Richmond City Council discuss funding for cold weather shelters

Richmond City Council is discussing funding for the city's cold weather shelters.
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 7:36 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -Richmond City council introduced $1 million for Richmond Continuum of Care partners like CARITAS and the Salvation Army in a Monday council meeting.

That money is being set aside because the city’s other two cold-weather emergency shelters are still not open. Currently, the city only has one women and children’s and a men’s shelter that can help just a few dozen people.

Most Continuum of Care shelters have criteria for people to be serviced, while the city’s shelters don’t.

Richmond’s other two shelters are supposed to open by Dec. 15, but there has been no word from the city yet about whether those will be ready to go.

“I think one of the major problems that I have is that The SPCA has a plan for inclement weather to round up animals to make sure that they’re not out in the element but for humans, we don’t have such a plan,” said Virginia NAACP Richmond Housing Chair Tracey Hardney-Scott.

Council also plans to discuss funding for all four of those shelters and a program designed to keep the power on for Richmonders and cut down on evictions.

Some councilors say that the money is coming too late and was needed months ago. A report by Homeward found that during the pandemic, there was a 92 percent increase in the number of people in families needing shelter services in the region.

The funding introduced in Monday’s meeting will be up for a vote at the Dec. 12 committee hearing. Another $1 million was introduced for the Family Crisis Fund, which will be discussed this Thursday and then will be back for a vote before the full council on Dec. 12 as well.