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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.

RVAHub Staff

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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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Suspect Sought in Manchester Larceny

Between 7 a.m. and 7:20 a.m. on September 2, 2020, the suspect broke into a detached garage in the 1500 block of Porter Street and stole various electrical tools.

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From RPD:

Richmond Police detectives need the public’s help to identify the suspect in the attached photos. He is suspected of breaking into a garage in the Manchester neighborhood and stealing several items.

Between 7 a.m. and 7:20 a.m. on September 2, 2020, the suspect broke into a detached garage in the 1500 block of Porter Street and stole various electrical tools.

Anyone with information about the identity of the suspect is asked to call First Precinct Detective T. Wilson at (804) 646-0672 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.

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RTD Published 4th District Candidate Survey Response

Learn more about the candidates for the 4th District.

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RTD has sent questionnaires to the city council and school board candidates. Over the weekend they posted their 4th District candidate questionnaires responses.

 

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Crossroads to Re-Open on September 30th

When it opens, Crossroads will be to-go and offer limited patio seating.

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It’s been a long 6 months without one of the neighborhood favorites, Crossroads. As you can see from the above sign, they’re planning on re-opening on Wednesday, September 30th. When I stopped by to take the photo Will Herring (owner) was there working on the interior and stepped out to briefly chat.

Just like all of us it’s been a struggle to figure out what was best for his business, employees, and customers. He has truly missed being part of the community. After looking at the limited options, he’s decided that the to-go and limited patio sitting are the best paths forward. Reminiscent of  an old 50’s drive-in, take-out joint customers will be placing their orders at the window to the right of the door and picking up around the corner if taking off and at the windows to the left if claiming a patio spot. The menu, will be very similar to before the closure and it wouldn’t be Crossroads without an impressive beer list.  Some signage is still on the way to make it easier to navigate but Will and his staff are very excited to see their neighbors soon.

After opening on the 30th the plan is to be open from 8 AM – 3 PM, Wednesday – Sunday. Expanding hours and days as needed. Be sure to give their Facebook a follow to keep up with any changes.

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