Our History

Open Arms, Inc. History

Open Arms, Inc. began in 1991 in response to a Grand Jury’s recommendations to fight child abuse. The Bridge was opened as a temporary shelter for confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect. Since 1991, Open Arms has expanded to include other sheltering programs that broaden the availability of life-altering programs for children, youth, and families that are victims of child abuse, homelessness, and human trafficking. Open Arms, Inc is the umbrella organization which oversees 4 other sheltering programs. These programs are The Bridge, The Maternity Group Home, Transitional Living Program Shelter and Scattered-Site Apartments, and the Emergency Shelter for Unaccompanied Youth and Families. Additionally, we offer two Outreach Programs and Rapid Rehousing.


important things you should know

Questions And Answers

Our shelters are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our offices are open Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., excluding weekends and holidays. Our Drop-In Center has additional hours of operation to distribute food, clothing, and hygiene items to youth in need.
Our target population is abused, homeless, and runaway youth. Each of our shelters and housing programs have specific eligibility requirements. For The Bridge and the Basic Center Program, the youth must be between the ages of 0-17 and either be classified as a foster youth, a homeless youth, or a youth that has run away from home, or is escaping a trafficking situation. For our Transitional Living Program and Maternity Group Home, the youth must be between the ages of 16-22 and either be a homeless youth, or a youth that has run away from home, or is escaping a trafficking situation. An additional requirement for the Maternity Group Home is that the youth is either pregnant or already parenting up to two dependent children of their own. For the Emergency Shelter and the Rapid Rehousing Program, our target population is youth between the ages of 0-24 and families with minor children. For these programs, the individual/families must be literally homeless (e.g. living in a place not meant for human habitation or living in a congregate shelters or a hotels and motels paid for by charitable organizations or by federal, state and local government programs). For our Outreach Services, youth and families with youth can receive services, resources, and referrals, as long as they are homeless are at risk of becoming homeless.

For youth that are between the ages of 0-21, call 229-405-8882. For families or youth over the age of 21, call 229-405-8128. For DFCS only (intake for foster care youth), please send a universal application to kthomas@openarmsinc.org and vstephens@openarmsinc.org. All in-person intake requests are conducted at 603 Pine Avenue, Albany, GA, 31701. For intakes during non-traditional hours (e.g. after 5 p.m., holidays, etc.), please call the 24-hour Crisis Line at 229-431-0217.

For foster youth, we accept referrals from the entire state of Georgia. (Most youth are from Dougherty and Lee Counties.) For all other programs, our service area is Dougherty County/Albany, Georgia.

Absolutely! Just call 229-431-1121, and we will arrange for one of our staff to speak with your group (in-person or virtually) about our services and/or the issues surrounding child abuse, human trafficking, and/or youth homelessness.

We encourage you to apply for employment and/or volunteering at 420 Pine Avenue, Albany, GA, 31701. (Due to COVID-19, volunteering may be halted indefinitely.)  If you have a particular skill or resource, we welcome you to speak with our staff about how you can share these gifts with our youth. We also encourage you to donate financially to us or to the United Way of Southwest Georgia.