Local pastor, once homeless himself, looks to help others with food, clothes and jackets

Posted at 8:19 AM, Dec 13, 2020

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Pastor James Risper was once homeless. He spoke of the struggle he endured during that period and said he was determined to get himself out.

He succeeded in his quest and made it his mission to help others in the same circumstances he was in.

"A lot of times, we allow them to believe that we don't care nothing for them,” Risper told News 3, “because they had some kind of misfortune or some kind of accident - whatever it was that got them into the place where they are.”

He travels across Hampton Roads to areas where people without homes tend to stay. He provides them meals, clothes and other items.

On Sunday, he will hand out pre-made meals and clothes to those who are homeless in Virginia Beach. He said he raised money to buy coats and other essential items.

In addition, people also donated clothes to his cause to help out people who are homeless.

"Sometimes you need to take care of yourself, and I want them to leave there knowing that... be that change," Risper explained, "I knew I could do it."

He and a team of helpers set up at the Mount Olive Baptist Church in the city, where they handed out meals, clothes, and jackets. Risper said this would not be possible without those helping him.

"My wife, sister Bonds, the driver that picks up everything, the guy who brings this stuff to me."

Risper added this giveaway was not solely because of Christmas and that they will do this once every month. They will be finding possible locations to set up.

"We're going help these people every month until somebody gets on their feet," Risper said, "and then they're going to help us help somebody else get on theirs."

For information on how to help and donate, emails can be sent to James Risper at the following email: