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D.C. area is biggest source of new RVA residents, Census Bureau data shows

The Richmond metro area has been growing, and new data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows where people are moving from — especially the D.C. suburbs, Hampton Roads and the New York and Philadelphia areas. RVA also receives a lot of international migration, particularly from Asia. The data also shows where former Richmonders move to — notably, Atlanta.

Capital News Service

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By Hannah Eason

Kayla Walker is from the Virginia Beach area but moved to Richmond to pursue a pharmaceutical career. She says diversity, better opportunities and Virginia Commonwealth University’s pharmacy program influenced her decision.

“There’s literally all walks of life in Richmond, versus in Virginia Beach, it’s very military- and family-based,” Walker said. “In Richmond, it’s sort of a whole spectrum of people.”

Walker was one of more than 60,000 people who moved to the Richmond metro area since 2013. The area’s population increased by about 5% during that time period, and new data shows where new Richmond residents have moved from.

The U.S. Census Bureau released data estimating how many people moved from one place to another. The data shows the migration between metro areas, states and counties.

“These data tables highlight the geographic mobility of people between counties, metropolitan statistical areas, minor civil divisions in some states, and municipalities (municipios) in Puerto Rico,” the U.S. Census Bureau stated in releasing the statistics. “The five-year data provide estimates of in-migration, out-migration and net migration of movers and nonmovers between origin and destination of these geographies.”

The Richmond metro area — which includes the cities of Richmond and Petersburg; the counties of Henrico, Chesterfield and Hanover; and 12 other localities — has seen about 10,000 people move annually from the Washington, D.C., area in recent years. The numbers are estimates from surveys conducted by the bureau, and they have a margin of error. The influx of people from D.C., for example, could be 1,000 higher or lower.

At the same time, about 7,000 people a year moved from the Richmond area to the D.C. area. So the Richmond area had a net gain from the Washington region of about 3,000 people annually, according to the Census Bureau.

Richmond also saw a large amount of migration from the Virginia Beach-Norfolk metro area — about 7,900 people relocated from Tidewater to River City a year. Around 6,300 Richmond residents went in the opposite direction — giving the state capital region a net gain of about 1,600 people a year from Tidewater.

Internationally, approximately 3,000 people migrated to Richmond from Asia, and 1,000 from Europe.

The data shows that the Richmond area also had net gains in migration from the New York-Newark-Jersey City metro area (more than 1,700 people per year); the Philadelphia metro area (about 650 annually); Lynchburg (around 550); and the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area (about 450).

The Census Bureau estimated that about 500 people moved to Richmond from the Atlanta, Georgia, area. At the same time, however, almost 1,500 people moved from Richmond to the Atlanta region, making a net loss of about 1,000 for RVA.

Grayson Glueck, owner of social media company Grayson Media, was one of the estimated 7,000 people who moved from Richmond to the D.C. area last year.

After graduating from Radford University, she moved to Richmond in 2017. In 2018, she moved to Fredericksburg and started developing her social media marketing, photography and videography company.

“Both places I lived in Richmond had less traffic and people than I have now,” Glueck said. “Where I live now, if you leave between four and five you’re stuck in bumper to bumper.”

Chris Joseph, a real estate agent with 28 years of experience, says there are many reasons the Richmond area is attractive to D.C.-area residents, such as lower taxes, affordability and easy access to the ocean and mountains.

Joseph says many businesses are opening offices in the Central Virginia region, and the ability to work remotely from Richmond has become more common. With transportation options like carpooling, Amtrak and driving on Interstate 95, living in Richmond and commuting to D.C. is still a common option.

“The distance between Richmond and DC is getting shorter and shorter, but takes a lot of time and is very expensive,” the RE/MAX Commonwealth associate broker said. “It’s much more affordable and less stressful when it comes to commuting.”

Recent college graduate Mohamed Bushra moved from Richmond to the D.C. metro area after getting a job at the Embassy of Qatar.

“I wanted to come back to where I grew up,” Bushra said, “and D.C. is a much bigger city with more opportunities.”

While he is closer to his job living in Springfield, he says traffic and affordability are still prominent issues.

“If you’re looking for a one-bedroom, in Richmond you can get that for like $1,000, and I used to think that was expensive,” Bushra said. “But over here, you can pay $2,000 for a studio apartment, and it’s tiny.”

Working in the public relations department of the embassy, and serving as “the connection between the diplomats and the outside world in the U.S.,” Bushra says the traffic can be overwhelming.

He says it often takes him about 90 minutes to drive to work each morning, and a five-mile trip can frequently take him half an hour.

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The Capital News Service is a flagship program of VCU’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture. In the program, journalism students cover news in Richmond and across Virginia and distribute their stories, photos, and other content to more than 100 newspapers, television and radio stations, and news websites.

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PHOTOS: Neighbors in the Fan socialize at a safe distance during weekly ‘#PorchSolidarity Parties’

Neighbors in the Fan have found a creative way to socialize during this time of social distancing, and do it from the comfort – and safe distance – of their own porches. Reader Rachel Scott Everett and her husband Brian Gibson organize regular porch gatherings to catch up with neighbors over drinks, music, and conversation.

RVAHub Staff

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Neighbors in the Fan have found a creative way to socialize during this time of social distancing, and do it from the comfort – and safe distance – of their own porches. Reader Rachel Scott Everett and her husband Brian Gibson organize regular porch gatherings to catch up with neighbors over drinks, music, and conversation.

“While the photos may appear fun and carefree, all of us are currently facing different challenges regarding health, family, loss of work, financial strain, etc.,” Rachel said in an email to RVAHub. “This time offers everyone an hour to come out on their respective porches (or stoop or front yard) and (re)connect in solidarity – possibly with neighbors they may not have seen or met before.”

She says it’s an easy and fun way to “keep our spirits up.”

We hope these photos brighten your day as much as they did ours.

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Schools, nonprofits hustle to feed over a half million Virginia students: ‘It’s incredible’

Richmond school bus driver Tyrone McBride is still driving a big, yellow bus through Richmond neighborhoods, but these days, he’s transporting boxes of food for kids in need. More than a week has passed since Gov. Ralph Northam announced students will not return to school this academic year, and volunteers are still fighting to feed the 590,000 children in Virginia with free or reduced lunches who were ordered to remain home during the coronavirus pandemic.

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By Hannah Eason

Richmond school bus driver Tyrone McBride is still driving a big, yellow bus through Richmond neighborhoods, but these days, he’s transporting boxes of food for kids in need.

“It gets me out of the house,” said McBride, who has been a school bus driver for 18 years, “and you know, you’re doing a great deed and helping people out.”

More than a week has passed since Gov. Ralph Northam announced students will not return to school this academic year, and volunteers are still working to feed the 590,000 children in Virginia eligible for free or reduced lunches who were ordered to remain home during the coronavirus pandemic. Schools have been closed since March 16, though students were originally slated to return by March 27.

Whitcomb Court resident Simone Sanders said her children are now eating at home during the day, but she didn’t receive an increase in food stamps. One child is disabled, which prevents Sanders from being able to work.

“It’s affecting us bad, especially in the projects, and there’s nothing for the kids to do all day,” Sanders said. “And then you have to worry about your child just being outside getting shot.”

Sanders said she’s grateful for the food from Richmond Public Schools, and says she occasionally gives food to neighborhood kids who say they’re hungry.

The Richmond Public Schools meal distribution program, like others around the state, continues to evolve during the coronavirus pandemic that caused a surge of Virginians to file for unemployment. Almost 46,300 Virginians filed for unemployment between March 15 and March 21. The previous week 2,706 people filed an unemployment claim, according to the Virginia Employment Commission.

The program started with 10 school sites, and has since grown into at least 43 sites throughout the community and 10 school sites.

Erin Stanley, director of family engagement at Richmond Public Schools, said volunteers, bus drivers and the district’s nutrition staff have made the efforts possible. Volunteers were using personal vehicles to drop off food, but RPS decided that school buses would better suit the cause.

“We did that for a couple of reasons,” Stanley said. “One, so we can get more food out, and two, because school buses are a bit more well known and probably more trusted than individual volunteers going in with their personal vehicles.”

Plastic bags filled with milk cartons, sandwiches, apples and snacks are handed out in neighborhoods found on the Richmond Public Schools’ website. School distribution sites are open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and neighborhood times vary by location. Any student in the school district can use the program, Stanley said.

Volunteer Natalie Newfield said many families she gave meals to lost jobs in the restaurant industry.

 “They’re changing the way they do deliveries, which is amazing,” Newfield said. “Every day you give them a count. If they need more food, the next day, all of a sudden your bus has more food. It’s incredible.”

Statewide efforts to feed children in Virginia

When schools closed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture activated the Summer Meals Program, which funds public schools and local organizations to serve breakfast and lunch during the summer.

Del. Danica Roem, D-Prince William, pressed the USDA to change its policy which required parents to have their child with them when picking up food.

Roem said it was difficult for a Prince William County mother to access food for her two children. Her daughter has an immune system deficiency caused by recent cancer treatments, making her susceptible to the COVID-19 virus.

“When you’re talking about a 7-year-old with cancer, we have to really evaluate what is it that our policy is trying to prevent that is more important than feeding a child with cancer,” Roem said.

Roem said she was able to bring groceries to the family, who live in the representative’s district. As they carried bags of food inside, Roem said the mother told her children, “We’re eating tonight.”

“I fought with the USDA for a full week and won a major, major victory for kids throughout Virginia and across the country, and especially immunocompromised kids, to make sure that they stay safe, that they stay home,” Roem said.

The USDA waived the restriction last week, and states can now choose to waive the in-person policy for students to receive food.

No Kid Hungry, a national campaign launched by nonprofit Share Our Strength, is offering emergency grants to local school divisions and organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grants can help people who are trying to make meal distribution possible, but may lack the equipment necessary to feed children outside of a school setting.

Sarah Steely, senior program manager at No Kid Hungry Virginia, said the grants can fund necessities like vehicles, gas, coolers and equipment to keep food safe during distribution.

“Those might not be resources that folks already have, because those aren’t service models that were expected of them before,” Steely said, “so we’re here to support community organizations and school divisions as they figure out what it is they need to distribute to kids.”

The organization works with YMCAs, childcare centers, libraries and all 133 of Virginia’s public school divisions.

The organization recently activated their texting hotline for those unsure of where their next meal is coming from: text “FOOD” to 877-877. The hotline is generally used during the summer months, but was reactivated to combat food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic.

Steely called the hotline “a tool in a bigger toolbox of resources” and encouraged families to contact their local school board for updated information about their locality.

“They count on that as a primary source of nutrition, so with schools closed, we want to make sure that the students who are accessing meals at school are now accessing those meals at home,” Steely said.

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Business

Restaurant employee fundraisers you can donate to right now

It’s tough out there right now for those in the service industry. With dining rooms closed and restaurants trying to stay afloat by getting creative with takeout, delivery, and other endeavors, employees without much of a safety net are hurting. Below are all of the employee fundraisers we’ve seen floating around that you can donate to right now and make a difference.

RVAHub Staff

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It’s tough out there right now for those in the service industry. With dining rooms closed and restaurants trying to stay afloat by getting creative with takeout, delivery, and other endeavors, employees without much of a safety net are hurting. Below are all of the employee fundraisers we’ve seen floating around that you can donate to right now and make a difference.

Another way you can make a difference is to donate to The Holli Fund. I (Trevor) was one of a handful of folks asked to host a virtual happy hour last week (embedded at the bottom of the post). This is an application- and need-based fund that gives grants to folks in both the front and back of house at restaurants and breweries across the area. The fund has done transformational things like paid folks’ mortgages, car payments, and fulfilled other important needs. You can learn more here and donate by texting “DONATE” and your amount (i.e. DONATE $5) to 805-518-8333.

Also check out our ongoing list of restaurants offering delivery and takeout, the coronavirus support list, and all of our COVID-19 coverage here. While we’re at it, we could use your support right now, too. RVAHub is a labor of love for both Richard Hayes and I, and we’re doing our best to keep the public up to date on important news and updates. With our ad network suspended, we’re running the site at a loss currently. It would mean the world to us if you were able to spare a couple o’ bucks and chip in to our cause. We’d love you for it.




Restaurant/employee fundraisers

 

More from Chad Williams of “30 is the New 20“:

Information on donating to The Holli Fund

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