In this video, Wendy McCaig shares the founding story of Embrace Richmond which got it’s start because a woman who had experienced homelessness wanted to give back.  This “asset-based” beginning has been core to our way of strengthening communities since day one.  While we started out providing relief, this video explains why we shifted our work to community development in 2008.

We began our community development efforts in Hillside Court in 2009 and focused on identifying and supporting resident leaders.  By 2013 there were 9 resident-led initiatives that were mobilizing dozens of Hillside residents through community action teams.  These initiatives included a family support team, a cheerleading squad, a football team, a mobile food pantry, a senior support team, a men’s group, an employment initiative, a computer lab, and a hospitality team.  All of these teams were started by and led by Hillside residents.

Today we are working in more than a dozen neighborhoods across the Greater Richmond Region using this same asset-based approach.

Our Mission

To strengthen communities from the inside out.

Our Strategy

We train and coach resident, non-profit, governmental and congregational leaders in asset-based community development (ABCD).

Our Core Belief

Great neighbors make neighborhoods great.

This class has fundamentally shifted the way I think about outreach.


Mission Shift Trainee

The way Embrace approaches the complex problems in our community offers long-term solutions.


Board Treasurer

I believe as both a Christian and as a citizen I have an obligation to give back to my community.  Knowing I have played a small part in what Embrace Richmond does gives me more satisfaction than I can express.


Board Vice President

I have been challenged to value people more and strive to meet them where they are. I learned how to work with others, not for them.


Training Participant