RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Commonwealth Catholic Charities is making sure people without a home have a place stay. On Thursday, the nonprofit is opening its inclement weather shelter near 1900 Chamberlayne Avenue.
The charity said that they have been working with the city for months to secure a contract for the operation. They said that so far, they haven’t been able to get what they need, including funding for staffing, meals and rent.
Commonwealth Catholic Charities CEO Jay Brown said that hasn’t stopped them from raising $30,000 and partnering with the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care and the Salvation Army to make sure the homeless have a place to go.
“It’s our hope that we’re going to open for these two weeks and during those two weeks, we’re going to work really hard to finalize negotiations with the city so we don’t have to close,” Brown said. “We need to be able to provide more urgent and emergency resources to get folks off of the street and get people so they’re safe.”
In a statement to 8News, Petula Burks, the City of Richmond’s director of strategic communications and civil engagement said:
“The city remains committed to working with CCC. We are currently working through the final terms of the contract and look forward to CCC and the city’s partnership to help our most vulnerable. Additionally, it is important to note that the city works in collaboration with the GRCoC and all of its providers as evidenced by the $1M the city awarded to Homeward on behalf of the GRCoc and its members, of which CCC is a member. It takes all of us working together to ensure the safety and well-being of our unhoused residents.”
This weekend, the shelter on Chamberlayne Avenue will be able to accommodate 30 people, and they hope to increase that to 60 people by next week. The charity’s goal is to operate the shelter for as long as they can.
“It’s critically important to make sure that we add more resources in the emergency shelter system to really make sure we can get as many people off of the street as possible,” Brown said.
Anyone looking to use the shelter must be referred by the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care.