Photo for Gabriel Homes Resident Celebrates Promotion May 16, 2024 Gabriel Homes Resident Celebrates Promotion View this Post
dddcd

Gabriel Homes resident (left) with Frank (right), friend of the community.

When the community rallies around you, success follows.

Rich, a long-time employee at Giant and resident at Gabriel Homes, celebrated his promotion to a full-time employee. A popular face in the Reston community, Rich has worked at Giant for 15 years and is loved by everyone.

Like many, he catches the bus to work. However, he doesn’t follow the regular Monday-to-Friday schedule; he instead works Wednesday to Monday like his fellow resident, John.

“It feels great to be celebrated this way. I’ve made many friends with my coworkers and the shoppers at Giant, so they’ve made me love my work." Gabriel Homes resident. Rich Resident at Gabriel Homes

His career has taken off with the support of his job coach. Coaches work hands-on with their clients to guide and encourage them as they navigate the workplace.

“Rich is so independent that our monthly meetings are more like catching up with friends. His aura is felt by everyone. I admire Rich for his optimistic nature and willingness to tackle new and different tasks.”

Olivia, job coach at Didlake

Gabriel Homes resident at work at Giant.

A Team Player

Since his tenure at Giant, Rich has become an expert at package pickups, cart returns, and customer service assistance. 

“Rich has been a terrific asset to the Giant Food team,” said Youseff Gergis, manager at Giant. “I appreciate his important support role, and his long tenure is a testament to his work ethic. Customers love him!”

Gabriel Homes resident (right) with Frank (left), friend of the community.

A True Friend

One of Rich’s biggest strengths during his shifts is how he lifts everyone’s spirits. Some Giant customers have built friendships with him by being regular shoppers for years.

“The man, the myth, the legend!” said Frank, a Reston resident and Giant shopper. “Rich is one of my family’s favorite people. Every time I see him, the first thing he says is ‘How’s your family?’ followed by a hug.”

Gabriel Homes resident (left) with Frank (right), friend of the community.

A Symbol of Independence

Rich’s story at Giant shows how residents work and have fun in Reston. He is a close friend to many, and his life showcases what Gabriel Homes wants: for the residents to live on their own and have support from their community.

“I call Rich a friend because he’s warm, loving, and inspiring,” Frank said. “When I drive out of the parking lot, I realize I still have a smile on my face.”

Now that you know what work is like...

...learn more about a day in the life of our residents.

Learn More

Photo for The Treehouse: May 2024 May 13, 2024 The Treehouse: May 2024 View this Post
dddcd Gabriel Homes residents at annual golf tournament.

Welcome to The Treehouse!

Because of your support, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities are able to live independent lives.

You may have donated to us, attended golf tournaments, or had a family member or friend from the Gabriel Homes community. We’re now excited to bring everyone together and celebrate your work through our new monthly newsletter. With stories on our residents and recaps of popular events, The Treehouse is your exclusive look into Gabriel Homes. You won’t want to miss every edition.

Thank you for supporting Gabriel Homes and empowering our 20+ residents. Join us in staying connected with all things Gabriel Homes. Lynn Davis, executive director of Gabriel Homes. Lynn Davis Executive Director, Gabriel Homes

We Want Your Feedback!

If there's anything you'd like to see in The Treehouse or if you have any questions about the newsletter, then email your letter to the editor! We welcome all feedback, whether it's about content or format, so The Treehouse feels like a place you can call home.

The Latest...

Check out the new gabrielhomes.org!

Visit the New Gabrielhomes.org

The new website launched earlier last month. Now information on our services and homes is available at your fingertips. Then check out our stories that spotlight the residents and celebrate our community.

Read more

Gabriel Homes Holds First-Ever Spring Fling

Residents showed up in their finest attire, and some brought their plus-ones. The night had so much energy and fun that residents are already asking about the next party. Read about the unforgettable night at gabrielhomes.org.

P1020409
P1020400
P1020434
P1020419
P1020424
Two Gabriel Homes residents at the spring fling.
P1020447
P1020463
P1020547
Singing
Singing3
P1020365
P1020705
P1020669
P1020645
P1020619
P1020610
P1020582
P1020736
P1020575
P1020374
P1020455
Gabriel Homes residents at the spring fling.
Gabriel Homes resident at work.

John Celebrates 30 Years Working at Walmart

One resident, John, steps up to every task. He delivers food at the bakery, helps with returns at customer service, and does everything in-between.

"My coworkers told me, if they didn't have me, Walmart would fall apart."

-John

More on John's work

Community Corner

Gabriel Homes resident Kari (right) with her niece (left).

From the parent of a resident:

"Give your family member with IDD the opportunity to live independently as soon as possible. They may make mistakes, but they'll also learn and grow from them. You'll be surprised how bright they are when you give them a chance."

-Linda

Linda's story

We want to hear from you!

Do you have a favorite memory with Gabriel Homes? Do you have advice for family members? If there's something you've been longing to share, now is your chance! Email Lynn with your story or idea.

Spotlights

Board Spotlight

Michele Bolos

Michele Bolos

Michele's leadership and vision were vital in launching the new website. As chair of the board, Michele led the charge using her background in website design. 

"I wanted the website to come alive with the stories from our residents. When you dive into the stories on our website, you find it easy to have a great first impression."

-Michele

Read more about Michele at gabrielhomes.org.

Meet Michele

Staff Spotlight

Afua Yankobah holding her award at the DSPYs.

Afua Yankobah

Joining Gabriel Homes in 2014, Afua is a beacon of empowerment and positivity. Her bright outlook on leadership led to her receiving the positivity award from the Northern Virginia Coalition of Providers last year at their inaugural awards celebration.

Afua is an amazing example of how independence and success are possible when strong leaders support you.

"Everything comes from your heart. I put myself in the residents' shoes, see what they see, and do what they enjoy. Today, I feel like I'm part of their family."

-Afua

Afua's Story

Upcoming Dates

July 1 - Golf tournament registration opens. September 16 - Gabriel Homes Annual Golf Tournament.

Reminder!

Let staff know at least 24 hours in advance if you make plans with your family member. Giving Gabriel Homes notice assures us that every resident is taken care of if they're not home.

Use the on-call phone number or email staff to notify us. 

Remember to email us your feedback if you have any questions, suggestions, or ideas for future editions of The Treehouse.

Feel free to send our newsletter to any friends or family who don't receive it. Share our newsletter sign-up link so they can join today.

Follow Gabriel Homes on all your favorite social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Threads.

We appreciate donations of any amounts

Consider making a donation to Gabriel Homes today.

Donate
Photo for Gabriel Homes Staff Wins Award for Positivity May 10, 2024 Gabriel Homes Staff Wins Award for Positivity View this Post
dddcd

It turns out a sunny attitude isn’t just good for your mood. A study from Stanford University finds a positive outlook can improve your memory and make you a more strategic problem solver.

Afua Yankobah holding her award at the DSPYs.

At Gabriel Homes...

...we provide top-notch services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Our staff helps residents reach their dreams by working with them to achieve their goals and being positive beacons of support. 

One residential counselor, Afua, has worked at Gabriel Homes #3 since 2014. By empowering the residents and celebrating their successes, she recently won the DSPY Positivity Award at a ceremony hosted by the Northern Virginia Coalition of Providers. 

Afua is a light and calming presence to our residents and fellow DSPs. Through floods, renovations, and other changes, she supports the residents through thick and thin with a smile. Lynn Davis, executive director of Gabriel Homes. Lynn Davis Executive Director, Gabriel Homes Gabriel Homes resident at powerlifting tournament.

Joy Across Gabriel Homes

The residents and Afua have house meetings every Monday evening to celebrate their victories. In one meeting, the gentlemen in the house showed up wearing their medals after placing high at a local Special Olympics powerlifting tournament.

“We cheered for all the guys,” Afua said. “When everybody’s clapping for them, the men get energized and feel proud of themselves.”

Afua also guides residents when they're doing chores. She encourages residents when they cook and steps in if they need extra help. Her goal in working with residents is to give back and support adults with IDD in living independent lives.

“Everything comes from your heart. I put myself in the residents’ shoes, see what they see, and do what they enjoy. Today, I feel like I'm part of their family. Afua Yankobah holding her award at the DSPYs. Afua Yankobah Residential Counselor, Gabriel Homes Participants in the annual Gabriel Homes golf tournament.

Get Involved Today!

If you want to give back and be a part of a community, learn more about getting involved with Gabriel Homes.

Learn More

More Stories From Gabriel Homes:

Gabriel Homes Resident Celebrates Promotion May 16, 2024 Read More The Treehouse: May 2024 May 13, 2024 Read More Gabriel Homes Staff Wins Award for Positivity May 10, 2024 Read More
Photo for Why Women-Led Spaces at Gabriel Homes Matter May 9, 2024 Why Women-Led Spaces at Gabriel Homes Matter View this Post
dddcd

When you have strong female friends, you can feel more empowered. Every Wednesday after work, the women at Gabriel Homes gather at home #6 for ladies’ night.

ladies-night-2

Every Wednesday Night

The group sits together and gets to catching up right away. They often talk about how their weeks have been and what their weekend plans are. Everyone then gets ready for dinner, where they treat themselves to favorite meals like macaroni and cheese or breakfast-for-dinner. 

Ladies’ night is the heart of our week, and the food is the most exciting part. The Wednesday nights are our time to relax and enjoy being together. They're the best way to break up the week.

Angie, Gabriel Homes Resident
Two Gabriel Homes residents at ladies' night.

Working Together Toward Goals

Another resident, January, likes playing games most on ladies’ nights. 

“Games are fun because they keep you working toward a goal,” said January. “I play a memory game using a deck of cards a lot. The games become exciting when the players can't find the winning pair of cards.” 

Gabriel Homes resident (left) having a conversation with a residential counselor (right.)

Strong Role Models Change Lives

Marlene Stevens, a residential counselor at Gabriel Homes, believes women best empower each other when they have role models. She likes working ladies' nights because she aims to build positive women-led communities.

“Everyone needs positive female role models,” said Stevens. “I love working with the ladies here because I’m proud to show them how to be independent. But you need spaces for strong women, so I’m glad Gabriel Homes provides that for them.”

Looking to share your favorite skills with residents?

You can get involved today by teaching skills like cooking and gardening to our residents. Get a head-start at gabrielhomes.org.

Get Involved

More stories about our residents

Why Women-Led Spaces at Gabriel Homes Matter May 9, 2024 Read More A Gabriel Homes Singalong April 25, 2024 Read More Community Corner: The Importance of Independence for Adults With IDD April 24, 2024 Read More
Photo for Community Reacts to the New Gabrielhomes.org April 25, 2024 Community Reacts to the New Gabrielhomes.org View this Post
dddcd

If you missed the news on April 8, Gabriel Homes launched its new logo and website.

Gabriel Homes logo.

A New Look

The logo, which features a home sheltering a tree, represents how the organization and residents have grown over 40 years. When you visit the new gabrielhomes.org, you can access more content than ever by using the site’s sleek new design.

Content on the website now includes Gabriel Homes’ history and residents’ stories. With so much information on each page, the community has been buzzing about the changes. 

We reached out to the community to get their thoughts since the site launched. Here’s what they had to say: 

As a parent of an adult with intellectual and developmental disabilities, I believe the new gabrielhomes.org shows that people with IDD can lead full, semi-independent lives. Gabriel Homes proves that the residents are part of the community.

Linda, parent of a resident
Gabriel Homes resident at church.

I now have a much more complete view of Gabriel Homes and the residents. The new website reveals more than I ever knew!

-George Dellagiarino, friend of Gabriel Homes and member of Saint John Neumann Catholic Church

The work of the community makes you feel like you’re making new friends at Gabriel Homes. Discovering the unique talents and sharing them are big parts of what makes life so beautiful.

Chris Brasco, friend of Gabriel Homes and member of Saint John Neumann Catholic Church
Gabriel Homes staff and residents at the golf tournament.

"I sent the website out to the Knights of Columbus as soon as I saw it. The new pages are laid out well and are easy to navigate. There’s a wealth of information on the website, and it shows the residents are really remarkable people.”

-Bill Balog, member of the Knights of Columbus Arlington Chapter 

Read more stories from our community:

Community Reacts to the New Gabrielhomes.org April 25, 2024 Read More Community Corner: The Importance of Independence for Adults With IDD April 24, 2024 Read More The Heart of Reston March 5, 2024 Read More
Photo for A Gabriel Homes Singalong April 25, 2024 A Gabriel Homes Singalong View this Post
dddcd

Singing isn’t only fun – belting out your favorite tunes can also relieve stress, strengthen your immune system, and build your confidence.

Shelby shaking maracas.

One former Gabriel Homes staff member lends his voice and instruments to the residents by playing music with them. Bill Partlow comes to homes 3 and 5 every Thursday evening with a collection of songbooks to share with the group. 

“We all have such a good time because Thursdays are our chances to be silly,” Bill says. “We live what feels like a second childhood when we play our favorite songs and jam along to them.” 

Everyone sits in a circle with their books and sings as Bill strums his guitar. Song choices are varied, but residents consistently pick their favorites.

Untitled (4592 x 3448 px) - 1

John likes to bring his bongos to add a little percussion to Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” Caryn, on the other hand, likes to swing her arms to “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” with choreography Bill showed them. Shelby holds a fast rhythm shaking her maracas to John Denver’s “Country Roads.”

“I like being with all my friends for song sessions,” John says. “When Bill comes over, I’m the first one down the stairs with my drums. I keep a smile on my face for hours after Bill leaves because I have so much fun with him.”

Bill has been conducting song sessions for years, and he’s not putting the guitar away any time soon.

“The residents are like family to me. They’re wonderful to be around, so I love that I can bring us all together through music.” Bill Partlow playing guitar. Bill Partlow Gabriel Homes Volunteer

You can get involved today!

Do you have any special skills like painting, cooking, or dancing you want to share with others? Learn about how you can share your talents with residents at gabrielhomes.org.

See more singing from Gabriel Homes!

Shelby shaking maracas.
Untitled (4592 X 3448 Px) 1
P1030076 1
P1030262
Untitled (4592 X 3448 Px) 1
P1030083 1
Untitled (4592 X 3448 Px) 1
P1030065 1
P1030106 1
Photo for Community Corner: The Importance of Independence for Adults With IDD April 24, 2024 Community Corner: The Importance of Independence for Adults With IDD View this Post
dddcd Gabriel Homes resident Kari (right) with her niece (left).

A Radical Idea

In 1982, Gabriel Homes’ founders had, at the time, a radical idea that adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) could live independently. Gabriel Homes supports over 20 adults today who can live independently and achieve their dreams. 

The move from family to independence isn’t easy, though. Like moving into your college dorm, the process can feel unknown and scary. The first few nights in a new home can feel unsettling, but with time, it becomes familiar and comforting. You begin to build your new community, and they rally around to support you. 

Gabriel Homes spoke with Linda, a parent of one of the residents. She shared her experiences with her daughter’s move and how Gabriel Homes empowers her and her daughter today. 

Two Gabriel Homes residents at the spring fling.

How did you and your daughter originally feel about her moving into her own space?

“Kari moved to Gabriel Homes in 2001 when she was young. Both she and I were unsure about moving. I did all her cooking, laundry, and other chores, and I didn’t know who would do these things for her. 

“The answer was Kari learned how. Gabriel Homes taught Kari how to live independently, and they helped her when she needed assistance doing tasks for the first time.” 

Angie, January, and Kari at the golf tournament.

What did the before-and-after look like for Kari's move?

“Before she moved, she didn’t want to leave home; today she doesn't want to come back! She goes to the Reston concert with her best friends, and they're able to take the bus to the show without any help. 

“I also wasn’t sure how she’d adjust to working, but she told me she loved her job at ECHO. Living on her own, Kari lives a life like everyone else.”

John, Kari, John, and January at the golf tournament.

How has independent living made a difference in both of your lives?

“For my husband and me, it’s allowed us the freedom to travel the world. Even when we’re in a different country, we feel secure knowing Kari is safe, and Gabriel Homes staff holds her accountable for doing her chores. Gabriel Homes brings me great comfort knowing she will be O.K.

“More importantly, Kari is a far more confident person. She lets me know what she wants to do, and she’s capable of making her own decisions. As an independent person, Kari has a home and a community that are there for her and supportive of her goals.”

Kari at Christmas.

What advice do you have for family members of adults with IDD?

“Give your family member the opportunity to live independently as soon as possible. They may make mistakes, but they'll also learn and grow from them. You'll be surprised how bright they are when you give them a chance.”

Are you interested in applying for Gabriel Homes?

Visit our Prospective Residents page to get all the information you need for yourself or your loved one.

Learn more