The Arlington-Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless (AACH) is a private non-profit organization that provides transitional housing and support services to homeless families and women in Arlington County and the City of Alexandria in Virginia.
AACH offers homeless people more than just a roof over their heads; AACH provides a foundation to help them rebuild their lives. Members from several religious groups in Arlington and Alexandria created AACH in 1985 to meet the critical needs of the homeless in our communities.
The AACH mission is to move people into a permanently self-sufficient, independent life. We do this through five integrated programs:
An apartment-like facility with ten units (50 beds) where clients reside for three to five months. While in residence they receive counseling and referral services to address unresolved personal or family problems. Clients deposit all of their wage and benefit earnings into an agency managed escrow account. Funds are allocated back to them based on a carefully managed budget. Assigned case managers place special emphasis on helping clients address bad credit and becoming better money managers. Nearly, 80% of Sullivan House clients secure permanent housing after leaving the program.
A scattered site transitional housing program serving both the Alexandria and Arlington communities. In addition to providing a rental subsidy for up to 24 months, participating clients receive extensive career counseling and opportunities to engage in job readiness and vocational education as a way to increase employment options and build assets.
Homeless children represent 60% of the clients served by AACH. This initiative provides focused opportunities for those involved to gain important interpersonal communications and other life skills. This is achieved through group counseling, educational enrichment and specialized activities.
An exciting new project funded by Capital One Bank and supported by the Virginia Cooperative Extension. The purpose is to assist homeless and other at-risk families augment household incomes by capitalizing on their entrepreneurial talents. The project involves business training, one-on-one mentoring, targeted internships and the availability of start-up capital provided through our relationship with Kiva Zip.
Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP):
HPRP began in October 2009 through funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The aim of the program is to prevent people who are close to facing homelessness from reaching the streets or to quickly re-house those who are already homeless. Clients meet with the HPRP Case Manager at AACH.
AACH helps former clients stay independent through a homeless prevention program that includes employment counseling and limited rental assistance.
Clients are immersed in a comprehensive and individualized program designed to enable them to overcome the conditions that led to their homelessness. Each person receives intensive counseling from AACH case managers. The program focuses on family finance planning, budgeting, employment training, life-skills training in parenting, self-esteem and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Clients are required to make regular deposits into an individual savings account. In all of this we work closely with government agencies, private organizations, and community groups to ensure that our clients have access to all of the services they need.
Support of AACH activities exemplifies public-private cooperation. Funding from Arlington County, the City of Alexandria, the Federal government, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the United Way/Combined Federal Campaign (#8353) is added to grants and contributions from businesses, foundations, religious groups and caring individuals to meet our clients needs. We also receive important donations from local residents of food, clothing, household items, and even cars in good condition.
More than 200 volunteers provide a variety of invaluable services to AACH, everything from tutoring children to working at the front desk. A volunteer board of directors, made up of citizens from Arlington and Alexandria, direct the activities of AACH.
Volunteers and community support are critical to AACH’s mission of empowering homeless families and individuals to achieve permanent self-sufficiency. We welcome your interest and support of our programs.
When I first became a client of the program, I was straight out of the shelter for the homeless and pretty much still homeless. Battling with cancer, with a two-year-old baby and a twelve-year-old child, I didn’t know where our next roof would be. AACH saved our lives. I don’t know where I would be today were it not for them.
Contact Evan Davies at email@example.com