Arlington Safety Net Nonprofits

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2021 Safety Net Arlington Report

The 2021 Safety Net Arlington report highlights the experiences of 21 Arlington nonprofits who partnered closely and convened frequently to address the historic challenges of 2020-2021. Since the start of the pandemic, these safety net organizations have risen to meet innumerable challenges with the single purpose of ensuring people are safe and supported.

Safety Net Arlington is a longstanding network of Arlington safety net nonprofits. Members are leaders of nonprofits that self-identify as providing social safety net services and assistance to historically marginalized families and individuals experiencing poverty and systemic barriers to their health, safety, and stability.

They continually strive to strengthen collaboration with each other and with Arlington County in service to Arlington residents who are vulnerable or marginalized, extremely low and low income, and at risk of being pushed out of Arlington. The group is run by a rotating steering group of nonprofit member leaders.

The tenets of the group are as follows:

– There is value in the nonprofits speaking from one voice when it comes to County budget and policy or emerging community opportunities and challenges.

– It strengthens our relationships and the safety net itself to spend time together.

– It provides an important platform for striving for equity and addressing structural racism.

– It helps new nonprofit directors immediately tap into a peer network.

– It provides a safe, informal space for nonprofit leaders to discuss individual and shared needs and to dialogue around items of common concern.

Arlington’s Safety-Net Nonprofits: Advancing the Common Good

In 2016, Arlington Community Foundation led the safety net nonprofits through a return on investment report of their collective work in partnership with the County. Arlington’s Safety-Net Nonprofits: Advancing the Common Good describes the social and economic contributions of 14 Arlington “safety-net” nonprofits that provide the most basic necessities for a stable life: housing and shelter; health and mental health services; food; and emergency and employment assistance.

The safety-net nonprofits strive to be accessible and user-friendly to community members in their most vulnerable times. Many individuals — seniors needing a supportive living environment, working parents who have lost a job and have children to feed, uninsured individuals who face a serious health diagnosis — find immediate help from these nonprofits.

The high cost of living in Arlington means that many residents are one such setback away from instability, or have already fallen through the cracks.

These nonprofits are witnesses to those who face challenges and are key players in making Arlington a caring community that values and supports all of its residents.

A central theme of the report is that Arlington’s safety-net nonprofits are cost effective at providing high-quality affordable services by leveraging donated goods and services and attracting corporate, philanthropic, and public funds.

The full report is available here.

For additional information about the 2021 report or Arlington Community Foundation’s economic mobility initiatives, contact Brian Marroquín, Director of Grants and Initiatives.

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