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.

COVID-19 Update: 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.

Headquarters: VA-Fairfax County

Where They Operate: VA-Fairfax County; VA-City of Fairfax; VA-City of Falls Church; We have 8, soon to be 9, residential houses in Fairfax County. Each house is home to 4 mentally disabled adults

Age Groups Served: Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Asian American; Caucasian; Latino/Hispanic

Population(s) Served: Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Disabled; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members

Awards & Recognition

1996 - United Way-- In My Back Yard Award.
2005 - Nancy McDonald Beyer-- Exemplary Community Service Award.
2006 - Virginia House of Delegates-Commendation.
2008 - Volunteer Fairfax-Volunteer Award for working with persons with Disabilities
2008 - NAMI VA-Joshua Stevens Collins Award of Excellence.
2009 - Fairfax/Falls Church Mental Health Advocacy Community-Ed & Vivian Brazill Leadership and Lifetime Commitment Award.
2011 - Washingtonian Magazine-Washingtonian of the Year
2011 - Fairfax County Board of Supervisors-Commendation for Efforts to Combat Homelessness.
2012 - Washington Post article entitled "Centreville’s Trudy Harsh uses Brain Foundation to house those with mental illness" by Tom Jackman,July 22, 2012.
2012 - National Association of Realtors awards "Good Neighbor Award". October 2012.
2013 - FOX 5 News feature entitled "Good Neighbor Award",
January 1, 2013.
2013 - REALTOR Magazine article entitled "Enabling New Life in Laura’s Houses" by Meg White, January 1, 2013.
2013 - Trudy Harsh honored as Centreville Day Citizen of the Year, CentreView, November 7, 2013.
2013 - FOX 5 TV News feature entitled "Good Neighbor Award", January 1, 2013.
2013 - 'Mother Teresa' to Fairfax County's mentally impaired
Fairfax Times, January 4, 2013.
2015 - "Changing Minds" featuring The Brain Foundation, "Laura's House", NBC4 News, Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Budget (FY2021)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for The Brain Foundation is: Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

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