How you can help Richmond kids 'going through so much’

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Posted at 5:24 PM, May 24, 2024

RICHMOND, Va. -- The founder of Richmond nonprofit Just C fulfilled a years-long dream when she opened a youth community center to help young people cope with the trauma of gun violence and create safe spaces to decompress.

Chenice Brown is no stranger to the damage and trauma that gun violence leaves behind in her Richmond community. She spends her days walking young people through these life challenges, doing her best to expose them to opportunities.

She celebrated with supporters and friends recently when she opened a community center on Mosby Street.

Chenice Brown
Chenice Brown

"What's most important is that my kids have a safe space to decompress," she said. "Kids are going through so much right now and they rarely have a place where they can unapologetically be them."

One student said it feels "amazing" to have somebody like Ms. Chenice on her side.

"You got to have somebody that's so close to you and that's caring for you," she said. "So we have somebody that's so close and that's caring for you, it's a whole different feeling."

The new chapter for JUST C was made even sweeter as Brown opened the center on the cusp of a new life chapter.

"Today is my birthday and I have had a tremendous amount of beautiful people come into this space today," she said.

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Across the center, eye-catching billboards highlight the impactful programs Just C offers. But one photo is a sobering reminder of why her passion is so intense.

Her nephew Teon Harvey, a victim of gun violence in Richmond just a few months ago pushes her to continue her heart's mission to keep as many kids safe as possible, and to give them hope for the future.

"We have a scholarship in my nephew's name," Brown said. "He was murdered in Whitcomb. He was 16 years old, a student of Varina High School. So that's another initiative that we have we are doing to keep his name alive."

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The wall of wishes containing items needed at the center is just one way the community can help. Just grab one and make a donation.

Brown said the center is also in need of more mentors.

The Just C Community Center is located at 707 Mosby Street in Richmond. If you’d like to donate or volunteer with the nonprofit, click here for information.

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