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Groups help the homeless on Christmas Eve and beyond

Posted at 5:35 PM, Dec 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-24 17:36:20-05

RICHMOND, Va. — On a rainy Christmas Eve in Richmond’s Abner Clay Park, a blessing for people in need.

Feed the Streets RVA provides the less fortunate with clothes, food, and hygiene products.

“We saw plenty of homeless people on the streets and we said we wanted to make a change,” organizer Cory Jones said. “So, instead of talking about it. We’ve put all of our resources together to make a change.”

Monroe Park in Richmond is usually the place where the homeless and others in shelters gather to get food and other items they need that they could not afford. But the park is now closed in order to undergo a $6 million renovation.

Many of the homeless have relocated to Abner Clay Park in Jackson Ward.

“I don’t think a lot of people are really welcomed here because it’s much different [than Monroe Park],” volunteer Mary Williams said. “People considered Monroe Park their home.”

“To take their way of life is very heartbreaking,” Jones added. “If someone would take my way of life…it would hurt.”

And other groups, like Have A Heart 4 The Homeless, are doing their part.

“We know that homelessness is a great part of our city. And so, for you to close and not have a back up, I am really sad to hear that,” Joe’l Chancellor, with Have A Heart 4 The Homeless, said.

For eight years, organizers have been helping families going through tough times.

It starts with the annual Christmas Eve celebration. They serve hot meals and hand out clothing. They also provide shelter and other resources.

“I know that it will be a lot more people that need help because the park is closed. But we get out in the trenches anyway and we meet the need where it needs to be met,” Janasee Estep, with Have A Heart 4 The Homeless, said.