There are a number of ways you can join CARITAS and our partners in making a difference in the lives of people experiencing homelessness. By doing so, you help people find pathway to self-sufficiency and dignity.
How Can I Help a Homeless Person I Meet?
You can direct them to a number of local services:
- Homeward’s Street Sheet features a list of resources for people experiencing homelessness including law enforcement, shelter information, mental health resources, and more.
- If you someone is 3 days or less away from losing housing or are already experiencing homelessness, call the Shelter Diversion Line at 804-972-0813. This phone line facilitates access to resources and shelter alternatives.
- For shelter, call 648-4177, the Commonwealth Catholic Charities homeless services line. They provide assessment and crisis mediation services for individuals and families in the greater Richmond region who are homeless or believe they may become homeless.
- Dial “211” for utilities/rent/mortgage and other human and social service assistance.
- A list of more service providers can be found at www.yourunitedway.org, www.giverichmond.org.
- For legal resources, visit courtsystem.org.
How Else Can I End Homelessness in the Richmond Area?
There are a number of ways to join CARITAS and our partners to create a brighter community for everyone.
- You can fund programs like CARITAS working to end homelessness.
- You can volunteer to increase our impact.
- Use the information above to directly help a person in need.
- Click here for more ways to and homelessness in Greater Richmond.
How Can I Help a Panhandler?
Professionals working in human and homeless services recognize that all panhandlers are not homeless. Only a small percentage of people experiencing homelessness panhandle. Click here to learn more about panhandling.
What is a Coordinated Entry System?
CARITAS is a member of the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care, which seeks to prevent, reduce, and end homelessness through effective and coordinated community-wide efforts. CARITAS and The Healing Place work with 20+ other organizations in Richmond to set policies, track homeless individuals, and ensure individuals and families in Richmond are receiving access to emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing.
How Does CARITAS Help People Get Housing?
While housing is not a part of our mission, CARITAS Shelters follow a Housing First model in partnership with other local organizations. Housing First is a homeless assistance approach that prioritizes providing people experiencing homelessness with permanent housing as quickly as possible while also providing voluntary supportive services. What differentiates a Housing First approach from other strategies is that there is an immediate and primary focus on helping individuals and families quickly access housing options. The CARITAS Shelter structure minimizes barriers that prevent individuals from entering shelter so that those who enter can focus on moving forward to reach their goals. This approach has the benefit of being consistent with what most people experiencing homelessness want and seek help to achieve. Learn More About Rapid Rehousing.
How Many People are Homeless in the Richmond area?
Homeward collects data via a bi-annual point-in-time counts of people experiencing homelessness and through the Homeward Community Information System (HCIS) database. Click here for the latest data on the homeless population in the Greater Richmond area.