Doorways To Receive $2.5 Million in Arlington

Doorways, community-based nonprofit providing shelter and services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as youth and families experiencing homelessness, today announced that it has been selected to receive a $2.5 million grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund. It’s the largest private grant in Doorways’ history. Launched in 2018 by Amazon founder and executive chair Jeff Bezos, the Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families.

“Thanks to the Day 1 Families Fund, Doorways is ready to launch our next chapter by implementing innovative and cutting-edge practices, from shelter to housing stability. We are especially committed to continuing our efforts to remove barriers that prevent historically marginalized communities of color, immigrants and people with disabilities from accessing services and getting housed quickly,” said Diana Ortiz, President and CEO of Doorways. “By increasing our capacity and adding more doorways into housing and our comprehensive wraparound services, our youngest clients and their parents will overcome the trauma of family homelessness and gender-based violence.”

This one-time grant will allow Doorways to increase its capacity to provide high-quality, low-barrier shelter to families and double the number of families they transition to housing. This grant coincides with Doorways’ current strategic initiative to determine the ideal model for sheltering families with complex needs, including survivors of domestic violence. This grant will help Doorways bring this vision to life. Doorways was selected as a Day 1 Families Fund grant recipient by an independent advisory board comprised of homelessness experts with experience in policy, advocacy, racial equity, child welfare and housing and service delivery, as well as firsthand experience in homelessness.

This year, the Day 1 Families Fund issued a total of $96.2 million in grants to 32 organizations across the country. 

“In one of my darkest years, Doorways has been the light that kept me going when I felt like I had no more energy to fight for myself and my children,” said a client of Doorways. “Thank you to the donors and to all the staff that have been supporting and taking care of us during this pandemic.” 

The Bezos Day One Fund made a $2 billion commitment to focus on making meaningful and lasting impacts in two areas: funding existing non-profits that help families experiencing homelessness, and creating a network of new, non-profit tier-one preschools in low-income communities. Since 2018, the Day 1 Families Fund has issued 130 grants totaling more than $398 million to organizations around the country working to combat homelessness and help families gain housing support and stability. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside. For more information, visit www.BezosDayOneFund.org/Day1FamiliesFund.

Doorways creates pathways out of homelessness, domestic violence, and sexual assault, empowering clients to achieve safe and stable lives. Doorways’ trauma-informed approach addresses the cycles of abuse, homelessness, and poverty in a proactive and nimble way, meeting clients where they are and providing tailored support toward long-term stability. Doorways partners with clients to break cycles of abuse, homelessness, and poverty in a proactive and client-centered way, empowering healing journeys that enable long-term stability. To learn more and join Doorways today, visit www.doorwaysva.org

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