Outdoor prayer service held at Richmond hotel housing homeless

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Outdoor prayer service held at hotel housing homeless
Faith leaders held an outdoor prayer service at the Courtyard by Marriott in Richmond on Sunday, May 31, 2020. (Photos contributed by GRIP)

By Mike Kinney

Faith leaders held an outdoor prayer service at the Courtyard by Marriott in Richmond on Sunday for the homeless individuals and families currently housed there during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pastor Henry Washington of The Garden of Peace Ministries coordinated the prayer service in partnership with the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP). GRIP is managing operations at the hotel at 3150 Garrity Way in partnership with the county.

About 50 of the hotel’s current residents came out to participate in the prayer service, and 10 more residents listened from the open sliding windows, said GRIP Executive Director Kathleen Sullivan.

Pastor Washington was joined in guiding the service by Rev. John Anderson of the Bay Area Rescue Mission, Denise Williams from Easter Hill United Methodist Church and Pastor Donnell Jones.

With COVID-19 and now national unrest over police misconduct following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Sullivan felt the prayer came at a particularly apt time.

“After this new awakening it’s time to ‘make a better place for you and for me,” Sullivan said. “We have always been resilient people.”

Outdoor prayer service held at hotel housing homelessOutdoor prayer service held at hotel housing homeless