All too often, those most desperate for housing are farthest from it. NIMH estimates that nearly half of homeless individuals suffer from brain-based diseases and, in Virginia, nearly one in four prison inmates has a mental illness. TBF was established to change those numbers – by educating the public about brain diseases and creating affordable housing for those who suffer from them. Residents live in fully-furnished homes close to grocery stores and public transit, and receive counseling and social work services through partnerships with other providers. While all residents have serious illnesses (including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder), they care for themselves and their homes: cooking, cleaning, and achieving stability. Now with nine four-bedroom homes in Fairfax County serving 36 clients, TBF’s long-term goal is to serve as a model for other organizations – thus expanding the chances for affordable, comfortable homes throughout the country.
The best way to keep clients comfortable is just to "hunker down." That means no new move-ins that could disrupt residents' lives. Placement partners are encouraged to increase interaction with counselors and virtual house meetings are held to mitigate any roommate squabbles. House rep volunteers send food, bring meals to tenants and help shop for them so that they need not go outside during stricter lock down periods. Little things like that help a great deal.