Amid a dramatic increase in the Bay Area homeless population, the Bay Area Rescue Mission (BARM) in Richmond is answering the call.
The Iron Triangle-based nonprofit providing care for the Bay Area’s homeless and impoverished — including food, shelter, showers, clothes, and education and career services to help people get back on their feet — is planning an expansion.
The Rescue Mission is seeking the city’s approval to construct a 9,553 square foot, two-story shelter with 26 bedrooms and a total capacity of 114 beds for women and children at 257 S. 3rd St. The project, which has received a letter of support from the Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council, would involve demolishing an existing 1,433 SF single-family residence constructed in 1905.
Named Bridge of Hope Project, the new facility would include a landscaped outdoor courtyard providing a play area for toddlers and young children, and also outdoor tables and seating. It has been designed with a Spanish Mission style, with plain, smooth stucco walls and a terracotta tile roof.
The women and children who reside there would be enrolled in a structured, 24/7 full time program with supportive services that include meals, education, counseling, job, life-skills training and more, according to city documents.
Residents of the new facility would have access to BARM’s existing campus that encompasses four parcels along Macdonald between S. 2nd and S. 3rd streets, including Building 200, which is the Men’s Center and includes a kitchen and dining cafeteria and classrooms; Building 224, the Center for Women and Children that features counseling offices, common lounge area, laundry facilities and bedrooms; and Building 216, which includes clothing distribution and a lounge area.
The Rescue Mission also runs the Food Pantry & Distribution Center across the street at 123 Macdonald Ave.
City staff described the proposed new structure’s design as “enhancing the surrounding area.”
“The Spanish Mission style is consistent with many of the heritage residential structures in the area and surrounding area and throughout the city,” staff stated in documents. “The frontage is inviting, and the overall building design features provide a high-quality shelter for homeless women and children.”
The Dahlin Group is the architectural firm leading the project.