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Dianne Wilmore

   Dianne Wilmore

   Homeless Services Liaison

   Homeless@rva.gov  

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Housing Resource Line: 804- 422-5061

Eviction Help Line: 1-833-663-8428

Homeless Connection Line: 804-972-0813

Homeless Connection Points GIS Map.

Greater Richmond Continuum of Care (CRCoC) partners list

Homeless Connection Points

Zoom to view Homeless Connection Points in the City of Richmond. Those in need must go through GRCoC in order to be connected to a shelter. 

The Numbers

Homelessness Services

The Richmond Region has a variety of resources for those who are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless. The City's Human Services and Social Services staff and the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care (GRCoC) providers advocate weekly by connecting with the chronically homeless individuals who live on the City's streets, sidewalks, and public plazas, and other public spaces offering shelter and services. There are also many ways for volunteers to get involved and work with us to create a better future for all Richmonders. To view existing resources, click on one of the options below.

GRCoC

*Please note that the state of Virginia is not a "right to shelter" state, and the City of Richmond does not provide direct shelter or services to persons that are unsheltered. The city is part of the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care (GRCoC), and it is that entity that provides services and shelter to persons in need in the Greater Richmond Region. 
 

 I need help                                                      I Want to Help

What is the City doing to Address Homelessness?

 

The city is actively working with its partners to address the regional homelessness problem from the ground up. Dianne Wilmore, the city's homelessness liaison, and Hope RPD officers work with the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care (GRCoC) outreach providers to communicate weekly with persons unsheltered in the city, offering shelter and services to those who will accept help. It's not uncommon for unsheltered persons to reject that offer as shelters often require their residents to meet specific standards. For example, many shelters have a curfew, no-animal policy, restrict the use of drugs and alcohol, or only offer shelter to a particular gender for safety purposes. This issue is more relevant when the weather is mild, as some unsheltered persons are more comfortable staying outside and maintaining a lifestyle or habits that are not prohibited by shelters during specific seasons.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the city and its partners have worked hard to provide shelter and services to those who need it most. At the height of the Pandemic, Richmond Urban Ministry Institute (RUMI) provided more than 700 people with case management, meals, medication, transportation, and other services in both congregate and non-congregate spaces. Between March 1st, 2020, and February 28th, 2021, there were over 3,000 individuals sheltered by GRCoC. 

Looking forward, the city plans to continue to collaborate with our partners at the GRCoC to address homelessness by supporting eviction diversion, transitional housing, emergency shelter, and producing affordable housing opportunities. The city has created a collaborative strategic plan to end homelessness that provides a thorough history and outlines the obstacles specific to the Greater Richmond Region. In 2022, the city will establish a Community Resource Center that will act as a one-stop-shop for resources and information for the unsheltered. There will also be a rollout of the Ambassador's Program, which will provide citizens seeking help with a designated ambassador who will guide, monitor, and support the citizen until a resolution is found. This chart shows how GRCoC's efforts to reduce homelessness compare to other cities within the United States.

The Inclement Weather Shelter

The temporary inclement weather shelter, located at the Quality Inn at 3207 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd, opened on November 1st, 2021, and will operate through April 15th, 2022. The shelter, while at the temporary site, will operate from 7 pm through 8 am and check-in hours are 7 pm to 9 pm. The temporary location will be used until the renovation of the permanent site is completed.

On October 11, 2021, Richmond City Council approved $1,781,510 in federal funds to implement a new Inclement Weather Shelter that will operate nightly from November 1, 2021, through April 15, 2022.  Commonwealth Catholic Charities (CCC) is collaborating with the City and will operate the new shelter. 

The City's Department of Housing and Community Development identified several options for the proposed shelter. Option #1, and the preferred choice based on cost-effectiveness and capacity, was to assist CCC to expand their facility located on Oliver Hill Way to provide emergency shelter to single adult individuals from inclement weather starting this fall. CCC already provides outreach, meals, and services to persons experiencing homelessness. Additionally, through a partnership with the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care (GRCoC) and a contract with the State, CCC currently operates a Non-Congregate Program utilizing local hotels. By expanding their Oliver Hill Way facility, at least 75 individuals seeking shelter may be served.

The new shelter considers the recommendations from the GRCoC's Seasonal Shelter Taskforce and the City's 2020-2030 Strategic Plan to End Homelessness.

Funding supports the proposed project using a two-pronged approach. 

The first prong includes operating a temporary shelter site at a local hotel, the Quality Inn. The temporary location will be used until the renovation is completed at Oliver Hill Way. The shelter, while at the temporary site, will operate from 7 pm through 8 am and check-in hours are 7 pm to 9 pm. 

The second prong is the renovation of the permanent site at Oliver Hill Way, which will operate 24/7. 

Services provided at both sites include case management, two meals per day, showers, vaccination opportunities, and the connection to healthcare/counseling and other needed resources if occupants so choose. In addition, onsite security will be available at both the temporary and permanent sites. 

The overall service delivery and funding strategy for homeless services in the region is the responsibility of the GRCoC. The City appreciates its collaboration with the GRCoC. As a member of the Continuum of Care, it will continue to work in partnership toward the ultimate goal of alleviating homelessness and providing stable, permanent housing options for all residents.
 

To learn more about how the city addresses homelessness or get involved, visit our advocates' page here.

Click here for a quick view of the many opportunities to donate, volunteer, or help throughout the unsheltered timeline.

 

The History of Homelessness

What is the definition of a person experiencing homelessness?

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) defines an individual who is homeless as lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence and includes those who are living in a shelter or a place not fit for human habitation (for example, a bench, a car, the sidewalk, or under a bridge), as well as people fleeing domestic violence and/or human trafficking when no subsequent residence has been identified. This formal and official guideline for an individual experiencing homelessness does not include the following situations:

  • Those staying with family or friends
  • Those living in a motel
  • Those living in crowded or substandard conditions

 

How?

How do people become homeless, and how is the city combating these issues?

  • Lack of Affordable Housing: Fair Market Rent of a 2-bedroom apartment is $1,163. To afford that cost, an individual needs full-time work at $20.18/hour.
  • Shortage of Affordable Housing: The apartment vacancy rate in Richmond City dropped from 5.7% in 2020 to 2.1% in 2021.
    • To address affordable housing, the city:
      • Met its goal of providing 1,500 new units of affordable housing in the city three years early
      • Established a dedicated source of funding for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund
      • Tripled the allocation to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund since 2016
      • Will utilize the dedicated funding stream for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund to help meet a 10,000 unit need over ten years – or 1,000 new units of affordable housing per year – partnering with the non-profit and private sectors
      • Prioritized affordable housing in the Equity Agenda
  • Inadequate Income: Between 2014-18, the median household income in Richmond City was $45,117. Approximately 50% of households did not earn more than 3x the Fair Market Rent for a 2-bedroom apartment ($41,868).
    • To address inadequate income, the city: 
      • Created new jobs and opportunities for Richmonders by attracting Babylon Micro-Farms, Vytal Studios, CoStar, and other companies to the city
      • Has gone through the process to get the proposed Resort Casino on the November 2021 referendum; if approved, the Resort Casino would add 1,300 new jobs to Richmond's economy
      • Founded the Richmond Resilience Initiative, the city's guaranteed income program that advocates for a living wage and a guaranteed quality of life for all Americans
      • Plans to redevelop core areas of the City, prioritizing community benefits, such as green space, affordable housing, and job opportunities for Richmonders
      • Prioritized economic justice and inequity in the Equity Agenda
  • Foreclosure and Eviction: The Greater Richmond Region has one of the highest eviction rates in the country, with the City of Richmond's eviction rate being 11.4%, ranking second among large cities in the country.
  • Poverty: People experiencing homelessness in the Richmond Region tend to have incomes between 0-30% of the adjusted median income, making accessing stable housing even more difficult.
  • Racial Inequity and Discrimination: Black individuals have been and are currently disproportionately represented in regional counts of individuals experiencing homelessness.
    • To address racial inequity and discrimination, the city:
      • Championed workforce development programs through the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities and Office of Community Wealth Building
      • Created the Community Ambassador program to act as trustworthy resident advocates for those who could benefit from city support or have feedback to offer
      • Established an Office of Equitable Development to facilitate the creation of the more sustainable, beautiful, and equitable city envisioned by Richmonders in the master plan
      • Will create an Equitable Economic Development Scorecard
      • Prioritized solutions for racial inequity and discrimination in the Equity Agenda