By Kathy Chouteau
The City of Richmond has awarded the Richmond Rapid Response Fund (R3F) with $100,000 from its American Rescue Act funds; the allocation was green lighted during the Aug. 2 City Council meeting.
The R3F, a fiscally sponsored project of the West Contra Costa Public Education Fund, will utilize the funding for a strategic planning and governance advisor to develop the organization’s overall impact on Richmond residents. It will team up with Dalberg Advisors and Empathy in Action, a Richmond consulting group, to achieve “deeper community engagement and an inclusive planning process,” per a statement from the R3F.
R3F Director Jessica Travenia said its work spanning the last two years, coupled with Richmond City Councilmember Demnlus Johnson and the West Contra Costa Cares Coalition’s collective call “to explore a model for Guaranteed Income for Richmond,” has helped center its focus on “economic justice and guaranteed income as foundational to meet the needs of Richmond residents.”
Travenia added that they aim to implement this program in 2023 and “look forward to working to create a thorough line with our economic justice work and the other priority areas.” She expressed appreciation to the City of Richmond for “supporting us to strengthen our community impact and catalyze engagement.”
The R3F was established during week one of the COVID-19 shelter-at-home order, providing early crisis intervention for residents via rent assistance and other crucial needs. According to the R3F, its inception originated from the West Contra Costa Cares Coalition, a group of community stakeholders that looked to support residents “with basic needs, resources and best practices during the pandemic.”
To date, the R3F has provided $431,000 in financial disbursements to families, and $385,000 in rent relief to 77 households, recently earmarking an additional $200,000 to rent relief efforts through its partners, per the statement. Learn more about the R3F here.