State Charity Opens Relief Center for Homeless

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)—On Tuesday night, ABC 8 News brought you the touching story of Bon Air Baptist Church members who gathered blankets, food, water and hot coffee, and distributed them at a homeless camp during the polar vortex. The story not only became our most popular on Facebook, but also inspired a local charity to take action.

Commonwealth Catholic Charities, one of Virginia's largest charities, is reaching out to those who don't have a home of their own.

“If you live in the metro area, we will help you any way we can,” said Commonwealth Catholic Charities Spokesman Graham Sellors. “The last three or four days we've been open, and we've been ready for them, trying to help them out.”

The organization has set up a relief center for the homeless that's open during the day. Everyone—no matter where they are—is welcome to come and stay warm.

“Great thing is when they come, they just don't sit there and do nothing,” Sellors said. “We're trying to help them with counseling; we're trying to link them to other services.”

Commonwealth Catholic Charities contacted ABC 8 News after we introduced you to Dennis Matthews, a homeless man who lives in a tent in the woods behind a business park in Chesterfield County.

“Get up under them blankets, you can make it,” Matthews said. “Get indoors, somebody's house, and I'm not as comfortable as I am out in the cold, you know. I wanna get back outside.”

Matthews doesn't have a car, but warm help is still available to him.

“If they can come to us, brilliant. We'll help them; we'll look after them,” Sellors said. “If they say, ‘I can't do it,' then we have a mobile unit and one of our staff will go out to them.”

Commonwealth Catholic Charities says it will continue to reach out to the homeless and anyone else in need.

“Our goal is to do whatever we can to make sure the people on the streets have the place to go and are safe,” Sellors said.

Commonwealth Catholic Charities also accepts blankets and food for the homeless. For more information, click here.


Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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