RICHMOND, Va. -- Melissa Morgan felt a calling to create a place where people could come for food, clothing, and guidance.
That was in 2012.
Ten years later, A Place of Miracles serves thousands of unsheltered people and families living in motels along Route 1/Richmond Highway/Jefferson Davis Highway corridor.
The non-profit organization recently purchased another nearby location and within the month, will open a new cafe, job center, and offer counseling services.
“When we fully open after renovation, we’ll be serving Tuesday through Friday all hot meals,” Morgan said. “They’ll come in and it’s almost like a restaurant. They’ll sit down with their families, and they’ll have dinner.”
Morgan’s mission began humbly, nearly a decade ago, when she and her husband began delivering food to families out of the back of their truck.
Eventually, A Place of Miracles found its home in the back of a restaurant where volunteers could help sort food from the Chesterfield Food Bank, cook hot meals, and deliver a weekly supply of food to people in need.
Last year, with the help of a grant, Morgan found a location on Metro Court North in Chesterfield, where operations could expand to include job and counseling services.
She said the need for help was greater than ever, as people were displaced by the pandemic.
“When we first started, it was around 125 to 175 (people) a week,” Morgan said. “Now it varies on the week from 250 and our top number was 880.”
While A Place of Miracles has been featured in two documentaries, Morgan said she hoped to spread the word to more people in the community about their services.
The organization not only serves and delivers meals but provides a clothes cottage, school backpacks, and toys, but also Easter baskets during the holidays.
With the expansion of the job and counseling center, Morgan said she hoped to help people who are struggling to find a job or those facing mental health issues.
“Doing this all these years, what I’ve noticed is trauma and dealing with trauma and getting to the root issues will bring more freedom to the ones who are suffering from different mental health crises,” Morgan said.
A Place of Miracles survives and thrives on donations, assistance from churches, volunteers, and the help of Richmond-area restaurants and grocery stores, including Kroger.
While it’s an around-the-clock mission, Morgan said it was a job that is rewarding because it brings hope to others when they need it most.
“I’ve seen a lot of young people who have turned their life around,” Morgan said. “They are born with a purpose, and they have dreams along the way, but a lot of times, drugs and other life circumstances don’t bring them into their destiny. My heart is to see, especially young people, fulfill their destiny.”
Click here for more information or call 804-293-0201.
This segment is sponsored by WHOA Behavioral Health.