It’s her day off, but Ronneysha Patton is already up by 7 a.m. and at the laundry by 8.
There’s a lot to do. After washing clothes, she heads home to do more chores: sweeping, yard work and folding piles of clothes. Soon, there will be lunch to prepare and homework to attend to before a visit from a relative later that evening.
Patton is only 23 years old, but she doesn’t have much time to just hang out with friends. Instead, the Richmond resident is raising her 9-year-old sister London after the death of their mother last March.
“I feel like I have to have everything together,” said Ronneysha. “I know I shouldn’t stress about it too much, but I don’t want her to feel like I can’t handle it.”
Ronneysha and London are being helped by the West Contra Costa Youth Service Bureau, a Richmond-based organization that offers “wraparound” services to an estimated 500 clients. That includes access to food, housing, counseling and other support through collaborations with local groups like the YMCA, Girls Inc. of West Contra Costa County and the school district.