Updated: Feb 9
The Northside Outreach Center (The NOC) is an on-the-ground non-profit organization located in Richmond's Highland Park neighborhood that is uniting those working in the community to bring positive and lasting change to the Highland Park area.
This month, we are proud to introduce you to the Northside Outreach Center (NOC)! In 2017, Butch Johnson reached out to us with a problem - they had no space to store and distribute produce at their monthly food pantry. While none of us knew how to solve this problem, we decided the first step was to set up a table with coffee and fruit to better learn about Highland Park, the NOC, and how we could help. A little over 2 years later, after a lot of conversation and planning, the Mobile Produce Pantry was born and the NOC became our pilot location!
Every month, we get to visit Butch, the NOC volunteers, and our friends in the Highland Park community and leave a little more peaceful and happy. We cannot thank NOC and the community enough for welcoming us that first May morning in 2017 - and being an advocate for the Mobile Produce Pantry and the World U.P. community!
Q: Who are you and where are you from?
Northside Outreach Center (NOC) was birthed in 2004. Founder and Executive Director, Butch Johnson, lived in Highland Park until he joined the Army in 1969. In 2003, Butch joined the Richmond Police Department’s Faith Leaders Initiative to bring together local churches to help reduce crime and increase the quality of life for the Highland Park community. When the FLI ended, Butch resolved to improve the lives of children and families in Highland Park spurred the creation of the NOC.
Q: What's your mission and the community you serve?
The NOC takes a holistic approach by meeting both the spiritual and practical needs of the Highland Park community. Being a stable presence in the community positions us to serve the residents with consistency and fosters strong partnerships with local leaders and organizations, like World U.P. Foundation, to make a lasting difference.
Community means having strong relationships and connections with neighbors by standing as a loving example of a good neighbor.
Q: What does community mean to you?
At the NOC, community means having strong relationships and connections with neighbors by standing as a loving example of a good neighbor. We understand the value of the next generation. We strive to support parents, guardians, and caregivers in our neighborhood believing their transformed lives will directly impact their children.
Q: What's the change you would like to see in Richmond?
As an organization, we would like to see true unity based on the concept of “love your neighbor” verse identity politics and racial preferences.
Q: What do you love about Richmond?
As a lifelong resident of the Richmond area, Butch loves the history of the city. His experience of growing up in the community the NOC seeks to serve. Most of all the people who choose to live in our city.
Q: How does your organization promote Understanding and Peace?
The NOC is a non-denominational Christian organization compelled by the love of God and the compassion of Christ. We believe that true and lasting peace can only come through a personal relationship with Jesus.
We would like to see true unity based on the concept of “love your neighbor” verse identity politics and racial preferences.
Q: What values did you see in World UP that made you want to partner with us?
In a community that is considered a food desert, we offer a monthly food pantry to help give people who are on food assistance get a mid-month boost. World U.P. Mobile Produce Pantry has been a blessing to the community. The NOC did not have the capacity to store fresh fruit and veggies. Having World U.P. come up with a mobile produce solution has allowed access to produce that the community needed.
Q: How can people support your mission?
Shop at our thrift store at 3080 Meadowbridge Rd, Richmond, VA 23222, where our 100% volunteer staff can help you find a new home for the donations of household items and furniture we receive. You can visit our website for details if you want to make a donation, items or monetary, or you want to get information on volunteering.