Holiday Giving: Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network

The Conover + Gould team will be donating to eleven nonprofits in the spirit of giving back during the holiday season. During the month of December, each team member will be blogging about his or her chosen nonprofit. For her gift, Sophie chose Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network.

Since Glinda first taught Dorothy that a click of her heels and a little repetition were all that she needed to return to Kansas, the phrase “there’s no place like home” has remained poignant in the American consciousness. But what if you didn’t have a home to return to? The numbers of homeless in America have continued to rise. In the Washington D.C. metro area alone there are roughly 7,000 people who do not have a reliable place to sleep at night. Yet, walking home alone at night and seeing bus stop after bus stop filled with sleeping bags and huddled bodies has had more of an impact on me than any number could. This led me to become interested in working to end homelessness in the capital area.

I discovered Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN) and was impressed by their programs. Their street outreach service includes volunteers going into parks, underpasses and other abandoned areas to meet with the homeless and deliver clothing, blankets, meals and personal hygiene supplies. Outreach workers also encourage them to visit the Opportunity Place where they have access to a range of services. A-SPAN also sets up an Emergency Winter Shelter where single adults can go during the winter months to spend the night and avoid freezing temperatures. When the Winter Shelter is not available, they help people find shelters and access to medical and employment services.

Having a stable home and a reliable place to sleep at night is a fundamental human need, and it is my hope that through donations and volunteers we can increase the number of shelters and the network of healthcare and employment opportunities for the homeless.

To donate to A-SPAN, please click here