GRIP announces new executive director

GRIP announces new executive director
GRIP Executive Director Ralph Payton. Pic courtesy of GRIP.

By Kathy Chouteau

The Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP)—a Richmond nonprofit that provides food, shelter and other services to people facing homelessness and others in need—has announced in its blog that it has a new incoming executive director. Ralph Payton will take over the helm at GRIP Aug. 22.

Payton has deep roots within the Bay Area homeless services sector, per GRIP, including his most recent role as the CEO at Hunters Point Family, a nonprofit offering youth leadership, environmental stewardship and workforce participation services in San Francisco’s Bayview, Hunters Point, Tenderloin, and Mission districts.

GRIP said that, previous to the aforementioned position, Payton served as executive director of San Francisco’s largest family homeless shelter, Raphael House, and was appointed by the mayor to co-chair San Francisco’s Local Homeless Coordinating Board from 2016-2020. His other past roles have included serving as a director at large city shelters in New York City (the Bronx) and Miami, FL.

Expertise in mental health and job training are other assets Payton brings to GRIP, per the nonprofit. He holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and has worked as a therapist and clinical coordinator within disadvantaged communities for five years. He’s also headed up workforce development programs for youth in New York City and San Francisco.

Payton said that it’s an honor “to join and lead the [GRIP] family and their mission to positively transform the lives of those we serve,” adding that he’s “privileged to join this mission as we all strive for an equitable and prosperous community.” The incoming executive director also pledged to support GRIP’s staff, donors and faith communities “as we work together for a brighter future.”

As part of GRIP’s array of services, it operates a family homeless shelter, soup kitchen, encampment outreach, casework, showers, laundry and mail services, per the organization. GRIP said it provides over 55,000 meals and transitions 120 people to permanent housing annually. Learn more about GRIP here.