Over the years, Nella Gonçalves has become very used to hearing a certain question: “Ew, you work with the homeless? Don’t they stink?” Gonçalves is the deputy director of Beyond Emancipation, an organization that helps foster youth transition into lives as independent adults. Gonçalves meets a lot of very young people in very difficult positions;…Read More
At least 109 individuals living in Richmond city limits have no home to return. This is according to the annual Point in Time count, a county-wide assessment conducted on one night of the year that tallies the number of people sleeping outside.
But the Richmond Police Department reports encountering up to 800 separate individuals sleeping outside on any given night.
The situation is desperate. Research indicates that homeless individuals live shorter lives, endure higher rates of mental illness, drug addiction, poor health and injury than their sheltered counterparts. Still, people without homes are often dismissed as careless or crazy, the lasting legacy of a stigma that has its roots in the Great Depression era, when welfare programs were introduced in the United States.Read More
It’s an early Thursday morning and a slow trickle of clients are coming through the doors of A Friendly Manor, a center for homeless women in West Oakland. The sign-up sheet for showers that day is almost full, and the women take their seats around the common room, their belongings stacked next to them and…Read More
Old opinions about Richmond often seem set in stone, but at least some of the worst may be on the way out.
That’s what we tried to document in “Agents of Change,” a series of photographs and feature stories by Richmond Confidential’s Brittany Kirstin, a photojournalism student at the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.Read More
Menbere Aklilu has come a long way. From a struggling single mother, she is now a restaurant owner in Richmond, after moving from her native Ethiopia and a time in Italy.
Aklilu hosts an annual Thanksgiving dinner at her restaurant, Salute E Vita, where she just served a sit-down dinner for more than a thousand Bay Area homeless people. She has also begun holding a four-course Mother’s Day brunch for young single mothers. She helps Richmond and Oakland students pay school tuition.Read More
The ground of my second-floor room trembled as trains rumbled over the tracks and horned their approach at every minute. Dogs barked continuously from someplace in a distance and what sounded like a series of rapid gunshots went off. All within the first five minutes of my arrival.Read More
As Menbere Aklilu looked across the office in her restaurant, she sighed deeply and said she promised herself she wouldn’t cry this time. This time, it was her second year hosting a Thanksgiving dinner at her restaurant, Salute. Last year, she provided 300 foods to the homeless and this year, she was offering the same…Read More
For those without a place to stay or food to eat, Thanksgiving may conjure mixed emotions. Several Richmond churches and non-profits are fostering togetherness and nourishment by offering free meals for the community this Thursday. The following locations are linked above. Greater Richmond Inter-Faith Program GRIP will serve Thanksgiving Brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45…Read More
On Saturday night a handful of Richmond and Bay Area residents gathered near the steps of the Civic Center Plaza for an overnight vigil to show concern about homelessness, what many in the group call a social justice and human right’s issue. Guest speakers gave inspirational speeches, and before it got too dark everyone shared…Read More
For almost 20 years, Ized Stewart has lived outside on the corner of 24th Street and Barrett Avenue. He’s a familiar presence, known to a generation of locals for surrounding himself with mounds of bags containing anything from garbage to stuffed animals. He’s often seen feeding the local birds, reading the newspaper or listening to…Read More