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.,
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.