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
Less than a week before Election Day, Kathy Robinson got into her car, ready to drive around Richmond and tell as many people as she could that she was running for mayor. Her aging white Volvo was decked out for the occasion, plastered with homemade campaign flyers. In her trunk were stacks of these same…Read More
At the corner of 22nd Street and Carlson Boulevard in Richmond sits a homeless encampment where the unofficial mayor, Oretha “Porkchop” Stevens, is calming down her next-door neighbor Tone. His phone is missing and Porkchop works to reassure him. “You’re not crazy, you know where you put your stuff! Don’t play with your own mind,”…Read More
As city workers continue to uproot the homeless from encampments around Richmond, at times without any warning or help, Mayor Tom Butt is pushing to raise $1.5 million from local companies to pay for a managed homeless encampment. He has asked several local companies, including Chevron Corporation, Kaiser Permanente, Blue Apron, Costco Wholesale and Sims…Read More
Richmond residents will vote in November on a vacant property tax that could raise $5 million in revenue for homeless services and code enforcement. While almost everyone agrees that homelessness and blight are major issues facing the city, there’s a debate over whether taxing property owners is the most effective way to address the problem.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
The Richmond Police Department reports up to 800 live on the streets of Richmond every night, but there is currently no dedicated fund for the homeless in the city. Local advocate Kathy Robinson is the head of the city’s new homeless task force, and she’s determined not to let it go on like this.Read More
Every day nearly two hundred of Richmond’s hungry are served free meals by the Greater Richmond Interfaith Project volunteers. This Thanksgiving, GRIP seeks to feed hundreds more. “We just want to help somebody,” volunteer Barbara Scott said. “We have all been blessed and this is our way to give back.” Scott is one of 8-10…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