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Volunteer Opp: Help Arlington’s ’100 Homes’ Campaign

by ARLnow.com — September 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm 2,196 48 Comments

Arlington is seeking volunteers to scour the streets next month and find the county’s most vulnerable homeless citizens.

The effort is part of the county’s 100 Homes Campaign, which will try to cut “chronic homelessness” in Arlington in half by July 2013. The campaign will place some of Arlington’s most medically-vulnerable homeless individuals — described as “those most likely to die if not housed quickly” — in permanent supportive housing.

The county is looking for volunteer surveyors, data entry personnel and headquarters staff to work from Oct. 17-19. Surveyors will be asked to go out in teams and interview homeless individuals from 3:30 to 7:30 a.m., while data entry will be done between 6:30 and 9:00 a.m. More information on volunteering can be found on the 100 Homes Arlington web site.

“We have made great strides in addressing homelessness in Arlington, but our work is far from complete,” County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman said in a statement. “The 100 Homes Campaign brings important focus to helping some of the most vulnerable members of our community – those living on the streets.”

Arlington’s campaign, co-chaired by County Board member and state Senate candidate Barbara Favola and Shooshan Company president John Shooshan, is based on the national 100,000 Homes campaign.

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  • ClizzleDizzle

    Where are those homes located?

    • ugh

      Well if it’s in Arlington, it’s likely somewhere that those of us with entry level jobs struggling to pay bills and live in our hometown and/or close to work (not just trying to live where it’s popular) can’t even afford to live. Crap. I’ll give up my $1050 one bedroom that’s falling apart that I fought to find and sleep on the streets a few nights for some room and board. **Before everyone jumps down my throat, I don’t care if you think I’m a jerk for saying it… that SUCKS and I work my butt off to live where I grew up and I keep getting pushed further out of the county because it’s all I can afford and I have a decent starting government position.**

      • Kirk

        You could work a second job.

        • ugh

          I do… thanks. It still sucks that it costs a ton and I am out there working from 6am-2am some days and can barely get by. I don’t complain that I have to work to live where I want on a regular basis… I know I could move further out or work more hours… but to know that there are so many folks in the county that are just being handed the things I’m busting my butt for makes me just sick and this once I said it outloud. There are two ways to get by in Arlington I’m coming to realize… have a ton of $$ or don’t have any… being in the middle shoots you in the foot.

          • BoredHouseWife

            Too high to get over
            to low to get under
            your stuck in the middle

          • Jerry

            Welcome to the Republican Party!

          • another democratic utopia?

            Really?? Republicans haven’t ruled local politics for decades. Seems more like hypocritical elitist democrats to me who create the problem of expensive housing and then complain that housing is too expensive for the masses. But you can think it’s the fault or goal of the Republicans – it IS your delusion after all.

          • drax

            This problem isn’t about local politics.

          • huh?

            Bleeding hearts handing out freebies to people who return nothing to society while middle class folks as stated in many other posts in this thread can barely get by? Doesn’t sound too republican to me. I think you’re confused.

          • Aaron

            I think Jerry was implying that when people have these little epiphanies like Ugh has had, they are increasingly likely to consider voting for Republican candidates, hence “Welcome to the Republican Party.”

          • CW

            @ugh, while you’re not quite there yet, and hopefully can keep getting by, your story is a perfect reminder that not all the homeless are the same people who sit in front of the 7-eleven 24 hours a day. Yes, there are those people, for sure. But there are also people who go out and work and literally just can’t quite pull it together to get a place to stay close enough to where they work. This is a sad reality of living in a very expensive area that many of us choose to ignore.

          • DSS10

            It took me 10 years of three jobs to get past that point while I waited for the trickle down economy to life my boat. The best you can do is leave, move some where thats a lot cheaper but the local pay scale is relatively high. I think the DC pay scales are insane for the lower GS grades, there is no way you can live in the area for 30K a year….

          • Tre

            Just rent a room in a house, they go from $700 to $900 in pretty good areas (i.e. Clarendon-Courthouse). Usually there are a bunch of other new grads and they end up annoying the old people living next door. Win Win

          • Josh S

            Welcome to America, 2011.

            Well, I am tempted to say that, but then also – you said “get by.” I’m not sure the existence of homeless people can really be described as “getting by.” Especially when we note that the intended beneficiaries of this program are those “most likely to die.” You may be working long hours and not exactly having the most fun in the world, but I’m guessing you’re not on the brink of death.

            All of that said, please don’t think I have no sympathy. I’m sure we have much in common – earning what we think is a good wage and still faced with not great options for housing because of the steep cost in Arlington.

          • ugh

            Oh, I’m certainly not saying I’m on the brink of homelessness and I do know that I could in theory move elsewhere, but right now I am without a vehicle and once you factor in travel time, car costs in general, even with a lower rent within a reasonable distance of my job I’m spending just as much or close to it. This way I’m at least in my hometown and near my job so that I can be flexible enough to work multiple jobs and not lose the some nights only 4 hours of sleep I get travelling. **And although I get your point about not being on the brink of death, I’m far from living with luxuries… I pay my bills, eat the cheap junk, and don’t go out much unless we’re “brown bagging” it, have a bar connection, or celebrating something big.**

            I guess my point is simply that there are so many programs providing simple handouts to people who aren’t “stuck in the middle” I wonder if these really would ever encourage anyone to get on their feet and go out in search of a new life because they’ve been given free housing where others are working so hard to stay only to then be stuck in the middle with us… Honestly, I’d be less inclined to work too hard if I knew I’d get free room and board for staying at the bottom. Being in the middle gets you zero benefits.

  • Rick

    Sending volunteers to talk to homeless people at 330 in the morning is a bit lofty…

    • SimplyDusty

      Probably the only time of day to reliably find them. I’d venture to guess that most of Arlington’s homeless have local jobs but they just can’t afford the shelter.

  • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

    Uhm, no. Most of Arlington’s homeless are not the “most vulnerable.” Not if they are sitting on their butts in front of 7-11 in Ballston, cat calling the women walking by and asking for change. My guess is that 1% of Arlington’s homeless are truly the ones in need: people who’ve been over taken by events in a rough economic and housing market. Those people should be helped. My guess most of them are already trying to help themselves too.

    • neujersey

      Please do share more of your exhaustive sociological research into the nature of Arlington’s homeless. Tell me, have you included in your survey just the 7-11 in Ballston or do you plan to expand that to other convenience stores as well?

      • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

        That’s all the research I need.

        • Josh S

          The self-satisfied thinker – bane of 21st century America….

        • and…

          You’re a jerk. That’s all the research I need.

          See how that works?

          • drax

            Works for me – I do that all the time. Plenty of evidence here.

    • DSS10

      Most of the homeless suffer from mental disorders and/or addiction issues. Their vulnerability is due to the lack medical services and the inability of medical professionals to have the facilities and legal recourse to treat them. I think you will find that even if they have houses you will still find them at 7-11 day and night cat calling women and yelling at inanimate objects.

    • drax

      So, what are the other 99%, G?

      • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

        Drug addicts and people with mental illnesses. And before you start… people make choices. For drug addicts, they made a choice to go down that path. Those that are mentally ill… that is a more complicated question. Ultimately though people who want help and want to help themselves, do so. The rest have made their choice. People, be they homeless or not should not be allowed to harass people on the streets, urinate where they feel like it, etc. Here’s the deal though: these are my opinions and if you don’t agree, that again is your choice.

        • hmmm

          So by your definition, drug addicts and people with mental illness are not vulnerable?

          Drug addicts? Well, maybe they should have all the blame for where they are, but we still help people who do stupid things. You don’t let a guy who stupidly walks into traffic die just because it was his fault. Not only is that mean, it clutters up things. Get the addict on his feet and he won’t be harassing you any more at the 7-11.

          The mentally ill? No, you can’t just declare that its their fault, or say they have a clear “choice.” Nor are they always out there by choice – our mental health system can really suck sometimes and is way underfunded. The idiots in Richmond still don’t get that, even after the Va. Tech massacre.

          Of course nobody should be allowed to pee in the street and harass people – but when you dismiss 99% of them, you don’t help fix that, do you?

        • dk

          The mentally ill CHOSE their conditions? You have got to be kidding me.

          Let me introduce you to a few facts about serious mental illness. The nature of mental illness means that some suffers don’t actually perceive a need for care. Others seek care but have difficulty navigating the health care system, since our system can be confusing and overwhelming even for people who aren’t hallucinating or who aren’t so depressed they can’t get out of bed. Getting care is complicated by the fact that there is a strikingly high correlation between mental illness and other medical issues, so a mentally ill person may need not just mental health care, but care for heart disease and diabetes as well. Some people with mental illnesses have trouble sticking to their treatment regimens because, hello, they are mentally ill. And very many mentally ill people “choose” to go off their meds because the side effects of the medications used to treat serious mental illness generally suck. Let’s not even get into the fact that many people with serious mental illnesses also have addiction problems, in no small part because they are “treating” their illness with these substances. (Yes, that’s right, many addicts are actually mentally ill.) And finally, let’s not forget the huge stigma that is still associated with mental illness in our society, which you have demonstrated nicely. That’s also something that keeps people from seeking help.

  • Yeah

    How can they tell that they are not DC’s homeless coming over here to take advantage of this program? How do you prove Arlington homeless residency?

    • duh

      Proof of address.

      Haha… clearly kidding. Yup it’s like calling folks in DC who hear about this program to just come on over and we’ll take care of you.

      • nauckneighbor

        Um, most homeless have only been homeless for less then 6 months, and should be able to easily prove a previous Arlington address before becoming homeless. Arlington County has a very strict policy regarding which homeless individuals can be served due to the limited resources, with the idea to deter transients from Washington DC. At the emergency winter shelter you are not able to stay if you are not an Arlington resident.

        • drax

          Where did you get that figure about 6 months?

  • JimPB

    Imagine that you’re the Prince and you encounter a seeming twin pauper (a homeless person) in your luxurious private surroundings, so you and (s)he switch places for a few hours, but then you can’t get back in to resume your previous role.

    I date say that your experience as a homeless person will be harsher than that of the Prince in Mark Twain’s tale.

    No security, no safety.

    No dependable, secure shelter from the heat, the rain (recall the recent downpours) and the cold, snow and ice.

    Want a hot shower/bath. Tough.

    Want three nice meals a day. Good luck.

    Party time? Refreshments, a movie, a concert, a dance perhaps. In your dreams.

    Then there’s tending to needs to use the bathroom. You’re not welcome at most places that have facilities. Just hold it.

    Sick. Trobing tooth ache/pain. Tough it out.

    Thoreau’s life circumstances at Walden Pond would be a big step upward.

    • FrenchyB

      +1

  • The Fixinator

    OK, how ’bout this…

  • Julie

    This is a joint effort by Barbara Favola and one of her developer cronies? Same Barbara Favola who said no to affordable housing in Potomac Yards, Shirlington Village, and a dozen other neighborhoods? Another election tine effort with ‘promises’ and ‘goals’ for the future?

    This County has spent years and hundreds of millions keeping the homeless homeless. Want to find them? Ask the dozen or so organizations (including County Governent) who deal with the homeless daily.

    • KalashniKEV

      +1

      Just another Democrat Scam.

      And 0bama wants to create still, a new class of modern day Slave- chained down by dependency, drunk off of handouts, hooked on entitlements, and unable to provide for himself and his family without reaching out to the government- the Democrat government because all those bad Republicans want to put the stop on your gubbamint cheese.

      That’s his vision for the middle/working class mentioned above.

      That’s THE CHICAGO WAY!!1!

      • Josh S

        Did you get a certificate of completion from your brainwashing program?

        • not really

          no – he just gets a foil hat

      • drax

        No he doesn’t. Stop saying ridiculous, untrue things.

        • drax

          Can you prove it’s not true? Any more than I’m not you? Didn’t think so. “Stop saying ridiculous, untrue things” – they are his opinions, just like the quoted ones are yours.

          • real drax

            They are completely unsupported opinions that don’t match the facts, so yeah, they’re untrue.

  • Steve

    Under proper supervision can it only be made sure these 100 vote democrat.

  • ArlingtonNative

    How efficient of the county … let’s get 100 homeless off the streets… That’ll make room for 100 NEW homeless people to come in and leech off our generous homeless benefits.

    I give ugh 100+ on this … just wish I could give ‘em a raise too!

  • Critical

    It seems the “most vulnerable” need far more services/assistance than merely a house. There are many homeless with mental or substance abuse issues – simply having a roof is not going to address those problems. This seems like a bandaid, more than a wholistic approach to a mulit-faceted problem.

  • PotentialSlacker

    If it was on a weekend, I would….

  • Stan

    “The county is looking for volunteer surveyors, data entry personnel and headquarters staff to work from Oct. 17-19. Surveyors will be asked to go out in teams and interview homeless individuals from 3:30 to 7:30 a.m.”…..
    **Actually the best time/place would be between the hours of 9 AM and 5 PM in the NSF courtyard area. Yesterday I walked out to a homeless man, who has been hanging around there all summer, standing in the potted plants, peeing. Today I saw the police talking to him, I guess the workers had enough. I’ll miss him, and my daily avoidance of him.

  • June

    Most homeless people are labled with a mental illness simply to qualify for housing and other government benefits. Are you aware that Arlington already offers Housing Grants to those that are disabled or receiving treatment from the county mental health office? It’s a program that will pay a substatial portion of a persons rent at a wide variety of apartment complexes. Individuals are expected to pay only 30% of their income towards rent and the county picks up the rest. The program does require income and some homeless can not qualify due to no income, can’t find a job, some tend to cet creative. I know a homeless person who receives a mere $75 in general relief and was placed in a brand new apartment complex in Shirlington. Another homeless person with about a hundred dollars in military disability placed in Rossyln and pays nothing in rent. Fair? I do not really think so.

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