The Voice
April 2019
Mobility Mentoring® Update
In March, our Mobility Mentoring® informed program officially kicked off with a friendly gathering of program participants, mentors, and community supporters. The many months of planning, preparation, and activity finally culminated in the start of something truly extraordinary for all who participate. Many thanks to our generous funders*, staff, volunteers, partners, and participants for forging a genuine pathway to success. 

We are fast moving toward our goal of having 30 participants matched with 30 Mobility Mentoring coaches. So far, nine coaches have received the initial trainings and six participants have made the commitment. The two groups are currently being paired up, and will start one-on-one meetings in April. 

Twice a month for one year, they will work toward genuine achievements in five life domains: family stability, physical & mental well-being, financial management, education & training, and employment/career management. Progress in these areas has been shown to result in such benefits as housing stability, increased income, reduced debt, and less stress. 

We are continuing to identify possible participants and have scheduled another set of trainings in order to grow the number of coaches available. For more information, please contact Christian Zehner at or 540-899-9853, ext. 129.

*Special thanks to the Sunshine Lady Foundation, The Honeywell Charitable Fund of The Community Foundation, and The Newburger-Schwartz Family Foundation.
Normal Giving
They come every Friday with six gallons of milk, and have been doing so for a year. Bob Martin and Chuck King also bring apples, oranges, Q-Tips, diapers, wipes, Pine Sol, paper towels, and any number of items that appear on the Brisben Center’s needs list . Mindfully, they call ahead and ask the staff what the Center is needing in the way of nutritious food and basic supplies before purchasing and delivering it. 

It all started when a friends’s daughter attended a PTA event that had 100 single-serve cartons of milk left over. Bob and Chuck were determined not to let it go to waste, and embarked on a journey to find a charitable organization that could use it. When they showed up at the Brisben Center, they were met by an excited Joe Hargrove, who exclaimed that there was now enough for the adults to have some, too.  

Bob and Chuck have been delivering a carful of goods on Fridays ever since. Like clockwork. In fact, when they go out of town, they make sure to bring extra before they leave or after they return.  
“What you’re doing seems so normal,” an observer remarked, surprised at
how their extraordinary efforts were so understated.

“It is normal,” replied Bob, who is a member of the United Church of Christ. 
“It’s become like a mission.”
Upcoming Events
Resident Success Story
Jack lived on the Fredericksburg streets for six years before entering a shelter. He had a two-man tent and sleeping bag for a while, but they were stolen. Four years ago, someone suggested he go to Micah Ecumenical Ministries for a sandwich, which then referred him to the Brisben Center. 

At first, there were no available beds, but Jack called every day and started coming regularly to the free dinners. In time, a space opened up. For the next 90 days, he worked intensely to find work, get housing, and turn his life around. He used the Brisben Center’s offerings. This included intensive casework with Shelly Shipman, who was pivotal to his progress. She worked with him to connect him with the Veterans Administration, which helped with healthcare and housing. 

Brisben staff and Rick Nehrboss, a long-time volunteer job coach, helped Jack come up with a suitable resume, which led to his working at a local business. He was able to use a bicycle the Brisben Center provided as transportation to and from work, until he was able to get his license back and purchase a scooter.

After 90 days, Jack was ready and able to move into an apartment, which was mostly furnished by the Brisben Center. Shelly also arranged for people to come by and check on him from time to time.

Four years later, Jack is still doing well. His eyes are bright, and he walks in a dignified manner. He attributes much of the positive change in his life to the Brisben Center.   “This place makes you feel better about yourself. To get your self-esteem back, that’s hard.”

He remains tremendously grateful for the services he received at the Brisben Center and for the staff and volunteers who cared.  “Praise God they assisted me and helped me straighten out my life.”

AARP Chapter 3396
Ave Keefer
Columbia Gas of Virginia
David Morgan Fund of The Community Foundation
Dovetail Cultural Resource Group
Fawn Lake Christian Bible Study
Frank & Jo Petranka
Hampton Oaks Elementary School
Hulls Memorial Baptist Church
Kenneth & Mary Snellings
Monday Night Bridges
Pete Egan
Pratt Healthcare EAG
Prime Care

Spotswood Baptist Church
St. Mathias UMC
Stephen & Carole Spicer
Stocks Bible Study Class
The Charles Rowe Family Foundation
The Presbyterian Church
The Brisben Center is devoted to improving the lives of the homeless who hunger and thirst for health and well-being.
If you would prefer to receive paper newsletters, please send us an email at or call (540) 899-9853.
The Brisben Center | 540-899-9853 | |