The Salvation Army
of Central Virgina

This is Hope Campaign Logo - Blue Paint streak representing a roof with a Salvation Army  logo superimposed.

A Campaign to Transform Lives

Six members of the Crumble family standing on the front stairs to a facility smiling and in winter clothing.

This is Service.

Since 1885, The Salvation Army has been serving the Richmond area. Today, The Salvation Army Central Virginia Area Command is delivering hope and meeting needs across 16 localities in the Richmond area. Serving the poorest of the poor and our most vulnerable men, women, and children, The Salvation Army has a vision to make an even greater positive impact, elevate neighborhoods, strengthen community collaborations, and provide opportunities to transform lives.

This is a Crisis.

More than 23% of the population lives at or below poverty level in the Greater Richmond Area.

Every day, parents choose to buy food for their children over paying rent or other bills.

A January 2022 assessment reported urgent levels of need not seen since 2016, with 697 individuals including 259 people in families experiencing homelessness.

Family homeless rates are currently significantly higher than our regions historical average and 129% higher than a pre-pandemic count conducted in January 2020. 

A primary driver of this increase is the significant lack of affordable housing and related rent increases of 21-28% in our region.

The most recent counts from the 2019-20 school year reported 852 homeless students in Richmond, 922 in Henrico County, and 769 in Chesterfield County.

A pandemic-era moratorium on evictions expired in Virginia on June 30, 2022 with a dramatic increase in evictions expected as a result.

Many individuals become homeless through a devastating personal crisis – often a crisis that is out of their control. These crises might include sudden job loss, intimate partner violence, substance abuse, or simply having trouble making ends meet. In fact, 50% of the homeless individuals with children in 2020 were employed. 

The Salvation Army has been providing shelter and nutritious meals for decades in the Richmond area. Our staff is compassionate and dedicated, but our facilities are outdated, inaccessible for individuals with limited mobility, and fail to meet the need even when operating at capacity. 

The photos below just begin to tell the story. 

BEFORE Image: Close up of bed and crib in current shelter.
BEFORE Image: Photo showing Men's sleeping area.

This is a Solution.

 The Salvation Army has a bold vision to expand shelter and increase services to address these community needs.  We will renovate the former Eternity Church site, located in the heart of the Chamberlayne Industrial Center – an area targeted by the City of Richmond for revitalization.

This new facility – The Center of Hope – will increase emergency shelter beds from 55 to 96, be accessible to those with disabilities, and almost quadruple the program space from 9,000 sq. ft. to 35,000 sq. ft. We want to create a secure environment that feels safe and inspires a sense of pride in home living and care. Importantly, the Center of Hope will allow homeless families to remain together, keeping kids and parents free of the worries associated with separate housing facilities. This is compassionate housing.

Increased capacity means increased opportunities to reserve several emergency shelter beds for medical respite from illness or injury, which will help prevent the spread of disease in the homeless population as well as prevent expensive public costs for emergency room care. Often, hospitals are forced to discharge homeless patients directly to the streets.

Overall, the new Center of Hope will provide transformational possibilities for 75% more people experiencing homelessness than we currently can serve every day.

Community. Collaboration.

Community: Since 2015, The Salvation Army has engaged in comprehensive strategic planning both internal to the organization and within the context of our broader Richmond community.  Homeward, the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care, other service providers, area businesses, and local governments support The Salvation Army’s vision and our plan which further aligns with the city’s strategic plan and The Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth. 

Collaboration: Community collaboration is essential to providing transformative services for our neighbors who are homeless. Partners like CARITAS Shelter Works, STEP, VCU Health, Richmond Behavioral Health Authority, Jobs for Life, and Humankind to deliver life-changing services from a single point of contact. The Center of Hope will also allow for hands-on education for social work students at Virginia Union University and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Accomplishment: The Salvation Army has a proven track record of helping individuals move from a place of despair to an experience of hope and transformation. We have been serving the RVA area for more than 137 years. We’ve grown and evolved with the community to meet emerging needs including the 2019 reopening of The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club in the East End.

This is Transformation.

The Pathway of Hope

The Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope initiative is transformative for families with children who want to break the generational cycle of poverty and enable a path out of the constant crisis. It helps families overcome challenges like unemployment, unstable housing, and lack of education. With an approach rooted in compassionate case management, The Salvation Army and collaborative partners can guide families toward increased stability and, ultimately, self- sufficiency.

The cycles of poverty that The Pathway of Hope is designed to address illustrates exactly why the Center of Hope project is so important for individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the Richmond area. Being able to provide additional individuals with a safe and secure place to sleep provides an opportunity to overcome their circumstances and empower them to move forward. We believe that we can help those parents, like Martin, who want so desperately to be able to provide for their children and families but face situations that are so often beyond their control. 

There may always be people living in our society who are disadvantaged or homeless. However, with the help of friends like you, we will build on our true Cornerstone to help everyone who seeks help, wants help, and desires to have permanent housing, stability, and self-sufficiency.

Major Samuel Kim

Area Commander

Portrait of Martin holding his young son's hand standing outside the Salvation Army in Richmond, Virginia

Martin’s Story

I’m a hard worker and I was good at my job. Providing for my 7-year-old son Cody is why I do what I do to put a roof over his head and let him know every day that he is loved. We had a good life and I didn’t think it could fall apart so easily.

Tyshell - parent holding child in front of Salvation Army bulletin board.

Tyshell’s Story

Throughout 2021, The Salvation Army of Central Virginia sheltered 122 homeless individuals and provided hot meals to 1,825 individuals through its homeless outreach ministry.

This is Your Opportunity.

We all have an opportunity to bring hope to the lives of our friends and neighbors experiencing homelessness right here in Richmond and Central Virginia.

We are blessed to be able to cast this ambitious vision knowing the spirit of generosity of the people who call this place home. The need is urgent and we know that you and other caring members of our community will be moved to make real and lasting change in the lives of those who need it most. 

Currently, The Salvation Army is requesting pledges and contributions made over a 3 to 5-year period to help realize our vision. These include cash contributions as well as a variety of other assets. To learn more, contact us today.