Mayor Stoney announces new George Wythe High School to be next school construction project

Today, in front of George Wythe High School, Mayor Stoney announced that the Southside high school will be the next major school facility project to benefit Richmond’s students.The Dreams4RPS Strategic Plan, supported by the School Board and funded in full by the Stoney administration, identified Wythe as the next facility in need of reinvention and rebuilding after the three new schools the administration unveiled this summer: Cardinal Elementary, Henry Marsh Elementary and River City Middle.With the commitment, the School Board has the responsibility to lead a rigorous community engagement process to ensure plans for the school reflect the values and priorities of the community. “Just this summer, we’ve proven this is possible when we put aside the self and focus on the community,” said Mayor Stoney of the school redesign process. “Together, we’ll build a high school that reflects the potential, innovation and spirit of the students inside.”Mayor Stoney was joined by Councilmember S…

City provides update on Greater Richmond Continuum of Care services for those experiencing homelessness

The mayor was joined by Kelly King Horne, Executive Director of Homeward, the lead agency of the Greater Richmond Continuum of Care (GRCoC), to provide an update on services for unsheltered individuals and families in the coming months. 
The city is a key funding partner of the GRCoC, the region’s network of support for those at imminent risk of or experiencing homelessness. 
The GRCoC offers wraparound services for unsheltered individuals, from housing to food delivery to job training. The variety of GRCoC member organizations currently provide a spectrum of services. Most shelter options are non-congregate, traditionally a hotel room to allow for privacy and independence and guard against community spread of the coronavirus. 
Said the mayor of the challenge: “Until the Richmond region and the nation as a whole address its affordable housing crisis and eradicate poverty, there will always be more individuals and families experiencing homelessness and housing instability who rely on and,…

Stoney administration proposes surplus funds to address three public health needs in city

Mayor Stoney recommends City Council allocate funding to mental health pilot, doula fund, gun violence preventionThe Stoney administration, working alongside Richmond City Health District, has proposed $500,000 of special purpose reserves from the projected FY2020 budget surplus go to funding three distinct public health efforts in the city.The mayor is proposing the following:
$200,000, Resource Center Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Pilot, partnering with Richmond City Health District, Richmond Behavioral Health Authority. The yearlong pilot will fund a full-time clinician, a licensed substance use disorder counselor and a peer recovery specialist to work out of RCHD’s resource centers and provide necessary services to residents in their communities. $150,000, Richmond Doula Fund, partnering with Richmond City Health District. The Doula Fund will reimburse doulas for services and fund doula training with the goal of decreasing racial disparities in maternal and infant health…

Stoney administration offers curbside tax relief document pickup for elderly and disabled

For the first time, the City of Richmond Finance Department will pick up application materials for those interested in applying for the city’s Tax Relief for the Elderly and Disabled Program.“Due to the ongoing pandemic, we know some seniors are uncomfortable visiting public spaces like a post office or City Hall,” said Finance Director John Wack. “We want everyone eligible for this program to participate, but transportation and public health concerns are very real barriers to participation. With curbside document pickup, we can remove that barrier.”If applicants request curbside service, Department of Finance staff will visit the provided address to retrieve application materials from residents. Pickup will be contactless to comply with public health best practices.At the Monday, September 28 meeting of Richmond City Council, the council approved the Stoney administration’s request to extend the deadline for the Tax Relief for the Elderly and Disabled Program to October 30.Participan…

Stoney administration awards $1.32M in support to businesses, extends deadline for grant program

The City of Richmond has approved the first wave of grant awards for the Richmond Recovers Grant Program. 123 applicants were notified of their approved grant applications and will receive a total of $1.32 million in grant funding. 
Of the 123 approved grant recipients, 42 are restaurants and nine are non-profit organizations. The city allocated three million of its CARES Act dollars to fund the grant program.
“This grant program is providing much needed financial relief to small businesses and non-profit organizations that have lost revenue due to COVID-19,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “We will continue our efforts to make more financial resources available to help our Richmond businesses.”
The Richmond Recovers Grant Program still has $1.68 million to award. The Department of Economic Development is working with grant applicants to ensure that all of the required information is submitted in order for their application to be evaluated.
“Nearly 500 grant applications were started using our o…

City receives Capital One grant to help fund equity study, training, action plans

The City of Richmond has received a grant from Capital One through the company’s recently launched Impact Initiative, a program that seeks to close gaps in equity and promote social and economic opportunity in the Richmond region. The support from Capital One will help the city fund an equity study, equity and inclusivity training for city staff, and the development of action plans to operationalize solutions throughout city policies, practices and procedures. “Our goal is to normalize racial equity and justice within city conversations, work and culture and operationalize them so that equity and justice are visible in everything our city does,” said Mayor Stoney. “We are truly grateful for the support of partners like Capital One helping to expand our capacity to do this critical work.”“Richmond was once the second largest epicenter of the domestic trading of enslaved Africans, served as the former capital of the confederacy and was a stalwart of Massive Resistance, so it is unequivo…

Stoney administration introduces ordinance to amend scope of Devil’s Half Acre project, acquire part of Burial Ground for Free People of Colour and Slaves

At the September 28 meeting of Richmond City Council, the Stoney administration introduced an ordinance to amend the proposed Capital Improvements Projects for FY2020-2021, expanding the scope of the Heritage Center/Lumpkin’s Jail (Devil’s Half Acre) project. The ordinance proposes the city acquire 1305 North 5thStreet, which historically served as part of the Burial Ground for Free People of Colour and Slaves.The ordinance amends the Devil’s Half Acre program in alignment with the recommendations of the Shockoe Alliance and tireless work of community advocates. If the ordinance is adopted, the project would include:A pavilion and museum at the Devil’s Half Acre Site;Planning requirements for the proposed Heritage Center;Design of and improvements to the Richmond Slave Trail and Trail Head; andThe acquisition of 1305 North 5thStreet and extension of the Slave Trail to that property.1305 North 5thStreet was historically used as part of the Burial Ground for Free People of Colour and Sl…