NBC12 Viewpoint: Helping the homeless

By Don Richards, NBC12 Vice President and General Manager

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The homeless population has increased in Richmond just as it has in most cities. The majority of the new homeless are often known as the economic homeless.

People who have been displaced by lost jobs, foreclosures and other financial problems. In Richmond the majority of the economic homeless have shelter and they are usually back in a home environment within a matter of months.

But the struggle for the chronic homeless is another matter. Many of the chronically homeless on our streets fight a cycle of alcohol and substance abuse. Richmond has its share of these people too.

But we also have a community resource known as The Healing Place. The mission of the Healing Place is to reach the chronically homeless. They offer recovery for the addicted with the goal of restoring productive lives. The program is unique because of its combination of services including a shelter, a recovery program, job training, a non medical de-tox unit and a medical clinic.

Since it opened in 2005 The Healing Place has helped nearly 300 men complete the year long recovery program. So far, nearly 8 in 10 remain clean and sober.

Like all non-profits the Healing Place is feeling the effects of the recession. Funding is scarce and jobs for the men in recovery are even scarcer. You can learn more about the Healing Place and its remarkable program by going to www.thprichmond.com.

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