Housing First

Our Programs


Permanent Supportive Housing Program (PSHP) provides permanent housing and supportive services to women and families experiencing chronic homelessness to ensure housing stabilization, self-sufficiency, and an overall better quality of life.

We run our two project-based single-site apartment buildings, the Dunbar, in the Truxton Circle neighborhood of Northwest, and Owen House, in the Trinidad neighborhood of Northeast, as well the newer initiative, a scattered-site PSHP. Open Arms Housing offers individual and group on-site services tailored to the unique needs of our clients.



In 2017, through a contract with the DC Department of Human Services, OAH began providing housing units in apartment buildings accompanied by supportive services throughout Washington, DC.

For clients under the scattered site PSHP, OAH case managers provide intensive mobile case management. All supportive services include supportive counseling, crisis intervention, financial management and assistance in receiving public benefits and referrals to resources and/or programs. OAH also connects residents with off-site services that include mental health and assertive community treatment, alcohol and drug abuse counseling, employment counseling, day programs, volunteer opportunities, self-help groups, medical treatment, and food pantries.


Open Arms Housing hosts two single-site PSH buildings-the Dunbar and Owen Place. Both facilities are apartment-style buildings housing women and families experiencing homelessness with on-site support services. The availability of an on-site certified Peer Specialist and Case Managers with whom clients can consult, arrange benefits, and request access to mobile treatment teams, helps to ensure accessibility to supportive services at a level and pace determined by the residents.

From its conception, Open Arms has stressed the provision of quality living spaces with full bath and kitchen for each resident; shared common space; customization of units to meet the special mobility and other needs of residents; a secure and safe building to call home; and effective property management that keeps each unit a healthy and responsive place to live.

Built in 1927
Opening: 2009, Fall
Neighborhood: Truxton Circle, Northwest
Units: 19


The Dunbar was the first female-only single-site permanent supportive housing (PSH) project for women and families unaccompanied by children. The Dunbar building began housing residents in the Fall of 2009. Each woman has her own efficiency apartment with a full kitchen and bathroom. The building has three wheelchair accessible units, and a community room with shared phones, television, computers, and space for meetings and get-togethers.

Providers saw a need for a facility and program that would offer low-barrier access to women and families who lived on the streets or in emergency shelters and were unable to comply with traditional mental health or substance use treatment settings. This low-demand approach has been called “Housing First”. By Housing First, we mean that, while supportive services will be available on-site and off-site, acceptance of those services will not be a condition for receiving permanent housing.


Open Arms Housing’s second building, Owen House, opened in Fall of 2015 in the Trinidad neighborhood. Owen includes four one-bedroom apartments.

Built in 1935
Opening: 2015, Fall
Neighborhood: Trinidad, Northeast
Units: 4


Opening: 2020, Winter
Neighborhood: Congress Heights, Southeast
PSH Units: 8


The Michaels Organization, in partnership with Ainger Place Development Corporation, developed Ainger Place Apartments. Ainger Place is a three-story mid-rise, 72-unit, affordable multifamily housing development located in Ward-8.

Ainger Place currently incorporates eight Permanent Supportive Housing units, for women and families at risk of homelessness, who receives individual case management and supportive services.



The DC Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) administers the District’s Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) for Residential Developers Program, which requires that 8 percent – 10 percent of the residential floor area be set-aside for affordable units in most: new residential development projects of 10 or more units; and rehabilitation projects that are creating 10 or more units in an existing building or addition. In addition, many of these projects have a set aside for permanent supportive housing units.

As part of our Private-Public PSH Partnership Program, Open Arms Housing has partnered with responsible developers dedicated to the mission of creating a better community and eradicating homelessness from the most vulnerable populations. Currently we have several partnerships nearing completion and are excited about upcoming partnerships to provide more permanent supportive housing units.

If you are a developer and would like to discuss future partnerships with Open Arms Housing, please contact us at partnerships@openarmshousing.org.