Summer 2022

Summer! What wonderful images that six-letter word conjures up; don’t you think? We hope you are enjoying yours so far with the extreme warmth and gloriously sunny days. 

Please take the time to appreciate the importance of this time of year when most of us vacation for some rest and relaxation (R&R). Taking time off, whether you are heading to the beach for some ‘toes in sand’ action or enjoying a more sedate ‘staycation’ away from it all, is incredibly important for your mental (and overall) health.

Did you know ‘down time’ is like a ‘mental reboot’ for your brain and positively impacts your mood no matter what you are facing? It allows you to form a new perspective. It can also be a lot of fun! Take advantage of this warm and wonderful time of year! You deserve it.

At RPSV this summer, we have been focusing on empowering participants (as always) and our staff (through professional development and training opportunities). For RPSV staff, our collective daily ‘mental reboot’ is centered around being as effective as possible to support those we serve―and it’s working.

Our participants are making breakthroughs every day and our staff is bonding around each experience and every success! Thanks again for your support of our efforts. We value you.

A quick look at RPSV’s Centers this summer

In Annandale

A special success story from MK, in their own words:

“My name is MK. I am a mental health patient. I have been coming to the CWC for almost eight years. Most recently, I have been staying at the Bailey’s Crossroads Homeless Shelter and come to CWC daily for meals and to stay out of the cold. The support groups and everything they have to offer has been incredibly helpful.”

“I am excited because the staff at CWC have recently helped me secure housing! Further, I am currently working for a cleaning company on Leesburg Pike and taking my medication regularly.”

“I am grateful to be here today to share my story, but the most deserved success story is CWC. I want to thank them, especially the staff here at CWC -- Mr. Joe, Mrs. Smith, Jesse, and all the others who helped me out with my new housing, and with encouraging me to take care of my health!”

A note of appreciation from a former CSB staff member and long-time supporter of CWC:

“CWC will always be a part of my heart! As a former County employee, I remember the humble beginnings of CWC and how beneficial it was for the community. I wanted to stop by to donate and keep the fire going.”

“CWC staff is warm and engaging so I know participants must feel the same when they enter the building. Keep up the great work!” – MM

Thank you, MM. We will continue to work hard to keep the fire going!

In Arlington

Individuals and businesses in Arlington continue to support our center with love and concern! Case in point – recently one of our participants, KS, received a beautiful bicycle, helmet, and accessories from Emily Gage, Executive Director, and Liam Vincent of Phoenix Bikes of Arlington

Phoenix Bikes is an awesome Arlington-based nonprofit that uniquely combines youth educational programs with a full-service professional bike shop and retail store.

KS was so overwhelmed by all the warmth and kindness he received from the team at the nonprofit and LOVES his new bike. Thank you, Phoenix Bikes, for caring for those we serve!  

A very special note of celebration! 

KS just secured a new job and uses his new bike to get to and from work! #SimplySpectacular!!

Center staff recently said goodbye to their intern, Michael. Everyone misses him already! Great job, Big Mike! We wish you the best in life!

In Merrifield

At MPRC, participants continue to demonstrate their creativity through words and art. Everyone is so positive and happy. Recently participants created beautiful suncatchers that now adorn the windows of the center! #gorgeous

One of MPRC’s participants was recently paired with a job coach who helped him secure a volunteer position. He is so excited by the possibilities ahead! #nice

In June, MPRC’s famous ‘window’ focused on the special importance of Juneteenth and Pride with quotes from leaders in the Black and LGBTIQ+ plus communities. RPSV is an inclusive environment where all are welcome!

From participant, LP, in her own words:

"The Peer Resource Center is a vital part of my wellness. When it reopened after the COVID-19 shutdown I was very happy. We have the best groups! The new program coordinator and I have a great rapport. Welcome aboard, Bailey!"

In Reston

From JS, in his own words:

I would like to thank the wellness center staff for all the help and support in helping me get my housing voucher, making the phone calls, and keeping on top of my stuff. And for getting things done.”

“Ms. Boston helped with making calls and getting answers to questions that I couldn’t get answered. At the end of it all, I was able to get my voucher and start looking for a place.”

“Thank you to everyone: Sue, Jacky, Darlene, Tonya, that helped and supported me.” #goals!

Thank you!

A special thank you to Monica FooteAssistant Director, Facilities and Emergency Management for Fairfax Countyfor securing brand new furniture for the participants and staff at the Reston Wellness Center. The facility looks fantastic! We cannot thank you enough, Monica, for helping us update our site! Everyone loves the new tables and chairs! We appreciate you!

See more photos of the new furniture here.

In South County Alexandria

Special thanks to Mark and Erick Dorsey of The Hand of Christ Ministries in Springfield for the recent and very generous donation of a new pool table for the SCRDIC. It is the ‘perfect gift’ for the center because many of our participants rally around the table for their R&R. It is also a catalyst for helping us engage them in taking advantage of the other services we provide.

The old one was a testament to how much the table was loved. It was well worn. We appreciate your kindness tremendously! The center hosted a pool tournament in mid-July to ‘break in’ the new table. Many participants signed up to take part in the fun.

Pictured: SCRDIC Program Coordinator Gary Workman (left) and one of the kind Pastors who donated the pool table to the center! 

Another success story at SCRDIC!

Mrs. J. has been coming to SCRDIC for several years. We are excited to report she has recently secured a job and has started working! We are very excited for her for a whole host of reasons!

You might remember we announced earlier this year that she and her husband had moved into their first apartment after being homeless for several years. 

Words cannot express the joy and pride of SCRDIC staff for this special couple and the role the team played in helping them move forward! We wish them all the success in the world! Mrs. J. and her husband participated in SCRDIC’s exciting pool tourney too. #yea!

See our virtual Summer Scrapbook for more photos from our Centers here!

RPSV's virtual programming efforts changing lives

RPSV’s virtual groups are reaching individuals who may feel isolated and alone. Participants are always so grateful when they discover our programs and bond with each other despite the distance.

Download the calendar below to learn more! Hope to see you online soon.

Remember too, that RPSV offers one-on-one Zoom chats Monday through Friday from 6-9 pm.

The chats are a great way to talk to someone individually and the sessions last a half-hour!

Learn more and sign up for a chat session here.

With RPSV, you don't ever have to feel alone!

In addition to RPSV's five in-person centers, ten weekly virtual support groups, and our evening one-on-one's, we've brought back an in-demand group per your request. Beginning in July, Overcoming Loneliness has returned! The group will now be offered on a once-a-month basis on the third Friday of each month at 7 pm.

Join us and kick off your weekend right by making new friends. #soworthit!

Learn more here.

See our latest video here

Meaningful and uplifting events

On July 18, RPSV hosted a special ‘brave space’ discussion led by RPSV’s Director of Operations Tonya Henderson, and supported by Anisa Mustafa, Director of Virtual Programs.

The discussion centered around the disturbing topics in the news each day and how they are impacting us – mentally, emotionally, and physically.

What a great session. Thanks to everyone who joined us for this important discussion. It helped reassure us that others are experiencing the same concerns.

RPSV plans to host these important community discussions quarterly. Look for more information soon. 

RPSV’s Virtual Poetry Slam and Reading event was held on June 25 via During the event, nearly twenty poets from across the United States and as far away as India read and/or performed original pieces around the topics of mental health, substance use, homelessness, and/or recovery.

This unique event left all of us in awe and so inspired! We cannot say enough about how incredible the performers were and we thank them for sharing their talents with us!

Congratulations to Monika Taylor, Director of Outreach and Development, and Brittany Gentry, Virtual Assistant, for managing such a successful event.

**Mark Your calendars. The next poetry event is scheduled for the first quarter of 2023! 

In The Community

On August 28, CR, a local high school senior will be hosting an art show to benefit RPSV. The event supports those in recovery and will feature original pieces by him and his fellow students. Thank you, CR, for your time and effort to support those in our community who are focused on moving forward in life!

On Sunday, June 12, Bailey Holland, RPSV’s Merrifield Program Coordinator attended a service at the First Baptist Church of Merrifield and spoke about her mental health journey, peer support, and RPSV. It was very well received. Congratulations, Bailey, and thank you to everyone at the church for their hospitality as we continue to spread the message that ‘recovery is possible!’

Get involved with RPSV today!

RPSV has many volunteer opportunities available. Additionally, we always welcome in-kind donations at each of our centers. Financial donations are also welcome. 

We are currently hosting a Basic Needs Hygiene Drive to secure laundry and shower items for the homeless adults we serve in South County.

Please see the flyer (left) for more information. If you'd like to contribute to this effort but do not live near Alexandria, you can drop off items at a center close to you and we can transport them for you.

Please email Monika with any questions or for more information. Thanks for caring for your neighbors without a home!

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