Home Eviction prevention efforts in Arlington helped prevent homelessness during COVID-19

Eviction prevention efforts in Arlington helped prevent homelessness during COVID-19

Crystal Graham
homeless soup winter
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Eviction prevention efforts in Arlington during the COVID-19 pandemic helped thousands in 2022, leading to less unsheltered people needing services.

According to the 2021-2022 annual report from Arlington’s Homelessness Continuum of Care, 1,070 people were served in 2022. State, federal and local funding totaling $20 million helped more than 3,400 households during the pandemic and prevented some people at risk or experiencing homelessness.

“The total number of individuals served in FY 2022 was almost identical to pre-pandemic levels,” said Department of Human Services Director Anita Friedman. “Without strong eviction prevention efforts, we would have seen many more households upended and in crisis.

“Nonetheless, for those households that do experience homelessness, it is traumatic, and we remain committed to working alongside them as they return to housing stability,” she said. “We will also continue to address critical gaps, including in the areas of racial equity, immigrant and refugee households, and the aging population.”

CoC members work toward the shared goals of preventing homelessness before it occurs and returning individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness to stable housing as quickly as possible.

Black and African American residents continue to be disproportionately impacted by homelessness due to the root causes of systemic racism. There is a known relationship of historical disenfranchisement and divestment in communities of color driven by historical and pervasive racist housing and economic policies.

Other challenges noted in the report include:

  • Undocumented immigrants continue to face barriers in securing housing
  • More than 250 older adults (aged 55 and older) were served by CoC programs in 2022
  • Since 2018, there has been an 84 percent increase in the provision of emergency shelter (or safe housing) for survivors of intimate partner violence and their children

View the full report here.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.