By Mike Kinney
Children experiencing homelessness in Richmond enjoyed plenty of tricks and treats at a Halloween Trunk or Treat event held by the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP) on Friday.
GRIP parked spooky, “tricked”-out vehicles in the parking lot of the Courtyard by Marriott in Hilltop, where homeless individuals and families are staying during the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the county’s Project Homekey program.
“The children had a Halloween parade around the parking lot, they had a pumpkin carving event, the best decorated vehicle or car event, and who had the best costume,” said GRIP Executive Director Kathleen Sullivan.
Roughly 40 children who reside at the hotel attended the GRIP event with their families.
GRIP holds an annual Halloween celebration for its clients, but with the pandemic preventing festivals and traditional trick-or-treating, GRIP staff shifted gears to ensure the children at the hotel could have a fun day.
The event was the vision of the hotel shelter manager Siu Laulea and supported by Nicole Jones, (Dorothy -Wizard of oz), Teri Carlyle, (Angela Davis), Darleen Scruggs, (Frankenstein wife) and others.
“The residents of the Courtyard Marriot shared in the spirit of Halloween which was well planned by hotel shelter manager Siu Laulea,” GRIP Outreach Coordinator Antwon Cloird said. “The children had wonderful and safe Halloween.”