Photo for The Power of Decision Making February 20, 2024 The Power of Decision Making View this Post

Studies show your brain makes around 35,000 decisions a day. At least 2,100 times an hour, you’re making choices on what to eat, wear, purchase, and more. At Gabriel Homes, we believe everyone, including adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, should have their voices heard in making decisions. The key to our residents’ success is in supported decision making, the idea that your most trusted family and friends can help you make the strongest decisions possible. 

Imagine life as a series of choices. Sometimes you find yourself on top of the world, and other times you make mistakes along the way. Even adults ask for advice from their doctors or lawyers. People with disabilities have the same team of supporters who can guide them into making decisions that meet what they want. 

Gabriel Homes trusts that those with disabilities can take the leading making decisions using the “dignity of risk.” Put simply, everybody deserves the chance to make mistakes and learn from them. Residents have the freedom to learn and grow at Gabriel Homes so they can become stronger decision makers on their own. 

"Equality and Dignity for All" - ARC

People of all abilities deserve equal chances to make informed choices and learn from missteps. When you use supported decision making in your life, you can become more empowered when you make your next choice. Learn more about building stronger support systems by visiting 

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Photo for What Teams Do Gabriel Homes Residents Root For? February 20, 2024 What Teams Do Gabriel Homes Residents Root For? View this Post

If you’re a fan of sports, then you’ll find friends at Gabriel Homes who will join you on the couch every Sunday. From the crack of the bat to the excitement in the stands, you can feel the residents’ energy when their favorite team pulls off a Cinderella story-like victory. 

A few of the residents shared their favorite sports teams and why they support them. Here’s a closer look into their fandoms. 

Rich D.

I love all the New York teams – mainly the Mets, Giants, Rangers, and Knicks. My family and I are from the city, so we’ve been drawn toward the teams our entire lives. I remember working when the Mets won the World Series in 1986. Today, since baseball tickets are easy to get, I like going to Washington Nationals games and sitting behind the foul pole. 


My favorite team is the Washington Capitals since I’ve lived here all my life. One of my favorite memories was when the Caps won the Stanley Cup in 2018. I went to the victory parade in the city wearing my red sweater and hat. Everyone celebrated nonstop, and I cheered the loudest when I saw the players drive by us. 

Rich R.

I’m a Browns fan. I support them for one reason: I love the team colors. Kevin Stefanski has been a terrific head coach since he took over. Nick Chubb and Joe Flacco are true leaders and are the reason they made the playoffs this year. It’s wonderful to see them competing. If I could say one thing to the team, I’d tell them “Keep it up!” 

Golfing for Gabriel Homes

You can get your competitive edge on with Gabriel Homes by participating in our annual golf tournament. See how you can get involved today! 

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Photo for What Teams Do Gabriel Homes Residents Root For (Part 2)? February 20, 2024 What Teams Do Gabriel Homes Residents Root For (Part 2)? View this Post

Sports are a universal language that anyone can speak if they follow them. If you’ve been following our series on the residents’ favorite sports teams, you know that sports create a special bond at Gabriel Homes. More residents chimed in to share their favorite sports teams and the stories behind their support. Let's take a closer look: 

John B.

Growing up in England, my family and I are lifelong fans of Liverpool Football Club. Ian Rush will always be my favorite player for the number of goals he scored for them, but I love all the players today. My favorite memory is watching them win Champions League in 2019 and the Premier League in 2020. I love both the men’s and women’s teams equally — they’re just great. 


I like the Kansas City Chiefs because they keep winning! You won’t find a bigger Patrick Mahomes fan than myself. He’s got such a nice touch throwing touchdown passes, it’s no wonder they make the Super Bowl every year. I wear my Chiefs sweatshirt every time they play, and you know you’ll see me in it when they continue their dynasty! 

John H.

I was born in Cleveland, so of course I’m a Browns fan. Of course, the team hasn’t won anything in the past 20 years, but the 2023 season felt great. I’m in a better mood when the team’s doing well, especially when they’re doing better than the Commanders. I’ll see customers where I work at Walmart who high-five me if they’re also Browns fans!  

Golfing for Gabriel Homes

You can get your competitive edge on with Gabriel Homes by participating in our annual golf tournament. See how you can get involved today! 

Learn More

Photo for Education Brings Us Together February 14, 2024 Education Brings Us Together View this Post

Education Brings Us Together

Education is the secret ingredient to success: It helps us be independent and bring our community together.

At Gabriel Homes, residents have enrolled at the College of Adaptive Arts, which lets adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities take part in the college experience. 

One resident, Sara, has started taking challenging courses so she can tap into her passions. For example, her love of acting is unmatched. She performed in plays and musicals in the past, so she hopes to find the stage again soon through her studies. In her favorite course, film studies, Sara is studying the actors to learn better techniques for the stage. 

By watching movies and talking about them scene by scene, I can better appreciate what every actor puts into their character,” Sara says. “It’s not just going up there and doing their lines. I'm noticing the expressions they wear on their faces, the reactions to when somebody tells them bad news.

Sara, Resident

As for getting more involved in her community, Sara is also taking a course on American Sign Language (ASL). The class starts each week by signing the alphabet. 

Sara has enjoyed the course so she can better communicate with the deaf community. 

“Education is worth it,” says Sara. “You shouldn’t be ignored because of your condition. Whether I’m on stage or with friends, I want to make sure people feel like they belong.” 

You can help lead workshops and teach our residents fun skills as well! Learn more about how you can get involved by emailing us at or click to learn more.
Photo for Individual Support Plans: The “New” New Year’s Resolutions February 14, 2024 Individual Support Plans: The “New” New Year’s Resolutions View this Post

Studies show that 80% of New Year’s resolutions are failures. Most people lose motivation to meet their goals within the first six weeks.

Image 20231004 224736 81f2fcb3

At Gabriel Homes, we help adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities work on their goals that meet their needs. Individual support plans (ISPs) are like roadmaps for each resident at our group homes. Like resolutions, ISPs are made to set goals and make their daily lives better.

ISPs often focus on long-term goals like consistently brushing teeth, cleaning dishes, or exercising. Unlike those who fall off their goals, residents have the support of their families, support coordinators, and Gabriel Homes staff to help them meet their marks.

Person-centered planning (PCP) is at the heart of ISPs at Gabriel Homes. When you use PCP, you create plans tailored to match what the residents want with full access to the greater community for support. In short, PCP focuses on what’s important for and to the residents.

Starting healthier habits isn’t just for residents, though — it’s something everyone can benefit from. Think of goals like eating more vegetables or staying active. ISPs show us how better habits change our lives with the support of friends or family. It’s all about working together and cheering each other on!

One plan you can make is to get more involved with Gabriel Homes! Learn more about how you can help with house projects and keep our homes in top shape.

Photo for Hall of Fame February 5, 2024 Hall of Fame View this Post

Our Hall of Fame recognizes our founders and those members whose contributions to Gabriel Homes have been significant, substantial, and long-standing. Our Hall of Fame plaque is currently hanging in St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Reston, where many of our residents worship.

The Hall of Fame started in 2023, but The Founders were honored as the class of 1982 to recognize Gabriel Homes’ first year. Since the Hall of Fame’s inception, classes have been added to celebrate the outstanding service of the Gabriel Homes community.

The 2023 inductees into the Gabriel Homes Hall of Fame are:

John Burkarth

John has lived with Gabriel Homes since 1989.  He is part of the soul of Gabriel Homes and is a friend to all.  He is the perfect example of our mission to enable those with developmental and intellectual disabilities to live safely and independently within the local community.  John was only 22 years old when he moved to Gabriel Homes, since then he has grown into an independent, mature gentleman who has successfully maintained competitive employment in the community as well as friendly relationships with neighbors. He is also a regular and welcome visitor to many local establishments.  Just as the founders of Gabriel Homes hoped, John has been able to live in a meaningful way and be a valuable member of the community through the various stages of his life.  He continues to be an integral member of the Gabriel Homes and Reston community. 


Fr. Bob Cilinski

In 1990, Fr. Gerry Creedon, was called to a ministry in the Dominican Republic and asked Fr. Bob Cilinski to join the board of Gabriel Homes. He agreed and two years later, became the President of the organization.

At the time, Gabriel Homes had two homes and was struggling to pay their bills. So, Fr. Bob rallied students at George Mason University and held a fundraiser where his all-priest basketball team played members of the Washington Redskins in the GMU Stadium. They raised $5000 that night and closed the Gabriel Homes’ financial books with $300 in the bank.

He vowed to not have another year like that and lead the organization to hold other fundraisers, including our premier golf tournament.  Fr. Bob also helped advise the organization to create a foundation to help benefit us long term and was actively involved in fundraising efforts with the community to support stability.

In the 33 years that Fr. Bob served as President and Board member of Gabriel Homes, his contributions are endless.


Mike Holupka

In 1998, Mike Holupka was asked by Fr. Bob, to serve on the board of directors of Gabriel Homes. Mike, who was already involved in many community projects in the region, agreed to serve and assumed the role of Chairman of the board.  

In the 25 years that Mike Holupka served as Chairman of our Board of Directors, Mike recognized the organization’s biggest asset are our residents and made it a priority to ensure that they lived in homes that were safe, clean, and uncluttered.  

Mike provided personnel from the Anderson Company and B&B Signal to help with repairs, landscaping, building improvements and any other work needed on the homes. He has also created the Gabriel Homes Work Crew (GHWC), a group of his retired friends who go to the homes monthly to do various jobs in support of our residents. 

He created board committees like the Strategic and Planning Committee to address our home maintenance and the Health and Welfare Committee to address our aging population.  Mike’s gifts, in time and service, to Gabriel Homes are seen all over the organization.

Christopher Yorke

Chris moved to Gabriel Homes in 1989 when he was just 23 years old and fresh out of school.  Since then, he has grown and matured into an outgoing and outspoken man who has become the face of Gabriel Homes to many in the community.  He is well known and well respected in the local community, an active participant at St. John Neumann's and has a leadership role with the Knights of Columbus.  Chris often represents Gabriel Homes at important events such as the KOVAR Grant Awards, Parish Events, Bishop's Masses, FCPS Transition Fairs and other occasions where Gabriel Homes wants to put its best foot forward. He is the embodiment of this organization's mission. Spend any time with Chris and you will soon realize he may be small in physical stature but big in character.

Photo for Golfing For Gabriel Homes February 2, 2024 Golfing For Gabriel Homes View this Post

Golfing Tradition

In 1996, Gabriel Homes started a tradition on the third Monday of September to golf on behalf of those with intellectual disabilities.  

We have held this tournament since and celebrate the amazing outpouring of generosity in support of our residents who meet challenges every day with joy and determination. We could not keep up the great work of Gabriel Homes without you.


Please join our board members, staff, and residents for a fun day for a great cause at Evergreen Country Club in Haymarket, Virginia. The agenda is:

  • Registration/Breakfast - 9:00 a.m.
  • Start of Play - 10:00 a.m.
  • Lunch while golfing - 11:30 a.m.
  • Awards Dinner - 3:30 p.m.

Registration for the golf tournament opens on or about July 1st each year!

Click to Register External Link

Our Guardian Angel Sponsors

The Anderson Company

NT Concepts, Inc.

Nativity Catholic Church

All Saints Catholic Church

B&B Signal

Smart Building Technologies (formally HVAC Concepts)