ARC works to get the homeless into housing, unfortunately, far too many live outside during the winter. ARC helps those who face the cold elements avoid hypothermia by giving them sleeping bags, tents, and winter clothes.
ARC can not fix a broken system, we can excel in helping more people get into housing and have access to resources to help end their homelessness.
Behind the scenes of our food and clothes outreach program, we work hand-and-hand with local agencies to get everyone signed up to get a housing voucher. Once they get a voucher, we work with them to find an apartment and even help them fill it with donated furniture from the community.
While people are on the long-term waiting list to get a housing voucher, which typically takes a couple of years, people are hungry and cold most the year. So we provide food and clothes to help them survive.
We strive to make progress in other ways, including ARC spearheading signing up the homeless to get their stimulus checks. ARC solved a big problem when we secured mailing addresses for both men and women to get their mail. Now, all homeless people in Snohomish County can get Social Security payments, food stamps, and housing vouchers. This never happened before! We also provide phones to set up interviews, jobs, and housing applications as well as transportation to get to interviews and meetings.
Unfortunately, because of the bad behavior of a many, this growing population is often labeled and treated as drug users and criminals.
Most of the people we serve don't choose to be homeless, but many are because they cannot afford rent due to job loss, domestic violence, death of a spouse or partner, physical and emotional disabilities, and no family to ask for help. With recent economic struggles due to COVID-19, many of these women and families with kids are forced to live in their cars.
We are working hard and constantly reassessing how ARC can help people get out of the homelessness condition.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead