GRIP’s board and staff have prepared a comprehensive media kit with detailed information about our operations, organizational structure, governance, and impact.

The document is a tool for grant reviewers, journalists, business supporters, charitable organizations, and member congregations and volunteers to use to better understand where the mission and work of GRIP for our clients and the community at large.

Click this link to download the PowerPoint file. GRIP MEDIA KIT

Click this link to open a PDF file in your browser or PDF reader. GRIP MEDIA KIT


NAME:   Greater Richmond Interfaith Program

SECOND REFERENCE:   GRIP (all capitalized)

MISSION STATEMENT:   “GRIP provides a safe & nourishing place that helps transform those   who are unsheltered and in need move toward self-sufficiency.”

LOCATION:   165 22nd Street, Richmond, California 94801

PHONE:     (510) 233-2141

EMAIL:  [email protected]



TAX INFORMATION:  GRIP is a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

Federal Identification Number: 23-7169239








GRIP is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic coalition of congregations from varied faiths working together as a diverse and inclusive coalition dedicated to helping those of our community in need to transition to self-sufficiency.

Our mission statement: “GRIP provides a safe & nourishing place that helps transform those who are unsheltered and in need move toward self-sufficiency.”

Over the years, GRIP, in keeping with its mission has evolved from a small community food pantry to a multiservice agency, which serves 15,000 homeless, hungry, and low-income consumers annually. GRIP is governed by a board of directors drawn from member congregations, the business community and public-sector agencies.

GRIP’s most high-profile alumnus, Najee Harris, brought GRIP international recognition for its work as the one-time resident rose to national prominence as a first round NFL draft pick. Harris continues to support GRIP through corporate partnerships like the Lowe’s Home Team and direct sponsorships.

GRIP’s staff represents a dedicated group with a unique ability to establish rapport with our clients. As a result, GRIP has earned the reputation as a trusted housing and service provider with a proven track record for making inroads with individuals who have histories of chronic homelessness. GRIP, equally, is noted for being fiscally responsible and transparent in accounting practices and reporting. GRIP maintains lines of open communication with its donors, funders, and community supporters.

Each January, GRIP shares an Annual Report with multiple stakeholders at the Annual Meeting. GRIP has provided emergency shelter and housing for families since 1993. The Souper Center provides meals and basic needs to the community since GRIP’s inception in 1966. Our dedicated 41-member congregations are our front line of volunteers and support. This year, GRIP celebrates 56 years providing services to the community.

Media-ready images available


Now in its 37th year (2023), the Harmony Walk brings together the community., GRIP clients and staff, local politicians, community leaders, faith groups, volunteers, and dignitaries to celebrate the work of GRIP in the highest profile public event all year.

The walk is both a fundraiser and a community event to share the great work by GRIP’s volunteers and staff.

Prior years have included a 5K fun run around the community, starting and ending in Nicholl Park on MacDonald Avenue in Richmond.  The walk is usually held in late October, with this year’s date being set as October 28th, 2023.

Sponsors often include Chevron, Mechanic’s Bank, Sims Metal Recycling, East Bay MUD, and Kaiser Permanente.  In many years, runners got sponsors for themselves or a team. In 2022, the walk was shifted to a simpler model with a registration including a T-shirt and run registration to cover the fees individually.

In 2023, the Harmony Walk will showcase an even fuller range of some of Richmond’s (and the broader East Bay’s) best businesses, community-based organizations, and more. Those who come to the park for the festivities will be encouraged to bring picnic blankets and chairs and to kick back, relax, and enjoy the music, guest speakers, food, the vendor booths, kids’ activities, and the raffle drawing. Of course, it wouldn’t be the Harmony Walk without a walk of some sort; attendees will have the option to participate in a short, 1-mile-or-so walk from Nicholl Park down to the GRIP shelter and back. There, walkers will have the opportunity, like last year, to step inside and learn more about the day-to-day, on-the-ground work that GRIP staff do to keep community members housed and fed.

Media-ready images available


  • Donation of goods and services: GRIP is always in need of toiletries, new and used clothing, duffle bags, blankets, sleeping bags, jackets, and food.
  • Donation of time: GRIP is supported by 41 faith groups in the community. If your group would like to volunteer, please contact the GRIP office.
  • Donation of money: Corporate donations, program sponsorships, and facility sponsorships are coordinated with the executive director and the board. Please reach out via phone or email.


The board consists of up to 15 community leaders serving a 3-year term. Each donates or raises $500 and participates in committee work and monthly meetings to manage the finances and strategic direction of GRIP. The Executive Director is a full-time staff member who reports to the board.


Ralph Payton
Executive Director

  • Ralph Payton‘s commitment to social justice and underserved communities spans a career of more than 20 years directing nonprofit human service programs across the country. Prior to joining the team at GRIP, he was the Chief Executive Officer at Hunters Point Family, an organization that works to enrich the lives of youth in San Francisco’s Bayview/Hunters Point communities. From 2015-2018, Ralph was the Executive Director at Raphael House, which operates San Francisco’s largest shelter for families experiencing homelessness. He has worked with individuals and families experiencing homelessness in New York City and Miami before moving to San Francisco in 2011. He started his career as a social justice advocate in Florida where he was a clinical therapist for several years before switching career paths to join the efforts helping our unhoused neighbors and community members.

Manusiu T. Laulea
Shelter Program Manager

  • My name is Manusiu Tuivailala Laulea. I am the Family Shelter Manager at the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program. I have been with GRIP for over 17 years. I am passionate about creating positive change in my community and helping people in need. My work focuses on providing services to families experiencing homelessness, such as housing, employment assistance, and case management. I also manage the day-to-day operations of our care center, which includes providing meals, hygiene products, clothing, and other basic needs for those who come to us for help. It is an honor to be able to make a difference in people’s lives and I take pride in the work that I do every day.

‘Damo’ Damonique Tupuola
Operations Coordinator

  • My name is Damonique (Damo) Tupuola and I am the operations coordinator here at GRIP. I started with GRIP in 2021, as a resident counselor for our Project Room Key program in Richmond, CA. Since then, I have been promoted to my current position as operations coordinator where I oversee facility operations and ensure each department is equipped with the tools and resources they need, while ensuring the facility runs smoothly as a whole. I am currently enrolled at Contra Costa College pursuing my bachelor’s degree in business administration and also studying to become a licensed real estate agent in California.  As a native resident of Richmond, it means so much to me to be able to serve my city and give back to my community especially when I have experienced homelessness on several occasions.