March 2023

Spring Forward

We at RPSV are so happy March is here. We are celebrating the advent of Spring on the 20th, even though it’s been an unusually mild winter. Spring is seen as a time for new beginnings as the trees and flowers slowly begin to bloom and more people are venturing outside. We are also excited for the warmer days ahead because our homeless participants won’t have to face the frigid elements too much longer!

Speaking of new beginnings, we have some monumental news to share. After twenty months as the President of RPSV, Michelle Hurrell has stepped down to pursue a different management role within the organization. Under her leadership, the organization continued to thrive. Thanks for your monumental efforts, Michelle!

RPSV’s Director of Operations for the last twenty months, Tonya Henderson, has moved into the role of Acting Executive Director. (Pictured above.) Tonya is an exceptionally hard worker who has managed the oversight of our five in-person Recovery Centers for many years. She has an extensive background working with special needs populations, particularly the homeless. Hurrah Tonya! Congratulations!

As Busy As Ever

We love reporting on all the wonderful activities happening at our Recovery Centers because we are so proud of the progress our participants are making! Read on to learn more.

Consumer Wellness Center (CWC) (Annandale) 

From a few participants, in their own words:

"Hello, I’m TS. I am blessed to have gone to the Consumer Wellness Center. I like it a lot and have met some really good people. They have great staff who are all very helpful and nice. I also received a free phone! God Bless you for all your help!"

“Hi. My name is SH. I want to thank the Consumer Wellness Center for showing me love and compassion while helping me find a new place for me and my daughter to live. I feel so cared for and supported. I appreciate the staff showing me so much concern. All I have to say is don’t give up. Be like the birds, they eat every day. You can thrive too.” (Drawing of bird by participant SH.)

"Hi, I’m RC. I would like to thank the staff at CWC for doing an outstanding job helping me get a phone and SNAP benefits. They are also continuing to help me obtain housing. Thank you, CWC, for caring for me!"

Way to go CWC! Awesome job!

Arlington Peer Recovery Center (APRC)

At APRC individuals are receiving the critical services they need and are moving forward in life. Many participants who use the center often need one-time services that help make them whole, such as finding a job or securing an ID card. There are so many success stories at the center as a result!

APRC is known for its frequent pizza parties on Fridays. It really draws individuals to the center. This past Valentine's Day, APRC hosted a fun (and delicious) party that was well received and appreciated by all as you can tell by the photos!

Merrifield Peer Resource Center (MPRC)

A conversation with participant JK, in his own words:

What do you appreciate the most about MPRC?

“I appreciate all the staff - Francis, Dean, Michelle, and Rebecca, I really value them because I need to be around people and not everyone can help me with what I am going through like the folks at the center can. They help facilitate social interactions, groups, and peer support."

How would you explain MPRC to someone who has never been here before?

“Come get a free cup of coffee and then you will see. I can’t explain it.”

Who do you think would benefit from coming to MPRC?

"Everyone. Who would not benefit from coming here? I find the staff very competent. If there is a situation you are struggling with, they can help you!"

What is your biggest A-HA moment at MPRC?

"Every day is an A-HA moment. The biggest one for me was when I discovered that being around others at the center helped me realize I needed to go to AA.”

Thank you, JK! We are so proud of you.

Reston Wellness Center (RWC)

Reston staff continue to encourage and inspire participants to focus on improving their lives, and they are listening! Individuals are reaching personal milestones every day. The energy at the center is electric!

RPSV’s staffer Sue Gaujot recently supported participant EB with securing housing! EB thanks Sue profusely for helping her get off the streets and to move on to the next chapter of her life. Simply #fantastic!

South County Recovery and Drop-In Center (SCRDIC) (Alexandria)

SCRDIC is RPSV’s busiest center. Its population is primarily chronically homeless, yet it has not stopped them from thriving!

SCRDIC receives a lot of love from the community! In fact, in February, the Mt. Vernon Evening Lions Club delivered a gorgeous cake to the center to help participants celebrate life. It was very well received! Thank you to all the generous members of the club and for all the special activities you do to help people in your community! The cake #looksdelish! (Pictured below.)

The center also welcomes new Birthday Brigade volunteer Jennifer E. who recently adopted the center for the whole year as part of RPSV's effort to help those we serve celebrate their special day!#Yeah!

Jennifer delivered her first cake to SCRDIC in late February. (Pictured above.) It was a huge hit. She will be delivering another cake in a few weeks and the staff and participants could not be happier! Thank you, Jennifer, and welcome to the RPSV family!

Virtual Happenings

RPSV’s virtual programming is expanding and reaching more people each week. It’s great to see all the new faces as well as our fabulous long-time friends in attendance.

In February, the virtual team hosted a special Valentine’s Day celebration. By all reports, it was appreciated as attendees were encouraged and reminded that there are many types of love, and that self-love is the first step to loving others.

RPSV’s virtual evening sessions have changed just a bit. Our virtual one-on-ones are now available on Mondays and Wednesday from 6-9 pm.

To learn more about our virtual offerings, visit here and/or see our calendar below. Join us and make new friends!

PS Mark your calendars! RPSV's Overcoming Loneliness group will be offered twice a month starting in April. It will be on the second and fourth Friday of the month at 7 pm. All are welcome!

In The Community

RPSV thanks all the wonderful donors who stop by our centers throughout the week and donate everything from needed canned goods and homeless survival kits to clothing for our participants without a home. It gives us such joy to know how much people care for those we serve!

Recently, a very generous donor donated clothing valued at $3,000 to SCRDIC, just in time for the on-again/off-again cold weather. #LoveIt! Thank you!

Simply Picture Perfect

Extra special thanks to long-time RPSV volunteer photographer David Moss for giving his time and talent to capture images of our participants.

David has done this act of love at our centers for several years. We cannot thank him enough for his kindness. Through his photos, we are able to tell the RPSV story beautifully!! See some of his work below and in the next column.

We sincerely appreciate you, David! Thank you!


Our Latest Drive For Supplies

Please join RPSV in helping provide new, clean underclothing (underwear, boxers, panties, and bras, adult sizes S-3x) for the homeless adults we serve.

Most of us take for granted that we change into clean, fresh undergarments whenever we want. That’s not the case for those without a home. RPSV is seeking donations to provide this option to those we serve because we believe good hygiene is dignifying for each of us.

To participate you can kindly deliver your donations to a center near you during the location's hours. To order online and have it delivered to our centers, please email us for the shipping address. See our flyer here for more information, and thanks for considering helping give the homeless an option to change into fresh underclothing!

This is a year-round need. Thank you again.

Mark Your Calendars For Our Upcoming Special Events!

RPSV will be hosting a series of in-person and virtual fundraising events this year. Funds raised will support our various programs and services to help those in recovery.

Mark your calendars for our first in-person event, a bowling tournament in April. More information coming soon.

We are also excited to announce RPSV's third annual Poetry Slam and Reading event is coming in May in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. If you are interested in performing, please email us.

Latest Volunteer Opportunities

Help the homeless connect to RPSV's services.

Learn more here.

Provide day-to day support at an RPSV center.

Learn more here.

Get your PRS hours at RPSV.

Learn more here.

Please email us for more information or complete our volunteer form today.

We Welcome Your Support!

Donate your time by volunteering at our centers, by hosting a Drive at your place of work or in your community, by handing out our cards to the homeless to connect them to our services, by hosting a special event for RPSV, and so much more.

Get Creative! Donate in-kind donations such as Birthday or holiday cakes and treats (homemade or store bought), *plarn some mats for the homeless, design positive social media poststhe sky's the limit!

*Learn what plarning is here.

Give of your treasure, and donate directly to RPSV. Your gifts are used to support the most critical needs of the organization.

RPSV's Most Needed Items

-Metro Bus passes

-Laundry detergent and dryer sheets

-Shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner

-Canned vegetables

-Tarps (to help the homeless keep their possessions dry)

To help, please drop your donations off at a RPSV center near you. For more information, please contact us.

Thanks for caring for those we serve!

See What We're Up To

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