Boat People SOS: Virginia
Boat People SOS, Inc. (BPSOS) Virginia, located in Falls Church, Virginia, is a community-based organization with 43 years of experience serving the vulnerable and underserved Vietnamese American community. BPSOS-VA currently has a total of 16 staff members, 2 AmeriCorps members, and 7 volunteers.
Founded in 1980, BPSOS’ mission is to “empower, organize and equip Vietnamese refugees and immigrants in their pursuit of liberty and dignity.” Our services currently include accessing affordable health coverage, transportation assistance for seniors and people with disabilities, domestic violence services, food distribution, small business development, ESL classes and immigration services.
Our long and successful track record of advocacy, training and education, outreach and engagement, and direct services has elevated our credibility as an organization with cultural competence and subject matter expertise to serve the vulnerable population and has gained us their trust.
Our target population has predominantly been Vietnamese American refugees and immigrants, most of whom have a long history of trauma. However, for the past 20 years, we have increasingly served non-Vietnamese underserved communities such as Cambodians, Latinos, Afghans, Iraqis and Iranians.
Our diverse portfolio of interconnected programs is designed to create a web of services to address the unmet needs of marginalized and underserved individuals and families. At present, our programs include Communities Against Domestic Violence (CADV), Health Awareness and Promotion Program (HAPP), Road to Independence and Savings (RISE), and Small Business Assistance (SBA).
Health Awareness & Promotion Program (HAPP)
HAPP is funded by Commonwealth of Virginia, State Corporation Commission, INOVA Health Equity, and Fairfax County Government. The program aims to eliminate health disparities among Vietnamese Americans by increasing health care access and utilization to care, enrolling individuals and families into Qualified Health Plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicare and Medicaid. We also provide COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations and education, along with chronic diseases management.
Since 2016, HAPP enrolled approximately 7,000 individuals in National ACA Health Insurance Marketplace. With the assistance of our 10 licensed, trained, and experienced Health Insurance Navigators, we annually enrolled approximately 1000 individuals into Marketplace, 600 individuals into Medicaid, 200 individuals into Medicare. Additionally, Marketplace Open Enrollment is starting this November! This is the only period in a year where one can enroll, renew or change health insurance plans - without the need of a special event - for themselves and their families. BPSOS is opening after hours and on certain weekends to help people register to buy a health insurance plan that best fits their need.
Free Food Distribution Project: 148 low-income individuals of all ages receive fresh produce and other foods for free every other Friday. Menus are customized according to dietary needs and staple foods from Vietnamese culture, such as a vegetarian menu and culturally specific food items. In order to meet nutrition standards, we provide foods from these categories: meats/poultry, seafood, dairy, eggs, vegetables and fresh fruits.
Community Against Domestic Violence (CADV)
Funded by Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS), Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), and Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), CADV provides trauma-informed, culturally specific domestic violence outreach and education and services for Vietnamese victims of domestic violence, including long-term case management, advocacy, legal assistance, transitional housing, job placement, financial education, interpretation and translation, immigration assistance, safety plans, food and supplies, rental assistance, and referral services. These services aim to transform victims into survivors so they can live a safe and dignified life.
Road to Independence through Savings and Education (RISE)
Funded by Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCG), RISE addresses transportation barriers of our senior and disabled individuals through enhancing available mobility options. The program provides travel training on public transit, individual trip planning, and ride sharing services.
Get Out To Vote (CIVIC)
Funded by NCAPA - National Council of Asian Pacific Americans, this program assists eligible citizens with voting registration so that they can exercise their constitutional right and responsibility. Program coordinators assist voters with absentee ballots, mail-in ballots and submit registration card. Additionally, we will also host many educational workshops to inform voters about the importance of voting, locations to vote, how to register for voting, and various ways ballots can be cast. We aim to build permanent infrastructures to sustain civic engagement by maintaining and developing partnerships with local organizations and government bodies.
In the past year, BPSOS-Virginia's programs have been able to provide services to:
victims served by CADV
individuals vaccinated and boosted with COVID-19
families who received free at-home COVID test kits
vaccine clinics and test kit giveaway events
seniors who received transportation assistance
people with disabilities who received transportation assistance
Events & Updates
September: 9/9 & 9/22
October: 10/6, 10/14, 10/20
10 AM - 4 PM
6751-6799 Wilson Blvd
Falls Church, VA 22044
Elmwood-Lockwood Senior Apartments Visit
September 14th, 2023
2 PM - 5 PM
Elmwood-Lockwood House Apartments
600 N Madison St,
Arlington, VA 22203
Free Food Distribution
Every other Friday,
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
6606 Leesburg Pike, Suite 100
Falls Church, VA 22041
Marketplace Open Enrollment
BPSOS will open on the weekends from 10AM to 4PM!
November 2023: 11/05, 11/12, 11/18, & 11/19
December 2023: 12/02, 12/03, 12/10, & 12/13
January 2024: 01/14
6606 Leesburg Pike, Suite 100
Falls Church, VA 22041
- CarePeople Home Health
- ENCV (Endependence Center of Northern Virginia)
- Fairfax County Health Department
- US Wellcare
- Asian American Community Center
- Giant Pharmacy
- Safeway Pharmacy
- George Mason University
- United Way of the National Area
- INOVA Health System
- Dentist of America
- Neighborhood Health
- Korean Community Service Center
- HAMKAE Center
- Virginia Poverty Law Center
- Just Neighbor
- Legal Services of Northern Virginia
- DVRP (Domestic Violence Resource Project)
- APALRC (Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center)
- HBI-DC (Hepatitis B Initiative of Washington DC)
- JM Chiropractic Clinic
- Dr. Kim Dung Nguyen
- S&T Transportation
- Peers Companion
- Winter Hill Apartment
- Annandale OBGYN
- Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF)
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC)
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
- Department of Developmental Services
- Immigrant Legal Services
- National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)
- New Virginia Majority Education Fund (NVMEF)
- Opportunity Advancement Innovation (OAI)
- Public Law Center
- US Census Bureau
- Commonwealth of VA - Department of Social Services
- Commonwealth of VA - State Corporation Commission
- Commonwealth of VA- Department of Criminal Justice
- Fairfax County, VA- Department of Neighborhood and Community Services
- Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
- National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
- National Association of County and City Health Officials
- US Department of Health & Human Services - Office of Minority Health
- US Department of Justice - Office on Violence Against Women
- US Department of Labor - Occupational Safety and Health Administrative
- INOVA Health Equity
- Federal Transit Administration
- Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility
- National CAPACD (Coalition For Asian Pacific American Community Development)
Dr. Nguyen Dinh Thang, PhD.
President and CEO
TrangKhanh (TK) Tran
Chief Operating Officer
National Program Manager
Thien Tho Nguyen
Thy Ca Ton Nu