We are committed to assisting those with significant barriers move from a state of crisis to stability to economic mobility.


FOR welcomes individuals with special skills to aid in our mission. Please see the Make a Difference page for more information.


FOR recently participated in South by Southwest's Social Impact Sessions.



Melissa Canaday, LPC
Has over 25 years of experience in community-based participatory programming, activism, and non-profit management. The experience of poverty, unemployment, and homelessness instilled in her the passion to effect change. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Baltimore, and her Master of Education with a concentration in Community Counseling from the College of William and Mary.


2011 - Focused Outreach Richmond, Inc. established as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity

2013 - Formed a board of directors and established quarterly meetings

2014 - Received a contract with the Department of Corrections to provide residential alcohol and other drug treatment programming

2016 - Received a Cooperative Agreement Award to Benefit Homeless Individuals from HHS-Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

2020 - Received Incarcerated Veteran Transition Program (IVTP) grant from the Department of Labor


Silas Edwards, R-CPRS
Case Manager
Email: [email protected]
Silas is a Marine veteran. As a Registered–Certified Peer Recovery Specialist, he freely shares his life experience to motivate and encourage his fellow veterans. He is currently working on his Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC) designation to continue his ability to assist others.

Rachelle Stewart, MBA
Team Lead Case Manager
Email: [email protected]
Rachelle is an Air Force veteran who has a passion for assisting others. She is a wellness coach with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science.


Tonita Christmas

Is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience in the areas of mental health, clinical research, human resources, management, and information technology. As an HR Director and Chief Operating Officer at River City Comprehensive Counseling Services, she's well-versed in facing the challenges of at-risk populations.

Celie Weaver

Has served at-risk communities throughout her career. From Training Developer to Program Director, she’s provided therapy and crisis intervention to help stabilize families, children, and veterans in need. She joins the Board with considerable knowledge of outreach worker best practices in navigating Fair Housing and the VA system.

Ben Plummer

US Army Veteran committed to community involvement. He has served on several boards, including Richmond Behavioral Health Authority (RBHA) and as Chair of RBHA's Finance Committee. He is actively involved in the recovery community and has served as Policy Chair of the Virginia Regional Convention Corporation of Narcotics Anonymous.


Along with numerous employers in the region, we thank these organizations for supporting our participants' success: