Because funding has been exhausted, the Mayor’s Housing First Initiative in partnership with the Richmond Rotary Club is winding down. See Housing First Successes – Need More Funding. The original source of funds was the Mayor’s Community Fund which raised funds from golf tournaments, fundraisers and donations from local residents and businesses. We saw this as a more effective way of ending homelessness than the City of Richmond’s policy of simply providing services to and perpetuating homeless camps.
The cost of an apartment for a year is about $20,000. The RPA-controlled City Council has spent over $1.5 million perpetuating homeless camps when they could have used the same amount of money to provide housing for at least 75 persons.
Our final expenditure was for Angela Snowden, who moved to a studio apartment in Richmond with financial support from Richmond Rotary’s Housing First program. Snowden said it was hard to keep connected to her family when she was living in a tent at Rydin Road. Now she can invite her teen-age son to visit in her new apartment, and even occasionally stay overnight. Snowden is working full time as a home care provider, and expects to be able to cover the rent herself when the Rotary rent subsidy runs out a year from now.
Figure 1- Angela Snowden at her new apartment