KOH2RVA: Day 181

Good news!  The Kingdom of Heaven is coming to Richmond, Virginia!  This letter from CARITAS, one of our partners in the effort to end homelessness, will make a believer out of you!

To: CARITAS Congregation Partners
From: Sharon Drescher, CARITAS Volunteer Manager
Date: March 5, 2013
Subject: CARITAS and the Fight to End Homelessness

homeless manTogether we are fighting the good fight against Homelessness and we are WINNING! The most recent numbers show that our overall numbers are down. This is good news! We thank you for joining us in this valuable work and hope you know we could not do this without all of you.

CARITAS started as a winter cots program nearly 25 years ago with limited client services. Learning from our experience and innovating along the way, CARITAS added case management to address the root causes of homelessness, such as mental illness and addiction. Today, there is a newer model that is proving to be more effective and efficient in helping the homeless become independent in our community. Research shows that people are better able to become self-sufficient if they live in housing (rather than emergency shelter) early on and are surrounded there with the support services they need. This focus on prevention and rapid re-housing has been endorsed by Homeward, our authority on best practices, and government funding sources are moving in this direction as well. We join with our other partners in human services area in supporting these coordinated community-wide efforts.

Even though the emphasis has shifted, we recognize that there will always be a need for emergency shelter. CARITAS has made a commitment to continue to provide emergency shelter for the neediest among us, and we will continue to need you, our congregation partners.


For those of you who are currently hosting CARITAS Shelter guests this means there will be some changes in our available weeks. CARITAS will not need to open a second men’s site during the winter months; so, there will be fewer host weeks needed during those months. We are hoping that many of you will schedule your host weeks at another time of year. There is always a need for hosting clients in the summer months.


There are many additional ways to participate and support our local mission. Our other programs include: the CARITAS Furniture Bank, CARITAS Works (career readiness programs offer many great ways to get to know us even better), and The Healing Place, our new 12-step residential recovery program.

• You, and anyone from your congregation, are invited to visit us, attend our uplifting Morning Motivations session at 8:45 am M-F or come to New Volunteer Orientation any Wednesday at 1pm.

• Furniture/Household Essential Drives are perfect ways to help us keep our shelves full and ready to serve our 80 families each month.

• A furniture build or a men’s clothing drive are good opportunities for your youth group or Sunday school class.

• Your financial support allows us to provide help across our programs where it’s needed the most.

Moving people from Shelter to Stability is not a band aid quick fix but a long-term effort to address a community crisis. Working together we can help solve this problem. Your ongoing support is a vital part of that solution.

Trust us to continue to bring you this important mission work. As the largest homeless services program in the area, we understand the problem, work closely with other agencies to leverage our resources and will always need your help to assist our most vulnerable.

Our doors at 1125 E. Commerce Road are open, and we are ready to engage you in purpose that transforms lives right here in our community. Thank you for your continued support, and please let me know if you have questions. I can be reached at 804-343-5008 x424 or sdrescher@caritasva.org

2 thoughts on “KOH2RVA: Day 181

  1. I am so glad to see this. My family was involved in Caritas at FBC in the very beginning. In fact, my daughter who was 10 at the time (34 now), came with us and played card games with the homeless men while we served meals. For a few years, it moved to St. Paul’s downtown, and then began the rotation around many churches who become involved. Every time they came to FBC, my Sunday School class, New Directions, was involved also. In addition to this, we were all involved with Grace Fellowship when it began as a feeding program in Monroe Park.

    There is so much history that I don’t think is recorded about the efforts of FBC in this community. I love these blog that won’t let us forget in the future.

  2. I am so proud of my church and all we for the homeless and the prevention of homelessness!!

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