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TCF commits $750,000 to help East End residents thrive

The Community Foundation has committed to support the Choice Neighborhood Initiative, a comprehensive plan to transform Richmond's East End.


At The Community Foundation, we know that no individual or organization alone can solve a problem as complex as intergenerational poverty. That is why we must work together toward shared goals and collaborative efforts that will create powerful, lasting change for our region.

It is in this spirit that The Community Foundation has committed $750,000 over 3 years to support the Choice Neighborhood Initiative, a comprehensive plan to transform Richmond's East End from a community rooted in segregation and disinvestment into a community of choice and opportunity. The work will begin in Creighton Court, the second largest of the city's six public housing communities. Led by Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority and informed by neighborhood leaders, the strategy is built on empowering the people of the East End by providing choice: of housing, employment, education and health within their own community.

Funding from TCF helps meet the local funding match required for Richmond to be considered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for a Choice Neighborhood implementation grant, which would bring $30 million to support this revitalization. Our support will help bring services directly to residents, reflecting our desire to help individuals and families achieve educational success, economic prosperity and health and wellness.



Richmond is experiencing an influx of business development, internationally acclaimed arts and recreational opportunities and a robust housing market. However, in stark contrast to these exciting growth opportunities, we have extreme pockets of poverty and communities where educational attainment, income and life expectancy are all significantly lower than their suburban counterparts. Over 20,000 residents live in public housing communities located in Richmond’s East End. These communities are over 75 years old and were born from segregation and disinvestment. Struggling to find hope and help, residents of these communities have little to no access to early childhood education, transportation or employment opportunities, and live in housing so old it causes health issues, especially in children.

About Creighton Court:

  • 2nd largest public housing community in Richmond
  • Half of its 1,300 residents are children
  • The average family income is $9,000/yr.
  • 88% of residents receive some public assistance


The Community Foundation has prioritized the East End since 2009 with funding, staff leadership, and co-investment with our donors. In the last 3 years alone, TCF and its donors have invested over $7 million. Together, we have:

  • Led the development of Richmond Promise Neighborhood, which has provided residents with a voice to advocate on behalf of their community;
  • Supported the development of community health centers where residents can access quality primary care and health education;
  • Built the capacity of key service providers in the area of youth development such as Peter Paul Development Center, CIS of Richmond, the YMCA and Boys and Girls Clubs;
  • Helped to provide a safe place for after-school enrichment and academic improvement at Martin Luther King Middle School;
  • Served as an early partner in The Office of Community Wealth Building.

Our nonprofit partners are stronger today because of these investments. However, extreme concentrated poverty, and the challenges that come with it, still exist.



The Choice Neighborhood Initiative is an opportunity to transform a housing project into a thriving neighborhood. A team of civic and neighborhood leaders is crafting a bold plan to transform public housing and the surrounding neighborhood in Church Hill.  This work will begin in Creighton Court, a public housing community of 504 families located in Richmond’s East End.

Why now?

  • Federal funding – Richmond has an opportunity to receive a HUD Choice Neighborhood grant, which would bring $30 million into the East End to support this revitalization;
  • Proven local leaders – The Choice Neighborhood plan will be facilitated by Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority led by T.K. Somanath and Richmond's Office of Community Wealth Building led by Reggie Gordon;
  • Committed partners – Neighborhood development will be led by Community Builders, a nationally recognized nonprofit real estate developer, with past success in Atlanta, Norfolk and Boston. Nonprofit partners with a presence in the East End also will play a key role in delivering services to residents;
  • Empowered residents – The Choice Neighborhood strategy is built on empowering the people of the East End by providing choice: of housing, employment, education and health. The revitalized Creighton Court will include green spaces, childcare, a health and wellness center, and environmentally friendly, mixed-use housing – all complimented by a new grocery store.  In addition, this process will be phased to ensure that residents are not displaced.

We believe this opportunity places Richmond on the cusp of real change. Stay tuned for updates about HUD funding and upcoming tours of the revitalization zone! 

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