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City Council OKs ‘Center of Hope’ partnership with Salvation Army

Lambert listens during a Council meeting
Shaban Athuman
VPM News File
Council member Ann-Frances Lambert listens during a Richmond City Council meeting on Monday, April 24, 2023 at City Hall in Richmond, Virginia.

Northside shelter to offer at least 100 beds, wraparound services.

Richmond City Council moved forward on a trio of ordinances aimed at forging a partnership with The Salvation Army Central Virginia Area Command.

The partnership will establish a multipurpose shelter facility with at least 100 beds, aligning with the city’s 10-year strategy to combat homelessness. It represents a joint investment between the city and CVAC to refurbish the location, turning it into a comprehensive shelter.

entrance to building
Connor Scribner
VPM News File
The Salvation Army's office in Richmond's Monroe Ward.

The Center of Hope — slated for 1900 Chamberlayne Avenue once the space is renovated — will accommodate both families and single adults, providing a variety of programs and resources in collaboration with the city’s Human Services department and other local organizations. These services encompass everything from job readiness and life skills training to mental health support and substance abuse counseling.

It’s an all hands-on-deck affair, Council Vice President Ann-Frances Lambert said Monday.

“It’s going to take collaboration, communication and community to make this a success,” she said.

The partnership entails a $7-million investment from the city for the Center of Hope Capital Campaign, contingent upon CVAC raising $8 million in matching funds for the project within the next three years. The agreement underscores transparency and accountability, and includes mechanisms to ensure the effective use of public funds, according to the Salvation Army.

Council President Kristen Nye echoed Lambert’s sentiments — while adding she’s excited for the potential inclusion of a walk-up resource center for people experiencing homelessness or in need of wraparound services.

“At this point, it’s an idea,” said Nye. “But we're putting it on paper and keeping a place there for it at the shelter. I think there's just amazing potential.”

Barry Greene Jr. is the Equitable Cities Reporting Fellow for Reparations Narratives.
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