• Mosaic Forum

Your Solution May Be Waiting for You Next Door by Martha Villanigro-Santiago


Some of our problems immediately make us feel frustrated or confused. We may believe that concerns about our health, housing, job or a family member, will require a high cost or lots of time for finding a solution. The biggest cause for our worries is we don’t have the slightest idea how we will solve our issue. The answers do not always require a lot of money or frustration. Living in Arlington County we may easily find exactly what we need nearby. First, Arlington County Government offers a broad range of services provided by Arlington’s various departments. Second, we also may enjoy the benefit of obtaining the answers we are looking for by contacting one of a long list of diverse community organizations offering assistance. https://topics.arlingtonva.us/community/organizations/.


One of the County’s largest departments is the Department of Human Services (DHS). DHS includes numerous programs focused on helping individuals and their families with health and medical concerns; employment; mental health/substance abuse; and transportation needs. The list of programs and offices providing assistance may be found by visiting the County website at https://departments.arlingtonva.us/dhs-program-directory/.


For example, DHS includes the Aging and Disability Services Division (ADSD) which emphasizes aging in place through care coordination, and supportive services to ensure older adults and persons with disabilities can live at home and in their community. Whether we are an older adult seeking to remain safely in our home as long as possible with assistance from professionals, or a mother/father seeking a child care provider, or an individual seeking affordable housing options, we may pursue guidance for resolving our health or social services related problem by calling one of the County DHS offices. Because DHS is a large department the best first step is to identify the problem so we know the right office to call.


The Community Outreach Program is another County office designed to help a large percentage of our Arlington community. This program identifies and reaches out to immigrants and other underserved populations. In particular, the Community Outreach Program offers counseling and referrals to Arlington County services and non-profit agencies. The overarching goal of staff is to help their clients acquire the tools needed to live and succeed in the United States. https://publicassistance.arlingtonva.us/cop/.


As Arlington County residents, we may also find solutions to our housing, medical and other concerns by contacting community and non-profit agencies. The list of organizations is long; however it is a comprehensive list that speaks to the issues of daily life. https://topics.arlingtonva.us/community/organizations/.


For instance, if you need to know more about free or low-cost medical services you may contact the Arlington Free Clinic or visit the website at http://www.arlingtonfreeclinic.org/. If you would like information about affordable housing options reach out to AHC, Inc. https://www.ahcinc.org or Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing ttp://www.apah.org/.


At the end of the day the solution to many problems may demand several steps. The good news is your first step, specifically calling or visiting a local government, or community organization may require a minimal amount of time. The best part is that this first step may contribute to keeping you healthy, thinking positive, and living a good life. Martha

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