Richmond, Virginia (PRWEB) June 27, 2012
Homelessness is affecting all parts of the country, but seems to be hitting New York City pretty hard. A Huffington Post article stated that The Coalition for the Homeless reported more than 43,000 homeless individuals, including 17,000 children, stayed in shelters every night in April. For New York, this is an all-time monthly high. Two years ago, the New York homeless shelter system housed 35,469, including 14,578 children, in June. The Richmond Outreach Center is taking steps to reduce the homeless population in Virginia by implementing various ministries.
New York City has tried different methods to help the homeless population, but Huffington Post columnist Steven Cohen says it is not enough. The city plans to add 165,000 affordable housing units by 2014 to reach 500,000 New Yorkers. As of this March, 130,000 units have been created under the New Housing Marketplace Plan. New York City has roughly 400,000 residents living in 334 housing projects, and 235,000 who get rent subsidies through a federal housing program. The New York City Housing Authority stated that on Feb. 1, there were nearly 200,000 families on the waiting list for Conventional Public Housing. For Cohen, the numbers say it all –affordable housing demands are not keeping up with the rising numbers of homeless people.
Pastor Geronimo Aguilar, of The Richmond Outreach Center, agrees that providing affordable housing for homeless people is very important. However, there are other ways to reach the homeless population. At The Richmond Outreach Center, members are fighting poverty daily through several ministries, including a food ministry. The church offers to service to any family, not just homeless populations, in the Richmond area.
“That gives away thousands of bags of groceries each month to any individual or family in need,” said Pastor Geronimo Aguilar of The Richmond Center. “It doesn’t matter if an individual has been to our food pantry five out of six days in which we open to the public. If we have the food, we give it – plain and simple.”
Many nonprofits, such as Homes for the Homeless, have softened the impact of homelessness, but do not have enough power to wipe out the problem. Cohen said the city’s government officials and Mayor Michael Bloomberg are the only ones who can come up with a solution to the issue. In the meantime, The Richmond Outreach Center encourages churches and other organizations to help homeless populations in their communities.
Founded in 2001, The Richmond Outreach Center is a non-denominational church located in Richmond, Virginia. The church welcomes anyone who wants to learn more about the Christianity religion. The Richmond Outreach Center promotes education, healthy living, non-violence and community involvement to all its members.