Friday, September 18, 2009

Councilman Charles Samuels expresses concern for recent events this week in the vicinity of Maggie Walker Governor’s School


Richmond City Hall

900 E. Broad Street, Suite 200

Richmond, Virginia  23219

(Richmond, Virginia)  -- Councilman Charles R. Samuels, North Central 2nd District, Richmond City Council, releases the following statement regarding recent events this week in the vicinity of Maggie Walker Governor’s School, located in the North Central 2nd District.

“Recent events this week in the vicinity of Maggie Walker Governor’s School are of great concern to me. These events include: a suspicious package being found (empty tool box) in the school parking lot; a fire at a homeless encampment near School Street that the Richmond Department of Fire and Emergency Services extinguished promptly; and, the discovery of a body in a ravine in the 1000 block of Lombardy Avenue.

The body has been identified by the Richmond Police Department as Joseph C. McCray, 54, of no fixed address, and is being investigated as a homicide due to death by blunt force trauma.

Each of these events is sufficient to cause great concern for those who attend Maggie Walker Governor’s School and the neighbors in the Newtowne West Community.  Should the neighbors, families or community organizations wish to come together for solace and understanding of these events, I will support them in any way that I can.

I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to the family of Mr. McCray and ask that anyone with any information regarding this incomprehensible act to call Richmond Crime Stoppers, at 804.780.1000. 

I would also like to share with residents that there are a number of services for the homeless within the city that can assist those in need. Some of which include:

•    Richmond Police Department Homeless Outreach Partnership Enforcement (HOPE) patrol (804.646.4395 tel)

•    Richmond Department of Social Services (804.646.7212 tel)
Provides child, family, adult, employment and financial assistance services.

•    Freedom House (804.233.4064 tel)

•    Community Shelter (804.232.1949 tel)
Providing a stable environment for residents to begin to address issues that led to their homelessness and set goals for a better future.

•    The Conrad Center - Conrad Center (804.225.1853 tel)
Serving breakfast and dinner to Richmond 's homeless and working-class poor.

•    Daily Planet (804.783.0678 tel)
Operates free standing health care center in the area providing primary health care to the homeless, uninsured and underinsured regardless of their ability to pay.  Additionally, Daily Planet provides a 12-week job training and placement program to the unemployed homeless and offers at no charge to those in need:  eye care, dental care, mental health and psychiatric care, laundry and shower facilities, case management, mail and substance abuse services.  

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