Non-profit aiming for new shelter for Richmond homeless population, veterans among them

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Lack of water, toiletries, and just a place to use the bathroom are challenges homeless people — including homeless veterans — face each and every day.

“I like to clean up every day. I try to be clean, you know getting, clothes, things like that,” said homeless veteran, William Corbett.

Corbett, a former Marine, has spent more than two decades living in Richmond.

The past six years he’s been living on the streets.

He recently got a free haircut in Abner Clay Park as part of an event hosted by a new non-profit in Central Virginia called Insightful Solutions.

Insightful Solutions has a mission to provide outreach services to the elderly, homeless, incarcerated and LGBT youth.

The event – called “Never Forsaken” – provided non-perishables, toiletries, clothes, and shoes in addition to the haircuts.

Many of the items were gone within the first half hour of the event.

“Our hope is to draw enough information and statistics to show we need a shelter here in the Richmond area and we’re trying to get a 120-bed facility,” said President and CEO, Robin Whitehead.

Veterans are included in the groups targeted by Insightful Solutions, particularly the homeless and incarcerated populations.

Whitehead is a disabled veteran herself, saying she can relate to the plight of homeless and disabled veterans after some challenging times in her own life.

And the volunteer who gave free haircuts to some of Richmond’s homeless at Abner Clay Park — he’s a veteran, too.

Marcellus Robinson says he was glad to give back with a skill he’s picked up through the years.

“These are my brothers out here you know,” said Robinson.

“We all served you know, whether we were in wartime or not…but we were always on the call of duty. It feels good to come out here and see my brothers and sisters that served.”

As for homeless veteran William Corbett, he says he is waiting for disability benefits right now.

While he waits, he says his experience in the Marine Corps is used often.

“Whenever I go into a situation I’m aware of my surroundings,” said Corbett. “That’s what they teach you in the Marines. Be aware of who’s around you, know the people that you’re dealing with.”

If you’d like to volunteer your time or resources to help the mission of Insightful Solutions, they have a GoFundMe page.

Send your ideas for veteran and military-related stories in Central Virginia to ireport8@wric.com.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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