DePaul Annual Report 2022

Annual Report 2022 DePaul Community Resources

Opening doors to hope and belonging

Table of Contents

1 Financial Statements 2 Leading What She Loves 4 The Daisy Difference 7 Sam’s Circle of Support 8 The Road Ahead 11 A Life Danny Deserves 12 You Made It Possible 14 Get Involved with DePaul




CREDITS: President & CEO: Renee Brown Director of Development: Daria VanRavestein Editor-in-Chief: Alison Wickline-Burns Layout and Design: Billy Chase Cover Photography:

Whitney Showalter Photography *see stories for other photo credits

Board of Directors Beverly Binner, Chair Greg Withers, Past Chair Donna Littlepage, Vice Chair; Secretary Troy Smith, Treasurer Gordon Ewald, Lifetime Member Wesley “Wes” Brusseau

Heather Davenport Mark Lucas Leidra McQueen Todd Selkirk Curtis Thompson Rachel Thompson

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Financial Statements

$796,652 3.4 % Occupancy Costs

Total Expenses $23,114,523

$19,441,772 84.1 % Direct Program Costs

$2,876,099 12.4 % Program Support Costs



Current Assets and Investments


Program Services*


Property and Equipment




Total Assets

Investment Income Less Expenses



Government Grants


Current and Total Liabilities


Other Income



Net Assets



Total Liabilities and Net Assets


*includes $1,465,810 of grant revenues | 1

Leading What She Loves Story by Alison Wickline-Burns | Photos by Taylored Images

Renee Brown is grateful to be leading what she loves. In late November, she stepped into her role as DePaul’s Chief Executive Officer after an extensive search process that included candidates from across the nation. When asked why she felt called to consider being DePaul’s CEO, Renee’s answer was simple. “The people in and around DePaul and their passion and belief in our mission of hope and belonging,” said Renee. Throughout her life, Renee’s path has crossed with the populations served and loved by DePaul. As a child,

Renee watched as her mother, who held a Master of Social Work degree, made it her mission to help others. When she was 7 years old, Renee’s family adopted her younger brother. “I grew up knowing that not all children had forever families and that love transcends biology,” said Renee. As a teenager, she babysat children with special needs. “I realized that their parents faced barriers just to find quality care,” said Renee.

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My dream is that we create a surge of energy and action that results in less children needing to enter foster care, the normalizing of the use of mental health and substance abuse services, the integration of those with a disability into every facet of our communities, and the creation of a world where every person has a forever family.


Years later, she became the guardian of her son’s best friend as his mother faced significant mental illness and went through cycles of hospitalizations, changing housing, and financial strain. “He was the first person in his family to graduate from high school; my family and his family were there together to celebrate his accomplishment,” said Renee. “What this showed me is that with support, even parents facing their own challenges can maintain healthy and positive relationships with their children—and that children who have experienced neglect can thrive in their communities when provided a village of caring individuals.” Renee’s career journey includes working at her local community services board for years, currently serving on the Family Focused Treatment Association Board, and spending seven years as

DePaul’s Vice President of Child and Family Services. Renee’s life, both personally and professionally, is shaped by her belief that love, care, compassion, inclusion, and support can change lives and change communities. In this way, she seems uniquely qualified to lead DePaul into the future. “One of my hopes for DePaul is to increase the awareness of our work and to invite our communities to partner with us,” said Renee. “My dream is that we create a surge of energy and action that results in less children needing to enter foster care, the normalizing of the use of mental health and substance abuse services, the integration of those with a disability into every facet of our communities, and the creation of a world where every person has a forever family. My hope for myself is that I listen well, lead in a way that inspires others, and always remember to be grateful.” | 3

The Daisy Difference Story by Alison Wickline-Burns | Photos by Whitney Showalter Photography

DePaul’s counseling services program is designed to help children and families find healing and move forward in their lives. Daisy, a certified therapy dog, is a newer addition to the program but has already made a massive impact. “When you have kids who struggle, the world is repelled from them in many ways,” said Heather. “A dog can help bridge that gap.” Heather’s son, Drew, began counseling sessions with DePaul Outpatient Therapist Kim Gregory and her dog, Daisy, after experiencing medical trauma. Drew was in and out of the hospital often and struggling to cope. Daisy provided the connection and comfort he needed. “Daisy is so sweet and fun to be around, and she is very calming,” said Drew. Drew and Daisy are inseparable during his counseling sessions. As Kim works with Drew to manage his anxiety and communicate his feelings, Daisy is there. And when Drew recently had an unexpected surgery in the hospital, Daisy was there, too. Heather,

who also attends therapy sessions with Kim, believes the combination of counseling and comfort from Daisy has made a difference in Drew’s life. “Daisy helped save my son’s life when he was going through a really dark time,” said Heather. Daisy is also part of Kim’s other therapy sessions. Sometimes, she sits on the couch with them, sometimes she sits by their feet, and sometimes she is just there in the room as a calming presence. “The most important part of animal-assisted therapy, in my opinion, is that dogs have unconditional positive regard for others,” said Kim. “With the people we work with, a lot of the time they haven’t felt accepted or cared for. Daisy loves them regardless of their struggles.” Whether it’s with Kim and Daisy or DePaul’s other experienced therapists, the work done during counseling sessions can be difficult, complicated, challenging, and exhausting. But, as is true in Drew’s case, that work can be life-changing.

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Daisy helped save my son’s life when he was going through a really dark time. HEATHER

DePaul provided a way when there was no other way. BRITTANY


Sam’s Circle of Support Story by Alison Wickline-Burns | Photos by Joy Shots Photography

After years of struggling, Sam has found peace in a DePaul sponsored residential home with providers Mary and Tracy. “He’s happier, and he’s able to get the one-on one attention he needs,” said Kevan, Sam’s dad. Kevan and Sam’s mom, Brittany, are amazed at the progress their son has made since moving in with Mary and Tracy in May. Over the years, as Kevan and Brittany grew their family, they saw Sam grow more uncomfortable and restless. His autism and sensory processing disorder made it difficult for him to manage daily life. “There was no way we could create a safe home environment for him and for our other children,” said Kevan. Kevan and Brittany knew a change was needed but felt like no one was listening. They advocated for their son and for their family through phone calls and meetings, many times fighting back tears. And then, finally, they found DePaul. “DePaul provided a way when there was no other way,” said Brittany. Mary knew after her first meeting with Sam that he was meant to be in their home and she and Tracy were meant to be his compassionate caregivers. Mary worked in health care for years and saw the need for personalized one-on-one care and attention. This was her chance to provide that for Sam, who was in desperate need of it.

“I think this is where he belongs,” said Mary. Every day, Mary and Tracy work to provide a calm and quiet environment where Sam can thrive. Sometimes they take walks on the farm and go out into the community, and sometimes they give him his space. “He has so much love and the best smile,” said Mary. “He has been a blessing to us.” Brittany believes Mary and Tracy have been a blessing to Sam, too. “They are angels,” said Brittany. Everyone in Sam’s circle agrees that his life has completely changed. But that change did not come without work. Brittany and Kevan had to admit they needed help and then navigate the hurdles and barriers to accessing that help. Mary and Tracy had to make a commitment to welcoming Sam into their home, making sure he was supported and all his needs were met. Hope and belonging take work—but if Sam’s smile and new life are any indication, that work is always, always worth it. | 7

The Road Ahead Story by Alison Wickline-Burns | Photos by Ali Johnson Photography

Dixie has big dreams for her future: To graduate from her certified nursing assistant class, then become a travel nurse. To become more independent and continue to live successfully on her own. Another dream—to get her driver’s license and her own vehicle. That dream is now a reality, with the help of DePaul’s Independent Living program. “DePaul and Carmelita helped me with all of the paperwork and encouraged me throughout the process,” said Dixie, who is in the Independent Living program in Charlottesville. The purpose of the program is to support young people who are transitioning out of foster care and preparing for adulthood. A piece of that puzzle is transportation, giving youth the ability to move freely. Public transportation has limits. Driving classes are sometimes hard to find and many times, spots are filled. The process to get licensed, get insurance, and get a vehicle is lengthy and often overwhelming. Purchasing a reliable vehicle from a reputable source can be expensive. According to a study conducted in 2018, the Virginia Commission on Youth (VCOY) found that of all the youth in Virginia’s foster care system who were of the age to drive, only 5% of them were able to get their licenses. “The number of barriers that our youth often face can be daunting; however, we recognize this goal

to be a significant key to independence,” said Chelsie Wilson, manager of Independent Living. Before Dixie was driving on her own, she struggled to find rides from friends and sometimes felt uncomfortable riding the bus alone. Today, those worries are gone. “Dixie is working consistently, keeping appointments, and has shown so much progress and growth,” said Meredith Breeden, Independent Living supervisor. And Dixie is not alone. She is one of several youth in the program who obtained their license and purchased a vehicle. And DePaul was not alone in helping them do that. Youth also received financial support from the Virginia Department of Social Services and the Virginia Bankers Association. “It was a lot to figure out even with the help, so I don’t know how I would have done it without the help,” said Hope, who is in DePaul’s Independent Living program in Abingdon. On paper, it may not sound like much–a driver’s license, an insurance policy, a used car. But it means more. It means these young adults have a chance to control the direction of their lives, to dream big dreams, and to know they can navigate the road ahead.

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Dixie is working consistently, keeping appointments, and has shown so much progress and growth. MEREDITH

Danny’s story is the heart of why we do this work. MARCIE

A Life Danny Deserves Story by Alison Wickline-Burns | Photos by Kylie Hinson Photography

Danny loves his new home—a home he shares with his compassionate caregiver, Jonshay. “I love being at Ms. Shay’s house because she takes good care of me and loves me and I get to listen to music,” said Danny. Danny spent years in a residential treatment facility where his life was much different and isolated. Now, he has Jonshay who is always there for him. He has a lot of friends, a community he is connected to, and a church he looks forward to visiting. He has the love and support he needs to live the life he deserves. “Danny’s story is the heart of why we do this work,” said Marcie Mann, DePaul sponsored residential manager. When Jonshay decided to become a compassionate caregiver, or sponsored residential provider, she wanted to make a difference. She knew there was a need in her community and she felt called to help meet it. “Individuals with disabilities deserve to feel a sense of belonging and I wanted to make that possible for someone,” said Jonshay.

Finding a sense of belonging is often difficult for individuals with disabilities. They face many barriers—from lack of support to lack of housing to lack of community inclusion. Choices are usually limited if they’re given any at all. DePaul’s sponsored residential homes can help break down those barriers, provide more choices, and build a sense of belonging. For Danny, living in a sponsored residential home has been life-changing. “He’s come a long way,” said Jonshay. “He can write his name now and carry on conversations. He goes to school every day. He has become part of our family.” The change has not been without challenges. “When you’re getting to know someone new, it’s not always easy,” said Jonshay. “You have to listen, take time to learn who they are, and try to understand the reason behind what they’re doing.” With the help of DePaul, Jonshay and Danny have overcome challenges and feel prepared to weather whatever may come next. They are in this together. And because of that, Danny is now living a life with less limits and more opportunities. | 11

You Made It Possible

KOVAR, a Virginia Knights of Columbus 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity, awarded DePaul nearly $6,000 to update furnishings, supplies, and equipment at our Madison Heights and Fishersville OPTIONS day support centers. Both centers were in need of replacements and upgrades after months of being closed due to the pandemic. Items purchased with the generous grant included recliners, smart TVs, games, and outdoor furniture.

The Richard & Caroline T. Gwathmey Memorial Trust awarded $40,000 to DePaul, our largest grant in 2022, to partner with Roanoke City Public Schools in creating an informal Kinship Care program. When children are at risk of entering foster care or becoming homeless, relatives and other closely connected people in their lives like neighbors and family friends may become their primary caregivers also known as kinship care providers. The goals of the Kinship Care pilot program include reducing the number of children entering foster care, avoiding further trauma through therapeutic support services, funding emergency items to meet children’s immediate needs, and providing guidance from a kinship care specialist to ensure family success.

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Thanks to the Al Stroobants Foundation, C.E. Richardson Benevolent Foundation, Louise R. Lester Foundation, and the Weyerhaeuser Giving Fund, DePaul was able to purchase new CPR equipment and supplies for three of our offices. The combined grants of nearly $25,000 provided needed training materials to support required in-person trainings for foster/adoptive families, sponsored residential providers, and staff, including new child/adult and infant CPR mannequins, hygienic face shields, cleaning supplies, therapeutic parenting books, two HEPA filters, and a UVC lamp to sanitize the air in training rooms. The funding will also support programs to provide necessary training and home studies at no cost to families or caregivers.

The Koserski family has been part of DePaul’s adoption and counseling programs for years. Their appreciation of DePaul’s support led them to give back. Through bake sales and fundraisers over the last two years, the Koserski’s business, Friendship Resort and Marina, has raised more than $4,500 for the organization.

The Marshall and Boardman families continue to be active supporters of DePaul, going above and beyond for the individuals we serve. In addition to the Marshalls’ generous personal donations to several of DePaul’s programs, they made the holidays special for our older foster youth. Together, the Marshalls and Boardmans ensured every youth in our Independent Living program received everything on their holiday wish list. | 13

Get Involved with DePaul

Become a...

Donor Help us open more doors by investing in the people in our community who need a voice.

Foster Parent, Adoptive Parent, or Care Provider

Volunteer Ambassador Join us as a one-time volunteer or as an ongoing volunteer in our newly launched Ambassador group.

Open your heart and home to a youth in need or an individual with a disability.

Storyteller Stories are a powerful tool to inform, unite, and inspire. Visit storytelling to read, listen, and share DePaul’s stories with your family, friends, and community.

Advocate Give voice to individuals with disabilities, children in foster care, and families in crisis by joining DePaul’s legislative advocacy efforts as a volunteer.

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