of homelessness and re-establish a level of normalcy in a highly structured and nurturing setting. Although this is a small non-profit that husbands its resources to stretch the benefits to the residents, it is important to note that the Open Arms model of small-scale, structured assistance to women who need help to reclaim their dignity and self-sufficiency, differs from other non-profits that cater mostly to men and on a larger scale. Its facilities are unusually inviting because of the attention to detail that went into the renovation, and the experienced staff helps the women who live here to find order and purpose, both of which aren't possible either on the streets or in most shelters. This can truly be a model to aid chronically at-risk and homeless women to feel that they are part of a community that recognizes their individual humanity and worth.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The great satisfaction expressed by the dedicated staff at each success of a resident in regaining her sense of self-worth, and the respect for the privacy rights of the residents that contributes to their sense of security and dignity.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Increase its dedicated funding sources, so that this antidote to homeless can reach and help more women to re-establish more productive, safe lives.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Seeing a model to combat homelessness that respects the individual dignity of its residents and provides a secure, well-structured and inviting setting to establish community for women who need all of those elements to re-order their lives.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Professionals with experience in dealing with disadvantaged individuals. I was struck by their exceptional warmth and enthusiasm to make a success of Open Arms for the women who live there and for the surrounding community.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Diminish homelessness for women in Washington, DC, and establish a network of attractive, well=structured small residences to help many more women find their own dignity and human worth.

Ways to make it better...

It had been more extended.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Secure funding to maintain and grow the program.

One thing I'd also say is that...

This non-profit, with its size, scale, and attention to detail and structure, occupies a unique niche in the helping communities of DC. It is indeed a model for success in combating homelessness and .

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

In 2009 I was asked to help out at the grand opening of Open Arms Housing, Inc's first (and currently only) housing facility on O Street. I was extremely impressed by the building and the quality of furniture and amenities that would be provided to each future resident. I came away from my visit convinced that any woman given the opportunity to rent one of the units in this housing first program would undoubtedly have a better chance of overcoming the adversity, mental health issues, or other circumstances that caused her to become homeless. Indeed, a number of months later, I met several residents when walking for Open Arms, Inc in the Homeless Walk in DC. In speaking with the residents it was clear that these women were benefiting tremendously from this housing first program and that the donations and funding from governmental agencies had provided an immediate and powerful return on investment. As such, it is my great hope that this organization will continue to be recognized as deserving support from individual and corporate donors, as well as funding from government agencies. Furthermore, I believe that the success of Open Arms, Inc can serve as model for the concept of housing first in action and lead to an expansion of this innovative solution to the problem of homelessness, thus making the case for supporting the organization all the more compelling.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

volunteering at two events, one on site and one associated with the organization.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the innovative approach to addressing the problem of homelessness, with a focus on homeless women.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Board members, executive director, program manager.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand services to its residents and open further facilities to serve more women in the community.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-5-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I was a volunteer at Open Arms on Christmas Day and was impressed by the opportunities provided by this organization. Not only was the meal beautiful and the environment safe and clean, there was a warm feeling that offered hope to struggling individuals. Communities are lucky to have wonderful programs like this available. I plan on volunteering my time to aid this organization in the future.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching a new resident find a home and eat a meal.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

Permanent housing for women with disabilities and or a chronic history for homelessness is needed in the District of Columbia. Open Arms Housing is a program that offers stable, safe housing in a supportive environment. Residents, after many years of living in emergency shelters and on the streets, are encouraged to work with staff to create a permanent home. Programs like Open Arms are needed throughout the city to address the growing number homeless women, men , and children.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Assisting 13 women as they transition from living on the street and emergency shelters to permanent housing.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The staff are committed to assisting the residents in creating and reaching life goals.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Supportive, attentive, committed.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand the program to include housing for families, veterans, more women, and elderly individuals.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-12-01

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