September 2021

Goodbye (already)


Can You Believe Fall Is Coming Soon?

It's hard to believe three-fourths of 2021 is already gone! Summer will be here for just a few more days. We hope you had a stellar one with lots of time in the sun! Here at RPSV, we've been busy supporting adults with mental health, substance use, and homelessness issues across Northern Virginia. Our participants are thriving both in-person at our Centers and virtually. We are looking forward to the cooler days but will miss the long, warm summer nights for sure! We just wanted to remind you that, no matter the season, RPSV is here if you need us!

Here's what we've been busy doing lately!

RPSV's Consumer Wellness Center in Annandale humming right along

At RPSV's Annandale Center, participants are thriving. There is so much positive energy and joy at the facility, it's infectious! On September 15, CWC will be conducting its annual backpack drive. The goal to secure a new backpack for every participant. Staff are busy reaching out to area businesses for donations.

The CWC team is also busy collecting clothing for the upcoming fall and winter. If you are interested in donating items, please contact Tonya today!

One of the most sought-after programs at the Center is its Art Therapy sessions held each Tuesday. The instructor, Jessie, is "super creative". She includes music with each session and participants clamor for a seat each week!

The most in-demand service at the site is to register participants for food stamps. Connecting participants to the program is one of the staff's top priorities. Sadly, food insecurity is a huge issue for many that we serve.

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To that end, RPSV and CWC are so grateful to be the recipient of continuous food donations from Target. The company is so generous! Because of them, there's often plenty of food to share with all of RPSV's program sites, not only for meals but also for participants to take with them if available! (We don't want anything to go to waste.)

CWC also has an amazing partnership with the local Goodwill. We provide them with any clothing donations that we aren't able to use, and they give us six vouchers each month that participants can use to select clothing for job interviews. It is a very powerful and uplifting arrangement!

All of us at RPSV value, celebrate and appreciate the support of our individual, community, and corporate supporters! We couldn't do it without you!

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RPSV's Merrifield Peer Resource Center reopened August 23!

The team at MPRC is "super excited" to see all the familiar faces that have returned to the Center. Due to the pandemic the facility was closed for more than a year. It's great to have everyone back!

Morning groups at the Center will continue to be virtual for now. In-person afternoon groups run from 1:30 p.m. -2:30 pm. 

Since reopening staff have helped participants with clothing, housing, and finding reading comprehension sites. They are also helping connect participants to community service groups for additional aid as needed. MPRC is SO happy to be back and looks forward to helping neighbors in need for a long time to come!

With the reopening of Merrifield, all five of RPSV's Recovery Centers are officially back in action! #Hurrah!

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RPSV's Reston Wellness Center continues to welcome back the community with CDC protocols in place for everyone’s safety. At the Center, staff served more than 250 hot meals in August alone! They also gave out clothes and food assistance throughout the month. Additionally, staff are busy helping register participants on waiting lists for beds at shelters, and so much more.

Reston has wonderful groups, both on-site and virtual that continue to bring people together to learn, to have fun but also to highlight their recovery journeys. The Computer Lab features all new equipment. They have been a huge resource for clients not only for Employment class but also for research and other projects. As one client stated, "This place rocks! It's like home!"

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From One Of RPSV's South County's Participants -- In His Own Words

"I started coming to the South County Recovery and Drop-In Center in April 2021. They fed me and allowed me to shower, and wash clothes. I was also unemployed and they allowed me to job search using their computers. I recently found a job that I start very soon! I am so blessed to have met the people at SCRDIC! They have been so helpful since I’ve been homeless and I will always be grateful!" ~ David W.

We are RPSV are so proud of David's progress and we feel privileged to have helped him!

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RPSV's Warm Line provides an opportunity for individuals to talk to a supportive person when they need someone to reach out to. Our Warm Line team is dedicated and empathetic. They have reached hundreds of people since we began last year and are helping make the pandemic less daunting. The Warm Line is open Monday through Thursday from 4-11 pm. Just call (703) 817-6124. We also offer Zoom one-on-one sessions and feature Spanish-speaking operators for those who can benefit. Learn more today.

There's no need to feel alone. RPSV is here for you!

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RPSV's eight weekly Virtual Groups are making an impact!

We are excited that, since we began our groups last April, nearly 1,000 people have signed up for our online programs! Simply #incredible!

Recovery happens everyday at RPSV! Join our groups and experience the magic for yourself! (See below for more information.)


Another Success Story in Arlington, as always!

William is originally from Washington, DC. At RPSV’s Arlington Peers Helping Peers in Recovery (APHPR), he is receiving assistance to deal with his issues of abuse. He likes the support that he gets at APHPR. He attends RPSV’s daily Zoom meetings. He also attends one-on-one meetings and group sessions.

William enjoys the snacks and activities such as art workshops, and chess competitions. He also comes to the Center to connect with other people. He believes APHPR is a safe haven because it is secure, and it is also a place to vent with others who will understand. He also enjoys the drama workshops on Fridays and takes regular advantage of the computer lab.

William is also pursuing his education. He has recently completed his GED and took courses at the Armstrong Training Center that prepared him for work. He is focusing on becoming healthier and later he will consider going back to school to get his Associates's Degree. William said that self-improvement and lowering his stress level brought him to recovery. He is a very determined individual and we wish him well in his endeavors!

Join Us!

You too can take part in all the exciting things happening at RPSV! Please join us, either at our Centers, virtually, or both! Our programs are free! We are here to support you in your journey to recovery.

NEW: To join any of RPSV's virtual groups you will need to register - only once - to receive our monthly Zoom codes. This will make the sign-up process a lot easier for you! To get unlimited access to all of RPSV’s online programs, please visit here.

Download our latest calendar today!

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Image by Amy G., our wonderful summer intern!

We miss her but wish her well as she returns to college

in Wisconsin!


What was your reaction when Simone Biles pulled out of some of the competitions at the Olympics because of her mental health?

Read our blog to learn more about the powerful impact Simone's act of self-love had on the world we live in today! You can find it here.

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RPSV staff members Anisa Mustafa, CPRS, CPMC and Stephanie-Lynn Osberg, Website consultant and Database Manager presented a "Doors to Wellbeing" webinar in July entitled, Post-Traumatic Growth and Resilience: Practices for Peer Groups with nearly *270 people in attendance. The theme of the talk was developing a trauma-informed practice, especially in peer groups. Nice job!

*The number of attendees has been updated since we first published this newsletter. The original publication had a typo. RPSV apologies for any inconvenience.

RPSV encourages you to register today for the free 20th Annual Pathways to Recovery Conference coming on October 7, 2021.

The virtual event includes many stellar speakers and is focused completely on mental health and wellness! RPSV is a proud sponsor of the event!

We are excited that RPSV's SCRDIC Center volunteer and virtual group facilitator, Leslie Wertz and Director of Outreach and Development Monika Taylor will be presenting at the conference.

We are also excited that RPSV team members Rebecca Byrd, CPRS and Anisa Mustafa, CPRS, CPMC will be helping during the breakout sessions! RPSV is all-in for this exciting conference and encourage you to join us! Sign up today! You don't want to miss it!

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