ImInspired Duvall Home

Inspiring Quilt of Independence

July 7, 2017 – A symbol of independence and empowerment: ADT Support Coordinator Beth Conrad, a Duvall Homes’ employee of more than 20 years, recently completed an inspiring quilt that began as a labor of love in 2015, on her own time. The quilt depicts various hand patterns of approximately 90 residents and participants of Duvall’s Opportunities Enrichment Center. The sentimental work of art currently hangs in the Adult Day Training facility in Glenwood, Florida.

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Posted by Lisa Habermehl


DeLand Rocks – And So Does Duvall Homes!

May 5, 2017 – The growing community sensation for kids, teens, businesses, people with developmental disabilities, and really anyone who likes to stroll outdoors, paint and/or scavenger hunt, can participate in this county- and nation-wide activity created just for fun, and it’s as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Find a small flat rock
  2. Paint the rock
  3. Hide the rock anywhere in DeLand

DeLand Rocks DuvallWith the assistance of our Support Specialists, participants in Duvall Homes’ Adult Day Training program created several one-of-a-kind painted rocks during the past few weeks. A few trips around town followed to hide these tiny masterpieces.

Get some clues on where our rocks were hidden on Duvall Homes’ Facebook Page DeLand Rocks album post. Should you find any of these rocks around DeLand, you’ll now know they were created by some very special people. #delandrocks

Learn more about the programming at Duvall Homes’ Opportunities Enrichment Center at Programs & Services.

Related Links

Pinterest Images of DeLand Rocks
Daytona News-Journal DeLand Rocks
DeLand Rocks on Facebook
Art…For Everyone

Duvall Homes I'm Inspired

Duvall Homes ADT

Empowering People at ADT

April 17, 2017 – Daily Empowerment at Duvall Homes’ Opportunities Enrichment Center:
Participants of our Adult Day Training program in Glenwood, Florida, develop alternative communication skills, improve self-expression through advancing vocabulary and language building, and explore current events to be part of regular social discussions.

Duvall Homes ADT

See how this essential life-skills training is put into play in the community in our 2017 Spring Newsletter by clicking here. View all Duvall Newsletters at

Duvall ADT


Duvall Homes Journey's End

Happy National Pet Day

April 11, 2017 – Happy National Pet Day: Residents of Duvall Homes volunteer on a regular basis with the animals at Journey’s End Animal Sanctuary in Glenwood, just a few minutes from our Opportunities Enrichment Center (OEC) on our main campus.Duvall Homes Journey's End

Journey’s End provides care and shelter for dogs, cats, horses, pigs, sheep and birds that have been abused, neglected or have special needs.

Duvall Homes Journey's EndFor more information on the many programs that occur in Duvall’s Adult Day Training in our OEC, visit

Duvall Homes Eagle Watch

Duvall Homes Lake Woodruff Eagle Watch

April 3, 2017 – Duvall Homes’ Adult Day Training programming teaches from a vast spectrum of co-curricular activities that model the framework of core curriculum state standards and extend experiences outside of the ADT classroom. This seasons Eagle Watch Program is only one of many such programs.

Duvall Homes
Brian K. Wheeler/VIREO,

ADT participants learned about the Bald Eagles habitat, feeding and nesting behavior from statewide data taught by ADT instructors in our Opportunities Enrichment Center and from viewing a live Eagle cam.

Duvall Homes Eagle WatchThis program continued for weeks and included several field trips with binoculars to Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge to discover and monitor the Bald Eagle’s habitat and hatching of eaglets. [ We’re quite fortunate to have our ADT facility, in Glenwood, be located only five minutes from Lake Woodruff. ]

Eagle Watch ArtParticipants also created eagle artworks following the trip providing an additional form of expression for each member of the special group of birdwatchers.

Eagle Watch TripTo learn more about the Bald Eagle, visit Florida’s Audubon website at and To learn more about Duvall Home’s Adult Day Training Programming, click on Adult Day Training. View additional images from Duvall’s Eagle Watch by visiting our

To enjoy additional wildlife images indigenous to the area, visit the website of Florida photographer

Duvall Homes DeLand

ADT Valentine’s Day Celebration

Duvall Homes Valentine’s Day Celebration – Group Home Residents and community participants of Duvall Homes’ Adult Day Training (ADT) in Glenwood, Florida, enjoyed an outdoor Valentine’s Day celebration Tuesday, February 14, 2017, complete with a photo board, refreshments, music, and dancing under the perfect balmy Florida skies.

Technology DuvallPhoto board images were captured by both ADT educators and participants using iPads as part of Duvall’s curriculum to develop communication skills and broaden knowledge in technology in its Opportunities Enrichment Center. This form of programming provides essential learning tools used to encourage participants to engage socially and is especially effective for participants who are non-verbal communicators. The iPads were purchased for ADT following the award of the 2015 Greenfeather Grant from Stetson University.

View additional images on Duvall’s Facebook page at

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Duvall Homes

Community Outreach 2.0

On November 2, 2016, after being educated on the ongoing importance of raising awareness for those fighting cancer and further developing their vocational and creative skills, Duvall Home’s Adult Day Training participants took to the sidewalk proudly wearing personally designed t-shirts created at the Center. This full-circle educational exercise is only one inspiring example of the many ways in which Duvall Homes’ residents and community participants get involved and practice community engagement and awareness for all populations in need of attention.

The Stetson University Greenfeather Grant was awarded in 2015, and the funds used for materials to support Duvall Homes’ Day Training Program in its Opportunities Enrichment Center continue to benefit people with developmentally disabled residents in our care.

Other funds from the Greenfeather Grant supported technology and software training equipment vital to enabling users to engage socially and increase self-expression.

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Learn about Programs & Services at Duvall Homes.

Art for everyone

Duvall Homes Showcases Clients’ Art

December 24, 2015 ‘ART … FOR EVERYONE’ Exhibit tours the county, collects admirers

Kristin Burrhus dabs her brush into a puddle of blue paint, then stirs it into the white.

She gets lost in her art, stroking her sky-blue mixture onto paper. In an hour or so, she adds a green and brown tree, two yellow suns and a nativity scene. Painting becomes art and from there, experience has shown her, anything can happen.

Burrhus is a 50-year-old client of Duvall Homes, a private nonprofit provider of housing, health care and living skills to adults with developmental disabilities. She was born with an extra chromosome, a condition called Down syndrome that causes cognitive delays and other health problems. But Burrhus has emerged as an artist who takes her craft seriously and has sold some of her paintings.

One day this month, she was among a dozen artists working under the instruction of Amelie Bush-Rogers. The art classes are both the end of a cycle that began about a year ago with a simple showing of works by Burrhus and other Duvall Homes artists.

The classes are also the beginning of something: Painters getting instruction, materials and time to create.

* * *

Duvall Homes was looking to raise its profile in the community last year. Elizabeth Bhimjee, the director of development, said the organization agreed to host a DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce business after hours event. She got permission to host the event at the Hand Art Center at Stetson University, rather than at Duvall’s Glenwood campus, as she figured more people would attend.

“Because I had seen some of the artwork being done here, and I thought it was very good, I asked if we could showcase our artwork (at Stetson),” Bhimjee said.

Tonya Cribb Curran, director of the Hand Art Center at Stetson, said it was not hard for her to green-light an exhibit of Duvall Homes’ clients from a philosophical standpoint.

“For me, the idea of arts education is important for people of all ages and all ability levels,” Cribb Curran said. “I believe that art can be very powerful with regard to helping people express themselves. I’d like to support and give voice to them because art is for everyone.”

Much of what she saw she would classify as contemporary folk art.

“There is sort of a raw feel to these works that is really appealing,” Cribb Curran said. “It speaks to the artists’ experience, what they enjoy, what they like.”

So the event was held last February and 120 people attended, Bhimjee said. That’s more than three times the usual number.

Nick Conte Jr., executive director of the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce, and his staff saw the response to the Duvall artists’ work.

“We said … we’d love to display it,” Conte said.

So for the month of March, any visitors to the DeLand chamber’s offices were exposed to the Duvall art.

“Some of the work they had was amazing. … Incredible abstract stuff,” Conte said. “To give them the platform to show the world is a big place and appreciates their contribution, that’s a pretty small price for those of us who appreciate the arts.”

The Duvall art program exhibit, dubbed “Art … For Everyone,” started making its way around Volusia County. In April, the Gateway Center for the Arts in DeBary showed it. In May, it went back to the Victoria Gardens Clubhouse in DeLand, then DeLand City Hall in June.

In July, the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center displayed the collection, which then went to the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Daytona Beach in August and September. It has since also been part of a Duvall Homes 70th anniversary celebration, shown at the Athens Theatre in DeLand and will continue showing until Jan. 10 at the Ormond Memorial Art Museum & Gardens.

* * *

While shown, the works were spotted by a patron connected with the Bond Foundation of Winter Gardens, and before long, the Duvall Homes received a $3,000 check to support “Art … For Everyone.” An art teacher, Bush-Rogers, was hired to work with Duvall Homes clients.

“This has taken on a life of its own,” said Steven DeVane, CEO of Duvall Homes. “I don’t know if we’d call it surprising, but it is encouraging to see how it has played out. From my perspective, the biggest factor is the community engagement.”

Moving the art around Volusia County has given Duvall Homes exposure to people and places it normally doesn’t reach.

Bush-Rogers, the teacher, said she has seen growth in many of the Duvall Homes students.

“I’m 71 years old and they inspire me,” Bush-Rogers said. “I work with kids normally. Here we have a group of adults who are 50 years old and up, and I’m blown away at the growth in self-esteem I see.”

One is a client who cannot be named because of her family’s wishes. When Bush-Rogers started teaching, the student would only use red. After several weeks of classes, she now uses her full palette.

“That seems pretty small, but it’s mammoth,” Bhimjee said. “It’s hope and a whole new dimension.”

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Duvall Homes

Duvall Homes’ Residents Volunteer

July 27, 2015 – Duvall Homes’ residents volunteer throughout the year in a variety of ways that provide an opportunity to develop vocational skills while benefiting the community. Just weeks ago, a new partnership with Rise Against Hunger (formerly known as Stop Hunger Now, Orlando) was launched and we are a proud part of the program.

Not only are those who are in desperate need of food provided for, but the individuals served by Duvall Homes also benefit from a new sense of purpose, achievement and community responsibility. Packaging has been incorporated into the Day Training curriculum at Duvall Homes and participants are determined to continue with their mission to help others.

Giving back is an integral part of the Duvall Homes philosophy and this important project is just the latest in a long line of efforts our residents are engaged in to do their part. We are proud to recognize them and keep you updated with their accomplishments!

Rise Against Hunger gets food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable people, and works to end global hunger. Volunteers set up and take down packaging stations and equipment, fill bins with raw ingredients, scoop ingredients into meal bags, weigh and seal the bags, box and stack them on pallets, and load the pallets and equipment onto a truck. The meals are shipped throughout the world to support school feeding programs, orphanages, and crisis relief.  This vital project benefits the residents of Duvall Homes by providing dexterity / hand-eye coordination exercise; hands-on experience in cooperation and team-building; problem-solving and goal-setting; while creating a platform for success.

To date, our residents have packaged 15 boxes (3,240 meals)! Each meal feeds 6 people…so in just one month efforts have provided help to feed 19,440 people!

Each meal costs .29 cents and Duvall Homes spends approximately $150-$200 each month for ingredients to sustain the program. Help us continue to make a lasting, global impact with your donation today!

One Resident’s Road to Recovery, Independence

November 1, 2014

DELAND — Kristin Burrhus is 49 but only a few years removed from living with her parents.

Her journey, though, has been nothing short of miraculous.

“I’m independent. I do things on my own. I do my own chores,” she said during a recent interview at her new home, Duvall Home’s Gatlin Cottage north of DeLand.

Born with Down syndrome in an era when doctors frequently recommended institutionalization, she grew up with her family in Massachusetts, and functioned well enough to work at several places, including Walgreen’s and Burger King. Her family moved to Florida, and she took painting classes at the Gateway Center for the Arts in DeBary, producing work with enough depth to gain attention and even a few sales.

But then she fell ill several years ago, suffering two strokes, many seizures and was near enough to death that hospice was caring for her.

Steven DeVane was working as a hospice chaplain when he met Burrhus and said he sensed her “vibrant spirit.”

Burrhus’ family looked at options for her care and decided to have her moved to the Duvall Home cottage.

She remained in a wheelchair.

“It took a long time, several years, to get well. After that, I couldn’t walk at all. I didn’t have the strength in me,” she said.

But little by little, she made progress, and her two therapists taught her how to walk again. She graduated to a walker and now uses only a cane to help her get around.

She was even, for a time, well enough to return to work at one of Duvall Home’s thrift stores.

She found her move a big change.

“At first, I was kind of shy. I had never felt that way before,” she said. “But I got over it.”

She handles chores, include making breakfast, assisting the cottage’s “house mothers” with meals and keeping her room clean. Valerie Dawson, a Duvall staff member, says Burrhus helps with some of the administrative tasks.

“I would look at her as a leader,” Dawson said. “She’s a helper, a go-getter.”

She attends Duvall’s day-training program most days. That’s where DeVane, who had recently been installed as Duvall’s CEO, met Burrhus once again.

“Our eyes met and we said in unison: ‘Do you remember me?’” DeVane said in a video Duvall Home made about her. “Miracles happen and in this case, Duvall Home is part of the miracle.”

Read “One resident’s road to recovery, independence” featured by the Daytona Beach News Journal!