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The Brain Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Mental Health, Public Health, Residential Mental Health Treatment

Mission: The mission of The Brain Foundation is to provide affordable housing for those suffering from serious and persistent brain diseases, such as schizophrenia and bi-polar disorders, who are homeless or vulnerable to becoming homeless.

Results: In October 2006, the Virginia Housing Development Authority awarded the Brain Foundation a loan to purchase its first home in Fairfax City, Virginia. The home was named "Laura's House" and was beautifully furnished with donated items. Pathway Homes, Inc. placed four men in Laura's House and manages the care of the residents through experienced and licensed social workers. Since then, the foundation has bought more homes. The second Laura’s House is located at Layton Hall, Fairfax City, VA. The third and fourth Laura’s Houses are in King Edward, Annandale, VA. The fifth is located in Fairfax City, VA and the sixth in Reston, VA.

Target demographics: Adults suffering persistent brain disease such as schizophrenia or bi-polar capable of living independently in a group home environment.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 32 men and women who were homeless or vulnerable to becoming homeless

Geographic areas served: Fairfax County, VA

Programs: Affordable rental housing

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Kris M.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The brain foundation is a wonderful foundation that helps those with mental illness have a home.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Brain Foundation has helped to house emotionally and mentally ill people for many years in Fairfax County, Virginia. Because there is always a severe shortage of housing for those people in the county, the Brain Foundation helps in a significant way to give homes to many who would otherwise be homeless. This is an extremely worthwhile nonprofit with loving and caring staff. They deserve excellent recognition for their work.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've had a close friend for years.. who has worked as a volunteer for many many years for the Brain Foundation. She has moved to AZ so is not able to do as much. Her son is in one of the homes. He has been there for many years. As a mother myself, I can see hoe Dotti's worries would be awful if she could not count on the Brain Foundation. I highly praise your foundation.

Lauchette Low

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Brain Foundation is a fantastic organization helping those in need like my brother. He is lives in a great group house in a great location and is very happy there. The foundation has always looked out for his well being and ensures he is well taken care of.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Brain Foundation started by a Realtor in memory of her daughter Laura is just amazing. It helps adults with mental disabilities lead independent lives in the homes purchased by the foundation. This helps families who have adults know that they can be independent in a safe environment. Seeing the residents happy, independent and safe under one roof Gives them a sense of accomplishment, and family. We could use more homes especially during these times. Trudy Harsh is amazing

Board Member

Rating: 5

The best way to help mentally ill citizens have a Home of Their Own is to buy a house for them. The Brain Foundation brought nine houses and created homes for 36 tenants. My son with schizophrenia lives in one of these homes and it literally saved his life. He now shares a home with three other guys; they cook, clean and help each other with their medications. The Brain Foundation has found a real answer to homelessness, living on the streets, or in our jails. A sister organization is located in Orlando Florida. A great thing about TBF is that we will help you create your own group home by joining our non-profit or creating your own. We are an all-volunteer organization so every dime goes to our tenants and the maintenance of our homes.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was introduced to the organization about 5 years ago and the founder's story really resonated with me. I have had close family members who have suffered with mental illness and my heart goes out to those who struggle with their own issues. Trudy Harsh founded the organization to provide safe, clean housing to those who might otherwise become homeless and at risk. There is such a shortage of viable housing options for those with mental illness. I've been involved with the organization ever since and have become a Board member and most recently, President. We have 9 homes with the capacity to house 36 individuals at well below market rate rent. We rely on other non profits to provide counseling services to our residents.

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Donor

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to The Brain Foundation through Dotti McKee, who is a Member of the Board. Dotti and I have been close friends ever since we first met back in 2000. Over the years, I have been an enthusiastic and avid supporter of this remarkable nonprofit, all-volunteer organization. The Brain Foundation serves so many with empathy, kindness, and compassion and provides safe, affordable, and comfortable housing for those in need. It truly is a righteously wonderful and worthwhile organization and it really does work!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When my son was 22, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. As a result of this life-changing experience, I joined the The Brain Foundation which houses people with brain diseases such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. We are an all-volunteer organization, and have just completed our ninth house. 36 adults now have a safe and affordable place to live. My son has lived in a group home for ten years and has not been in a hospital or jail or shelter since he moved in. This model works! Thank You to The Brain Foundation.


Donor

Rating: 5

The Brain Foundation is an amazing organization. It currently provides 28 individuals with absolutely needed housing. Fairfax County has an incredible amount of the need, and the Brain Foundation makes a substantial contribution to helping in this area. It operates efficiently, with great sympathy and humanity.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My 42 year old daughter is served by the Brain Foundation. It has given her a sense of pride in her surroundings, safety and comfort in a home to call her own, and an ability to grow to be a good citizen and adult.

Judith13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have contributed financially to The Brain Foundation since it began. The idea of keeping mentally ill people in comfortable homes with affordable rent expenses is so much better than their being in jail or living on the streets. I have been a volunteer for over three and a half years. One story from a tenant was that her father who was in his seventies had to keep working so he could provide for her needs. She is now independant in one of our homes. It was a success story for both of them. With the purchase or our seventh house we will be able to house four more individuals in the next month. That will make our total of residents 28. The Brain Foundation board is totally volunteer. We are not paid for our time spent participating. I am proud to be part of such a talented group of professionals.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Brain Foundation currently has five houses available to adults suffering with mental illness. Each house must be located within walking distance of a shopping area and located on a public transportation line as many of the residents do not own vehicles or drive. Each house has either all male or all female residents. Professional councilors are available to the residents to assist with any problems that the residents cannot resolve themselves.

My son has been a resident for the past five years in the first house acquired by the Brain Foundation. Prior to coming here, he lived with my wife and me for over 18 years. There was no available housing in our area. After 18 years on a waiting list the Brain Foundation opened their first house and my son moved it. All residents must be able to care for themselves as far as personal care, cooking, doing laundry etc. There is no “live in” staff. Residents must pay for their room as this is not a public funded program. Each resident is evaluated and a fee is assigned according to their ability to pay.

The purpose of this program is to assist residents with life skills outside an institutional environment. None of the staff of the Brain Foundation receive any pay for the hours they expend on behalf of the residents. They are a group of people who just desire to make a difference in this world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Brain Injury Foundation continues to make great strides in ensuring those services and supports needed for their consumers IN THE COMMUNITY so that institutionalization is not the default way of life. KUDOS for their untiring efforts!!!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have known Trudy Harsh, the President/CEO and visionary of the Brain Foundation for over 30 years. She has put together a strong Board of Directors who conduct all of the staff functions without compensation. They have used their career experience in real estate, property management, law, IT development, grants management, accounting, budgeting, politics, housing funding, and other fields to establish and operate affordable housing without a high level of administrative overhead. The only administrative cost is to conduct the annual financial audit.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The story of The Brain foundation is told in the profile. My family knew Laura Harsh since she was a child and became good friends of the entire family. When Laura passed away and Trudy established the Brain Foundation, she asked me to serve on the Board of Directors.

Remarkably, The Foundation is entirely volnteer and yet in a few short years has aquired six homes providing safe housing for dozens in need.