About Us

Britepaths: Empowering Families in Crisis to Long-Term Success

In 2024, Britepaths is celebrating 40 years of providing help and hope to Northern Virginia residents experiencing an economic crisis. Similar to a business, we provide a service to the community called social impact: the effect an organization's actions have on the wellbeing of the community.

Britepaths was honored to be named the 2019 Non-Profit of the Year by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce in recognition of our long service to the community. In 2021, our Executive Director Lisa Whetzel received an Honorable Mention for the Center for Nonprofit Advancement's EXCEL Award.

Offering Stability, Personal Empowerment, and Supports for Children

We tailor our services to meet the ever-changing needs of our neighbors. Our unique programs equip working individuals and families with the tools they need to withstand a crisis situation and begin a journey toward lasting independence.

Britepaths' Stability programs – Food Bridge and Financial Assistance – help individuals and families stay in their homes while they work through a crisis. Our Personal Empowerment programs – Financial Empowerment and Workforce Development programs offered through the Financial Empowerment Center at South County – provide tools to help clients better manage their money or pursue better-paying jobs. Through community partnerships, we also offer Supports for Children, including Food4Thought weekend food packs, Back to School and Holiday assistance and Youth Financial Education, providing hope and easing stress for children and their families. Learn more about our services →

Meeting People Where They Are

Britepaths began in 1984 as a homeless shelter that rotated among several Fairfax County faith communities – many of which still support our work. When Fairfax County opened a shelter, we started a soup kitchen for the homeless. In 1986, we were named “Our Daily Bread,” and in 1989 we became an independent nonprofit. We rebranded as Britepaths in 2016 to better reflect our evolving mission. As the cost of housing in Fairfax County rose sharply through the 1990s and 2000s, we shifted our focus to helping working individuals and families who had homes but were struggling to pay for all their necessities. In response, we offered emergency food, financial assistance and seasonal assistance, and eventually launched a financial education program.

Providing the Tools for Brighter Futures

In FY2023, we served 7,999 Northern Virginia families, impacting the lives of 11,555 community members. The average income for our Stability and Personal Empowerment program clients was $1,510 per month, or $18,112 per year.

The neighbors we assist are often juggling multiple jobs, elderly or disabled, or were once financially secure but have found themselves in crisis due to job loss, debt or health issues. More than half of those we serve are children. The success of our programs can be measured by the thousands of residents who achieve their financial goals, stay in their homes and retain their jobs, and take the tools they received to become self-sufficient.

Join Us In Empowering Our Neighbors

We are able to provide these services because of the donations and volunteer support of thousands of caring community members each year. We welcome everyone to get involved through donating, volunteering and supporting our events. Learn more about our ways to give →