Temporary homeless shelter closes in Richmond, neighbors concerned

The number of homeless people in the area is down 11% from last year, but still much higher...
The number of homeless people in the area is down 11% from last year, but still much higher than before the pandemic.(WWBT)
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 1:23 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 21, 2022 at 6:39 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The City of Richmond is trying to get a handle on a growing number of people considered homeless.

“Pretty big issues with kind of tent cities being set up because there was no plan when they closed the doors for where were these hundreds of people that they were bringing in every day,” said Kelley Davis, Sherwood Park Resident.

More than 1,100 people without a place to call home and showing up at a hotel on North Arthur Ashe Boulevard during the winter for overnight shelter. It closed on Friday.

Kelley Davis lives nearby and says there’s been on-going issues, but after the closure, things got worse.

“Didn’t seem like resources were being provided to help these people. Give them a hand up, not a handout to get them the need and care that they needed to be successful with their transitioning,” said Davis.

Richmond City Hall says of those staying in the shelter, about two dozen opted out of help and wound up staying in the area outside the hotel.

“In the weeks leading up to this, there was a lot of outreach and energy to help find them accommodations and connect with resources,” said Katherine Jordan, Richmond City Council.

Jordan says advocates were back out in the area this week, trying to convince those still out here to take some help. The city had hoped to have its own permanent homeless shelter by now, but it’s been delayed.

Meanwhile, the number of homeless people in the area is down 11% from last year but still much higher than before the pandemic.

“We are seeing some cleanup. We hope that continues to move in the right direction and that it doesn’t backslide,” said Davis.

If you are experiencing housing insecurity, you can reach out to the housing resource line at 804-422-5061 or call Homeward Homeless Connection at 804-927-0813.

Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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