Kathleen Sibert, who led the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN) from 2008 until earlier this year, will remain a permanent part of the organization through a facility named in her honor.
A-SPAN recently named an apartment building “Sibert House” in honor of the service given to the organization, its clients and the broader community by Sibert.
“Kathy has worked tirelessly to provide support to the homeless, from streets to stability. A-SPAN is pleased to honor her dedication,” said Betsy Frantz, who has served as interim president and CEO of the organization since late winter.
Located in Westover, Sibert House is designed to provide permanent-supportive housing and a foundation to help individuals achieve better health, overcome substance abuse and mental illness, obtain job security, and attain their goals.
“Sibert House is A-SPAN’s bold new step that provides Arlington with a housing solution for its most vulnerable – those experiencing homelessness who require the most oversight, additional onsite care and a dedicated apartment building where this type of enhanced support can transition people from streets to stability,” the organization said.
Among those on hand for the ribbon-cutting were A-SPAN board chair Tim Denning, County Board member Katie Cristol and Arlington Chamber of Commerce CEO Kate Bates.
Sibert in 2008 succeeded Lora Rinker, the founder of A-SPAN, which was created in the 1990s, initially to provide meals to the county’s homeless.
Under the leadership of Rinker and then Sibert, A-SPAN evolved into multi-faceted social-safety-net organization, as well as the operator of the Arlington County government’s year-round shelter facility in the Courthouse area, which provides 50 beds (more during the winter) as well as medical care and outreach services.
That facility opened in 2015, supplanting a smaller winter shelter previously operated by A-SPAN nearby.
Frantz, who was tapped to serve as interim CEO, previously served as CEO of Leadership Arlington/Leadership Center for Excellence and later headed the Virginia Hospital Foundation.
Arlington’s homeless population is a matter of conjecture; annual counts each winter by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments have showed the county’s homeless population averaging about 210 people. In the 2020 count, the total was 199, counting both those on the streets and in shelters.
One of A-SPAN’s focuses in recent years has been eradication of homelessness among military veterans in the community. Working with the state and local governments, Arlington has been able to report zero homeless veterans in recent counts.
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