Samuels announces meeting on homelessness and Monroe Park

The Honorable Charles R. Samuels, Councilman, Richmond City Council, North Central 2nd District, will hold a Community Conversation Meeting regarding Homelessness and Richmond’s Monroe Park on Thursday, 4 November 2010 (5-7PM) at Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Richmond Carillon – Auditorium (At Richmond’s Dogwood Dell)(1300 Blanton Avenue). Registration requested by November 1, 2010.

The following is a letter from Councilman Samuels to the community regarding the Community Conversation Meeting:

Dear Friend:

Every day, more than a thousand people in our community experience homelessness. This number includes adults wrestling with addiction and mental health concerns, families with children coping with a job loss, and many others facing a wide array of barriers that impact their ability to get and maintain safe and stable housing. Many times, our faith and community partners are among the first places people reach out to when they are in crisis. We know that this is a need that many of you have been filling for years. Whether it is with a warm meal or dedicated volunteers, Richmond’s faith and community partners have been instrumental in serving the needs of our neighbors experiencing homelessness.

Monroe Park has served as a defacto central location for those seeking to assist our community’s homeless. As the city begins plans to renovate this historic park, I believe it is important to bring together both those needing services and our faith and community partners to discuss ways that we can continue assisting our community’s most vulnerable citizens. I would like your help and leadership to develop a plan to provide continued support for those who depend on the services offered at Monroe Park.

To make certain that we maintain our community’s response to the needs of those seeking assistance, I have invited Homeward, our community’s planning and coordinating agency for homeless services, to partner with my office to facilitate a community conversation about services offered at Monroe Park. The agenda will include an information-sharing session and a discussion of potential strategies for partnership.

We invite you to participate in this community conversation that will be held on Thursday, November 4, 2010 from 5 until 7 p.m. in the auditorium of The Richmond Carillon, 1300 Blanton Avenue at Dogwood Dell. My hope is that it will foster mutual education and identify points of collaboration. I ask for your help so that we, together, can build a plan to truly help people who are homeless and depend on services provided at Monroe Park. We need your leadership, input, support and assistance to shape this plan and these services.

Please register by emailing your name and contact information to Jan Girardi at by Monday, November 1, 2010. You may also register by phone, by calling 804-646-6532.

We hope you join us for this important discussion, and we appreciate the work you do to improve the lives of our neighbors.

Sincerely, Charles R. Samuels, Councilman

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