ENDING HOMELESSNESS WITH A-SPAN: LGW COMMUNITY SERVICE
June 19, 2017
LGW’s latest Community Service Day focused on the effects of homelessness and what members can do to help support communities facing this crisis.
LGW partnered with award-winning non-profit, Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN). Under the leadership of Kathy Sibert (’17), President and CEO, A-SPAN’s purview includes helping 80 homeless individuals eat and find shelter nightly, a housing program that has helped place 200 formerly-homeless individuals in their own homes, and a medical program that coordinates 1,500 annual medical visits to the homeless in Arlington.
Our day of service began with a tour of the A-SPAN Center. The Center is open year-round 24 hours a day and houses all of A-SPAN’s supportive services under one roof. Homeless individuals and veterans can sit in the cafeteria and eat a healthy meal or get a warm shower, see a case manager or work on attaining employment, disability benefits or mental health care.
LGW members divided into teams to support various program areas. One team assisted chef Glenn in the kitchen with dinner prep. The Center serves over 100 nutritious meals per day to people in need and anyone is welcome to stop by the Center for a meal, regardless of client status. On the menu for the evening’s dessert was tiramisu and volunteers had fun whipping up something sweet for clients.
In addition to nutritional services, A-SPAN equips new homeowners with essential home goods. LGW members assembled “To Go” kits, containing essential household items, including kitchenware and cleaning supplies. Case managers will deliver the packages to clients who are in the process of moving into their own homes.
While A-SPAN’s shelter serves as a hub for a variety of services and support, outreach efforts also span across Arlington. A third volunteer group packed bagged lunches to be distributed in partnership with a local church.
Through A-SPAN, volunteers support the community with over 10,000 hours of service each year and have provided 30,000 meals to those with the greatest need.
LGW Members remarked that this was one of the most enjoyable community service days of the year. The ability to see firsthand the efforts of the social workers, outreach specialists and shelter supervisors, reinforced for LGW volunteers, the importance of the work A-SPAN is doing for homeless individuals in Arlington. Thank you to the remarkable team at A-SPAN for welcoming our members and providing LGW with an opportunity to serve our region that was both rewarding eye opening.
View photos from the event here.
A-SPAN Community Service Day occurred on 6/21/17.