RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — James Root sits down for a meal at Broomfield CME Church for food and fellowship.

Root says he is finally winning his battle with alcohol, and he is connecting with caring people.

“Very, very, very kind,” he describes volunteers at the Richmond Friends of the Homeless feeding program he is attending.

One of the volunteers is Zenobia Bey, founder of the nonprofit Community 50/50.

“I feel like that this is my purpose,” Bey says.

Bey started Community 50/50 in 2009 after she completed her service as an army cook.

Fifty was her number when she played basketball for Huguenot High School, Virginia State University and Cheney University.

“My concept with 50 was I know I can’t do it alone,” she explains her nonprofit’s name. “I put 50, they put 50, we come together.”

Bey and her team members aim to fill in the gaps for a wide range of area programs.

They volunteer each week with the Richmond Friends of the Homeless feeding program, hold critical-thinking workshops for students and complete service projects like picking up litter.

Shawnee Hansen, the Richmond Friends of the Homeless founder, values her partnership with Community 50/50 because her group cannot do it alone.

“So many people just do a little bit, but when it all adds up it’s a really big thing,” Hansen says about the volunteers from Community 50/50 and other groups who make the feeding program possible.

Adds Bey about the opportunities for outreach Community 50/50 provides, “A lot of times people want to help, and a lot of times people just don’t know how to help.”

People like Root say Community 50/50 is an important part of the equation during times when they need support.

“The happiness, the joy, the smiles, the encouragement, it works,” he says.

Community 50/50 is looking for volunteers to help with a variety of programs.

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