homeless in Richmond

I’m part of a group looking for ideas regarding helping homeless in Richmond. We were interested in trying to get connected with something like a soup truck where we would be able to actually be out in the city serving the homeless, hopefully also in distributing items they would need (our thoughts in particular were regarding blankets given the cold earlier in the week + last weekend). Possibly also helping out by volunteering at a shelter too. One in our group knows some individuals from Salvation Army but hasn’t had much luck getting a hold of them and so happens to be going away for a week.

I have researched around a fair amount online, and know that there a few organizations that we can call and talk to about volunteering. We did reach out to one and found they are booked up until nearly January. I also see there is the Homeward’s Project Homeless Connect November 29th we could volunteer (and provide donations for)… We do have a contact (M Neal) at the Daily Planet too.

So what’s the intent of this post? I am hoping that someone might either work in this area, know someone who does, or might be or been involved that might be able to provide any contacts, recommendations and/or ideas.

11/16/2007 UPDATE:  Our group did indeed choose – we went with the Freedom House and will be serving dinner at their Respite Program next Monday (11/19). I also have agreed myself to help out technically with the Daily Planet (by blogging about upcoming events – see posts categorized Daily Planet) .

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6 responses to “homeless in Richmond

  1. Thanks Joey – I emailed Christy Ellis from Freedom House looking for options. Specifically for you – this group would be our own “simple church” I commented on to you 🙂

    I did hear back from someone from Salvation Army – opportunities included various things at their distribution center, bell ringing and angel trees. All are good opportunities, but I think our group wanted to be a little more active and less distant from actually from those we are trying to serve. NOTE: there is nothing wrong with these opportunities though – just not I think what we are looking for…

    I also plan on calling our contact from the Dailey Planet to see how we could get involved.

  2. Here’s another CARITAS. (Congregations Around Richmond Involved To Assure Shelter)

  3. Eric – I saw that one too – but it seems it’s too much for us (providing space for meals + sleeping + showering + laundry + etc. or getting them to someplace that could do any of them). I could see possibly our entire church doing this, but only if we actually had our own facility to host.

    Our group is just like 10 or so people. Not that this is unfortunate – we are just a small group that’s all.

    I know for me I just want to collect items and go out into a place like Monroe Park and just give them out …. but some say this isn’t the right thing.

  4. Our church does a monthly stint down at the Conrad Center — which is part of freedom house. You can check some pics here. We serve about 40 people and most, I would say, are homeless.

    It is always a great time.

    If you were going to give stuff out in Monroe Park, you might want to find out what the actually need/want. I think hats and gloves might be better than blankets — or maybe both.

  5. Ross – I remember viewing that from the RVABlogs something like a month ago. I have already emailed the gal overseeing volunteering and such (Christy Ellis) and she mentioned that they really need help with the Respite Program (that and it seems like the Conrad Center requires a lot more people to help not to mention that their calendar looks completely full).

    It sounds that given the size of our group that this may be a better fit – serving only up to 21 or so people. We would only be able to have up to 6 or 8 to help. Concept is we wouldn’t just be serving – we also would sit and eat with everyone and then play games or some sort of fellowship afterwards. Is it like this for your Loaves and Fishes every month?

    Very good point about providing what is actually needed – especially when I was looking around online at shelters/programs – most provided a donations list.

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