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Hills & Heights

New CARITAS Center is helping change the way Richmond thinks about affordable housing

This month, an old tobacco manufacturing plant is becoming a home. Richmond area volunteers and experts are making beds, cleaning floors, and more inside the future home of the CARITAS Center. As a part of the nonprofit’s plan for the space, 47 sober living apartments will welcome men and women transitioning from a crisis and into a stable, sober life.

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This month, an old tobacco manufacturing plant is becoming a home. Richmond area volunteers and experts are making beds, cleaning floors, and more inside the future home of the CARITAS Center. As a part of the nonprofit’s plan for the space, 47 sober living apartments will welcome men and women transitioning from a crisis and into a stable, sober life.

This is important for a few reasons, according to the nonprofit.

Right now, half a million Americans are homeless. There is only enough affordable housing available for 25% of that population. Experts suggest that number has the potential to swell up to 45 percent before the year is over as a result of widespread unemployment amid the global pandemic.

Additionally, recent data from law enforcement agencies in Richmond, Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico shows a nearly 60% increase in overdose cases when comparing the first six months of 2019 to the same period this year. Nationally, more than 35 states have reported increases in opioid-related mortality since the pandemic began, according to the American Medical Association (AMA). Reduced access to treatment and recovery services are cited among the reasons for this surge.

Affordable housing can help. People who suffer some substance use disorder make up 64% the homeless population, according to NCH. An affordable and supportive housing community is one of the most important factors to successfully reducing relapse rates.

Richmond-based nonprofit CARITAS has been working to fight the intertwined issues of homelessness and addiction since 1987. Last year alone, the organization served more than 4,000 people and provided 80,720 nights of shelter across its four programs. The addition of a sober living community to its family of programs is an exciting way for the organization to continue innovatively solving some of our country’s most challenging issues.

The nonprofit worked with a local designer Flourish Spaces to bring the concept to life. Every aspect of successful recovery housing and shelter environments have been infused into the final designs. The Flourish Spaces team also took cues from “residential and hospitality spaces as a jumping off point.”

“We didn’t want it to feel institutional,” owner Stevie McFadden said. “We also didn’t want it to feel traditional–there is nothing traditional about this organization. It is innovative.”

When completed, the 150,000 square foot building will feature:

  • CARITAS: The organization’s administrative offices will be centralized at this site.

  • The Healing Place for Women: A substance use recovery program available to low-income women in the region, a sister program to the agency’s current program The Healing Place for Men.

  • 47-Sober Living Apartments: For graduate’s transitioning and for qualifying community members.

  • Furniture Bank: A social enterprise accepting furniture donations and refurbishing them for sale or donation to low-income households.

  • Emergency Shelter: This new facility will replace the mobile, congregation-based model that has operated in the Richmond region for more than 30 years.

  • CARITAS Works: A workforce development program for men and women facing significant barriers to employment.

 

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Drink Beer and Help Friends of James River Parks

Raging James Pilsner is the latest release from Legend Brewing and a portion of each sale will got to Friends of James River Park.

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Friends of James River Park announced their latest partnership today and it’s tasty.

Legend Brewing Company is the oldest operating craft brewery in Virginia. As their Vice President of Operations, Dave Gott, told us, “It’s important that you be a part of the community – not just IN the community.” Legend has hosted our board meetings and annual get-togethers. On any given weekend (and often any given day) their parking lot is full of cars carrying kayaks and bicycles, and their patio is crowded with people who have spent the day enjoying the James River Park System.

Given their proximity to the James River and our Park, we were elated when they floated the idea of creating a special beer for our organization. Raging James Pilsner is their newest release, and a portion of the sale of each can will help us continue our efforts. Legend has supported Richmond for almost 30 years, and as we approach 50 years of commitment to the Park, we’re honored to partner with them on this.

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How to move a snapping turtle across the road and why.

You’re most likely to see a female Snapping Turtle on the road crossing to find a good dry spot to lay her eggs.

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Snapping Turtles are one of the scariest and coolest looking critters you can run across in the Richmond area. Unfortunately many times you’ll see them on the road and that is not a good spot for a Snapping Turtle or any turtle to be. It’s egg-laying season so female Snapping Turtles are on the move and crossing roads. Snappers travel long distances away from water to search for a nest site on dry land.

NEVER pick up a Snapping Turtle by its tail because doing so can cause spinal injury. Gloves are recommended when available. Always move turtles in the direction they were headed and do not relocate.

Snapping Turtle populations have declined significantly in recent years due to over-harvesting, poaching, and poor reproductive success.Snapping Turtles don’t reach maturity until 6 to 7 years of age and female turtles lay a single clutch of 26 to 55 eggs once a year. There is a high nest failure rate, with most of the eggs eaten by predators resulting in only 6 to 9 percent of hatchlings surviving.

If you can here is how to safely move a snapping turtle.

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Suspect Sought in McDonough Street Shooting

Today at approximately 2:43 p.m. RPD officers responded to the 900 block of McDonough Street for the report of shots fired. Officers arrived and located two adult males down with apparent gunshot wounds.

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From RPD

Today at approximately 2:43 p.m. RPD officers responded to the 900 block of McDonough Street for the report of shots fired. Officers arrived and located two adult males down with apparent gunshot wounds. One of the victim’s injuries are considered life threatening.

They were both transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact

Major Crimes Detective C. Tovar at (804)-646-6739 or Crime Stoppers at

(804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.

From other reports we’re hearing a bartender and a customer at Ironclad Pizza were the victims.

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