Current Work


Housing was voted in as our newest initiative at our October 2018 Community Problems Assembly! We built a research team to more than 60 members and met with 14 housing experts to understand the problem and potential solutions for lack of affordable housing and extreme eviction rates in the Richmond region.

We learned that on average, 17 households in Richmond are evicted every day. In 2017, 40,000 Richmond citizens were impacted by an eviction. One of the biggest factors in eviction is whether you can afford your housing – and 43% of Richmond households are paying more than 30% of their income on housing.

In February, Richmond’s Mayor Stoney proposed $2.9 million for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and a new eviction diversion program that would help 500 families in the first year. However, initially 6 of the 9 City Council members would not support this funding.

At our Action on May 2, 2019, we brought together nearly 800 people and asked City Council members to publicly support the Trust Fund and Eviction Diversion Program. In large part because of our persistent work, 5 City Council members agreed to fund these crucial resources.

RISC has a member on the Affordable Housing Trust Fund Advisory Board, and we plan to keep working next year on additional resources for eviction prevention.  

Click on the button above to learn more about our newest initiative! 

Elementary Reading

RISC leaders have sought a proven reading curriculum for unaccredited schools where more than 25% of students fail reading since 2014. The Direct Instruction curriculum (also known as SRA Reading Mastery & Corrective Reading) has a 40-year track record of teaching students from all backgrounds to read on grade level.This year 8 RPS schools are implementing Reading Mastery!

Blackwell Elementary
Greene Elementary
George Mason Elementary
Oak Grove/Bellemeade Elementary
Redd Elementary
Woodville Elementary
Henderson Middle
Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle

Last year, 42% of Richmond Public Schools students—10,500 children—failed to read on or above grade level. We are hopeful because we know that other Virginia districts have used Reading Mastery and saw their reading rates reach 90-98%.

Our Education Team is working on efforts to encourage and support teachers and staff leading the Reading Mastery implementation. 

Following extensive research, consultation of experts, and visits to schools successfully using Direct Instruction, RISC leaders believe this program will provide teachers with best practices to meet the needs of all students. 

Click on the button above to learn more about our initiatives in Richmond City and Henrico County.

Child Trauma

RISC leaders voted overwhelmingly to focus on children's mental health at our Community Problems Assembly in October, 2016. Since then, we have focused on addressing child trauma because trauma is linked to many mental health and behavior problems.

Our overall goal is to keep our kids and their teachers feeling safe and supported. Our kids need care, not crisis! And at our Nehemiah Action in 2018, we got commitments for a district-wide introductory training and intensive support in schools that need it most.

Click on the button above for the entire story on our trauma-informed care initiative in Chesterfield County.

Click here to see the Times-Dispatch article on the 2018 Nehemiah Action Assembly.

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