Collaborative COVID-19 Response Planning & Success in Richmond, Virginia
[A volunteer meets with an individual experiencing homelessness as Homeward conducted the Richmond region's part of the statewide 2020 Point-in-Time (PIT) count on January 22 and 23. The data and partnerships built through that collective effort guided the agency's coordinated COVID-19 response. Photo by Nick Seitz courtesy of Homeward.]
A volunteer meets with an individual experiencing homelessness as Homeward conducted the Richmond region's part of the statewide 2020 Point-in-Time (PIT) count on January 22 and 23. The data and partnerships built through that collective effort guided the agency's coordinated COVID-19 response. Photo by Nick Seitz courtesy of Homeward.

As the planning and coordinating organization for homeless services in the greater Richmond region, Homeward is grateful for the successful partnership between the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care, the City of Richmond, local faith communities and concerned citizens in the collaborative efforts to get people out of large encampments and into safe shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic. Large encampments are at high-risk of a COVID-19 outbreak and many people living outdoors are older and/or have medically-compromised immune systems. As of March 30, 100 people previously experiencing unsheltered homelessness in Richmond were successfully placed in hotels and emergency shelter beds to reduce these risks and to connect them with ongoing resources.

"This collaborative effort among Continuum of Care providers including our Healthcare for the Homeless provider has been amazing," reflected Homeward Executive Director Kelly King Horne. "The work that HUD has supported for the last two decades in our community has enabled us to leverage all available resources to address the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors during the pandemic."

Moving forward, The Greater Richmond Continuum of Care will shift its focus to connect people to stable housing and services such as employment, education and healthcare. The collaborative is confident that the strength of the partnerships formed during the Richmond community's COVID-19 pandemic response will continue in the coming weeks and months to provide the services and resources to the people placed in safe shelter who were previously experiencing unsheltered homelessness.

Additional Resources
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