Bridges to Independence (“Bridges”) leads individuals and families out of homelessness and into stable, independent futures. A private, nonprofit organization, Bridges has been working with and for homeless families since 1985. They offer a continuum of aid and support for all family members, helping them attain financial security and move forward into self-sufficiency. Sullivan House, Bridges’ emergency shelter provides families with a safe, supportive place to stay. Sullivan House is the largest emergency shelter for families experiencing homelessness in Arlington County. Following an average shelter stay of 3 months, families transition into Bridges’ Rapid Re-Housing program. The goal is to move families into safe, affordable, and permanent housing as quickly as possible.

Each year Bridges serves over 120 families; 60% of those they serve are children. Bridges’ robust Youth Development Program provides opportunities for youth to increase their self-esteem, develop leadership abilities, and improve their overall health/well-being. The goal is to give students the confidence, skills, and tools needed to pursue and complete post-secondary education or vocational training, providing them with a pathway to economic security.

Volunteer Opportunities:

  • Childcare
  • Shelter organization
  • Administrative assistance
  • Gardening
  • Events
  • Meals for client workshops

For more information please visit or email [email protected].

Bridges to Independence Event Photos

Calvary Women’s Services (Calvary) empowers homeless women in Washington, DC, to transform their lives through housing, health, education, and employment programs. Calvary is committed to providing these services in Anacostia, a neighborhood with the highest poverty rate in the District. Founded in 1983, Calvary's programs are designed for women who are survivors of violence and trauma, are living with mental illness, or are in recovery from substance addiction. Through personalized services and with peer support, each woman identifies and builds on her own strengths in order to meet her goals for safe housing, good health, and financial independence. With more than thirty years’ experience, we know our model works. Each year, of the women who complete our programs, 70% end their homelessness.

With the generous support of the WHF Foundation, Calvary has provided high-quality services to women experiencing homelessness, while also continuing to expand its services to best meet the needs of this community. In FY18, Calvary Women’s Services provided housing and support services for a total of 156 women. Women in our programs achieved the following successes: 

  • 78% of women received income from employment or benefits.
  • 84% of women maintained their recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.
  • 76% of women engaged in LEAP education classes and activities.
  • More than 70% of women successfully ended their homelessness.
  • Of women who ended their homelessness, more than 90% did not return to homelessness services, indicating the long-term impact of our programs. 

For volunteer opportunities, please visit  

Calvary Women's Services Event Photos

Doorways for Women and Families is an Arlington, Virginia-based non-profit that is dedicated to helping women and families facing homelessness and domestic violence.  Doorways envisions a day when all people in the Arlington community live free of violence and have safe and stable housing. Their goal is that every family who walks through their door walks through another – into a safe home of their own. Since 1978, Doorways has given thousands of its Arlington neighbors a pathway out of violence and homelessness and empowered them to create brighter futures.

Doorways understand that the causes of family homelessness, domestic violence and sexual assault are profound and varied. Many of their clients have experienced just one of these issues, while others have faced all three. Doorways works to break the cycles of poverty and violence through every interaction they have with their clients and by advocating for systemic policy change. They are successful because Doorways treats each person as an individual, tailoring their programs and services to help every adult and child they serve overcome trauma, build life skills and ultimately unlock their full potential. From immediate crisis intervention to counseling, housing and employment support, Doorways offers real options and multiple pathways to build brighter futures.

Doorways puts thousands of parents and children on paths to brighter futures by providing:

  • An immediate, safe response to our neighbors in crisis ◾24-Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline
  • Sexual Assault Hospital Accompaniment
  • Court Advocacy Program
  • Safe housing options, from emergency shelter through long-term housing
  • Domestic Violence Safehouse, Safe Kennel and Safe Apartments
  • Freddie Mac Foundation Family Home
  • HomeStart Supportive Housing Program
  • Comprehensive support services that help clients achieve and maintain stability
  • Trauma-Informed Goal Planning and Counseling Services
  • Children’s Services Program
  • Financial Independence Track
  • Revive Domestic & Sexual Violence Counseling Program
  • Graduate Services
  • Community Advocacy and Engagement

Good Shepherd Housing & Family Services - The mission of Good Shepherd Housing (GSH) is to reduce homelessness, increase community support, and promote self-sufficiency.  GSH helps low-income families and individuals by providing affordable, stable housing and individualized case management that will help them address structural barriers to long-term housing like poor credit histories, itinerant rental histories, little or no savings, and low incomes. With the assistance of its case management staff, volunteers and mentors, GSH provides financial mentoring for the clients in its Apartments-Budgeting-Counseling (ABC) program.  Participants clean up their credit history, learn new money management skills using the Foundation's Changepurse program, and gain financial independence they need to move on to financial success.  GSH helps ensure that children in its housing programs do not miss out on critical after-school and extracurricular enrichment activities simply because their families are on a tight budget.

With the generous support of the WHF Foundation, the GSH APC Housing Program helps more women (mainly female heads of households) stabilize their housing situation and move on to greater self-sufficiency.  In the past 12 months, the GSH ABC Housing Program served 136 households in its housing units and helped them to escape the cycle of homelessness and housing instability.  In the last year, 94% of the resident households served by GSH were successfully with GSH after one year.  89% of the resident households have reached or will soon reach financial independence within two years, allowing them to sign for leases in their own names.

For volunteer opportunities, please visit 

Interfaith Works, founded in 1972, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency and a non-sectarian interfaith coalition of more than 165 affiliated congregations of diverse faiths, working together to meet the needs of the poor and homeless in Montgomery County, Md.

Our trained, professional staff members work with individuals and families in crisis to help equip them to lift themselves from poverty and homelessness through prevention, stabilization and empowerment programs.

Every day, hundreds of people in our community turn to Interfaith Works for help. From prevention to emergency shelter to permanent supportive housing, Interfaith Works helps people in crisis lift themselves out of poverty, changing lives for a better today and tomorrow.

Interfaith Works provides services across the housing continuum of care in Montgomery County to touch all aspects of people’s lives so they can find safety and security. Each year, thanks to you and other generous partners, Interfaith Works impacts more than 16,000 lives.

For volunteer opportunities, please visit
Interfaith Works Event Pictures 

Open Arms Housing, Inc.
 was established in 1997 by a group of social service providers who recognized that housing programs did not work for some of Washington DC’s most vulnerable women who had been chronically homeless. It started serving just 16 women with permanent supportive housing and today serves more than 100 formerly homeless women.

Since opening, OAH has provided sanctuary to women who previously slept in public places; navigated in wheelchairs while living in shelters; suffered from cancer while living on the streets, and who have a wide range of mental health issues.

OAH has a 94 percent success rate of residents remaining in safe, secure, permanent housing and has maintained that rate since opening its first facility in 2009. The OAH model rests on the premise that stable, safe housing is necessary to promote physical and emotional well-being. OAH operates under a “Housing First” approach, which means that individuals are entitled to secure and respectable housing, but such access is not contingent upon any preconditions such as participation in treatment programs. Those services can come later, but housing is first!

The Mission of Open Arms Housing is to provide permanent homes with a welcoming and supportive environment to women who are homeless and who may have mental health issues. Our goal is to create safe, comfortable housing tailored to meet individual needs and to promote housing stability, using a Housing First approach.

Open Arms Housing was established in 1997 by a group of social service providers who recognized that housing programs did not work for some of Washington DC’s most vulnerable women who had been chronically homeless.

Open Arms’ first facility, The Dunbar, located in the Truxton Circle neighborhood, began housing residents in the fall of 2009. Its 16 units provide each woman with her own efficiency apartment that has a full kitchen and bathroom. The building has three wheelchair accessible units. There are shared phones, televisions, computers and spaces for meeting and get-togethers. 

Our second building, Owen House, in the Trinidad neighborhood, opened in 2015 with one-bedroom apartments for four additional women. At both locations, OAH staff provide on-site supportive services to meet individuals’ needs, help them to achieve their goals and prevent a return to homelessness.

In 2017, through a contract with the DC Department of Human Services, OAH began providing housing at scattered sites in apartment buildings located throughout Washington, DC for up to 51 women. OAH staff deliver mobile case management and supportive services to these women.

Open Arms Recent Events Photos 



Contact the WHF Foundation at 703-683-4742 with any questions on volunteering with the WHF Foundation.


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