While many of us are susceptible to feeling isolated as we head into the colder, darker months still practicing social distancing, our community reminds us that we are not alone. APAH’s Resident Services team – through the work of so many community groups, partners, and volunteers – has been able to continue supporting residents.
By highlighting just some of the work that continues for your low-income neighbors during these times, we hope you feel more connected to your community:
- Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) addresses food insecurity for about 150 APAH families each week through two on-site distributions. It takes 11 volunteers to run each distribution and deliver groceries to households unable to attend.
- Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) coordinated boxes of fresh produce to residents at Gilliam Place and Buchanan Gardens by working with their farmers market vendors from May to October.
- Our amazing partners and volunteers joined forces to put together “activity kits” for children, families, and our seniors to help alleviate the boredom side of COVID. Activity kits have brought incredible excitement and joy to all residents, a thoughtful assortment serving differing age groups from toddlers to seniors.
- Go NAACP! Thanks to weekly voter registration groups they led at each of APAH properties, 100 residents are newly registered to vote in next week’s election! NAACP’s efforts also worked to ensure everyone understands their rights when, and options for, voting. Read more about this volunteer-led effort.
- Arlington Neighborhood Village stepped up for our seniors by waiving membership fees for residents and assisting with AFAC grocery deliveries, and other helpful tasks for many of our vulnerable seniors.
- Arlington Presbyterian Church (APC) has been instrumental in making Gilliam Place home to APAH residents. Their ranging support includes: the “APC Store” which provides basic household and hygiene items for households in crisis, volunteer support for CPRO’s produce distributions, coordinating and leading a “learning pod” for a small group of students requiring hands-on school assistance, and leading a fundraiser for APAH residents to benefit (which you can still watch here). This partnership is an amazing example of what it means to be a caring neighbor.
- Arlington Thrive has not only been a major distributor of rental relief funds for all of Arlington, but over 60 APAH households have received assistance with electric, gas, phone, and internet bills since March. This has allowed families to maintain student participation in virtual learning, kept residents connected, and helped alleviate residents’ immense stress.
- Rosie Riveters ran STEM programing for 42 girls at 7 different properties through a combination of at-home learning kits and virtual check-ins.
- Arlington Public Schools set up an off-site food distribution at Columbia Grove to help families living along West Columbia Pike access free lunch and breakfast for school days.
- And of course, the support of friends and neighbors who donated to APAH’s Resident Emergency Fund has helped hundreds of residents with food, bills, and peace of mind during these incredibly difficult and unpredictable times. You’ve brought such levity and hope to so many APAH families—thank you!
Of course, this is just a snapshot of the many ways the community has rallied around our residents over the past eight months. Each one of these pieces helped reduce the stress and uncertainty that residents face or help them create a pocket of positivity in their days. While there are still so many unknowns ahead, these contributions have built a sense of stability for so many. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this so far.