“So, is this what it’s like to be homeless?”

After 2003’s Hurricane Isabel, which resulted in widespread and lengthy power outages, Homeward ran an ad in the Richmond Times-Dispatch with the following text:

We’ve been scrounging for food. Reading by flashlight. Begging for batteries. Going days between showers. Thanks to Hurricane Isabel, we’ve experienced firsthand how tough it is to be without. Now imagine not having a roof over your head at all. Or having a chemical dependency. Or suffering from paranoia. Or answering to two small children. And it’s not even winter yet. Unfortunately, homelessness won’t go away when the power is restored and the roads are clear.

I have been working with Homeward since 2003 and have grown to love our twice-yearly data collection efforts. We work with community volunteers and regional shelter providers to learn more about our neighbors experiencing homelessness. I have developed a reputation for being able to quote a range of regional statistics to illustrate the urgent need for solutions to homelessness. I share statistics that reveal the underlying social and economic issues which contribute to the crisis of homelessness. These numbers shine a light on pathways out of homelessness for the families, veterans, and single adults trying to return to stable housing.

Bob Sledd Recognition

via Better Housing Coalition GroundBreakers program

The number of homeless children in the Richmond region is up and no one is really surprised. It’s the economy, of course.

While there are some significant differences in our regional data on homelessness released last week, our 2011 numbers are pretty similar to our 2010 numbers. In fact, since 2007, the total number of people experiencing homelessness on any given day hasn’t changed all that much.

Preliminary results published in February revealed that 1,102 people in the region are experiencing homelessness which reflects a 9% increase from January 2010. The numbers released today reflect the continuing impact of the economy on people with limited resources. As a coordinated service delivery system, we continue to work to fulfill our community’s Ten Year Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. Targeting housing resources for our most vulnerable residents remains our top priority.

We Are All Created to Serve: The Faith Community’s Response to Homelessness

This session will provide an overview of the homeless services available in the Richmond area and discuss ways that people of faith can partner with homeless services providers to address the needs of those experiencing homelessness or housing instability. The session will last 90 minutes and will be offered on March 29th at 12:00 p.m. and repeated on March 31st at 4:30 p.m.



Yes, we can end homelessness





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Richmond, VA 23224

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