Travis Mines was born and raised in historic Jackson Ward, a once-thriving African American community in Richmond, Virginia. At age 8, he began using drugs. By age 12, he was selling them, including heroin. Frequent bouts of trouble as a juvenile became a revolving cycle of incarceration by the age of 21. He obtained his GED and ultimately went to college but ultimately returned to the streets. During his incarceration at the Richmond City Jail, he was one of the first persons to participate in the Belief Program, which he credits as what “finally woke me up.” He joined others and gave vision to the R.O.O.T.S. organization, becoming its executive director. He currently works at Focus Outreach Richmond as a qualified mental health para-professional provider. He also serves as a shelter staff coordinator at Caritas, an organization which provides community support and emergency shelter for individuals and families in crisis. He was recently awarded the Lashawn Evens Community Reintegration Award for his efforts to help released citizens transition successfully back into the community and for his efforts to reduce recidivism. He has credentials as a recovery coach and group facilitator. At the Welcome Home Center, located in the Public Safety Building, he helps individuals with job preparedness, resume building, job searches and connects them with support groups. In addition to his work at R.O.O.T.S., he volunteers on several boards, including Goodwill Industries’ Re-Entry Employment & Education Work Group Board and the Long Walk to Freedom Board. He continues to seek ways to move organization to a higher level.
Chief Deputy Director
As a teenager, Richard Sparrow and his family moved from historic Jackson Ward to Highland Park, a tough neighborhood on Richmond, Va.’s north side. He became attracted to the streets. For the next two decades, he spent time in jails and institutions for various criminal activities and reckless behavior. After his arrest in 2007, he became involved in the Richmond City Jail Belief Program. It was there that he began to believe that he could change and become a productive member of society and became, in his words, “a true believer and follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ.” He received his GED and other certifications. He and other members envisioned a group that would support, empower and help keep others from re-entering the system. R.O.O.T.S. was born. In addition to serving as R.O.O.T.S.’ chief deputy director, his accomplishments include his certification as a recovery coach; his work as a group facilitator at Rubicon Men’s Treatment Center (MCC) at the Richmond City Jail; administering R.O.O.T.S. Therapeutic Support Groups; and his work as a motivational speaker. He is currently employed as a supervisor. The position has enabled him to help others achieve employment as well. Mr. Sparrow is currently married, enjoys performing spoken word and writing poetry. He is committed to exemplifying the change he wants for others.
Assistant Deputy Director
Lionel Glover grew up in the Byrd Park area of Richmond, Va., where at age 14, he began selling and using drugs. After losing his father at 19, he moved on to harder drugs like heroin and cocaine. For the next 18 years, he accrued a total of 31 arrests in the Richmond area alone.
During his last incarceration at the Richmond City Jail, he took a chance and enrolled in a behavior modification program called the Belief Program. “At this stage in my journey, I had a spiritual awakening and embraced the concept of recovery,” he says.
He developed a close friendship with several other members of the Belief support group. Together, they formed R.O.O.T.S. In addition to being one of the co-founders of the R.O.O.T.S. organization, he also is the CEO of Motivational Moments which does similar work with youth. He credits a deep and enduring belief in God for his new way of life.
Today, Richard Cheatham is a successful entrepreneur and an active member of R.O.O.T.S.. Like many of his fellow R.O.O.T.S. members, Mr. Cheatham has succeeded despite the odds. Mr. Cheatham began gambling and selling drugs at the age of 13 in Creighton Court, where he was raised, in Richmond’s East End. He had a brief incarceration period at the juvenile detention center. For 23 years, he had several periods of incarceration.
He was introduced to the Belief program at the Richmond City Jail. There, he help found the R.O.O.T.S. organization. Today, he serves as treasurer. He is a qualified recovery coach and group facilitator. He owns and operates his own cleaning and detailing business, “Clean on the Inside, Clean on the Outside.” He has been able to sustain all three achievements for the last three years.
Lynda Clarke grew up in the South Side area of Richmond, Va. She attended Richmond Public Schools but dropped just four months shy of her graduation. At 21, she became a mother. She began selling drugs at 25, and two years later, she started using illegal drugs herself. She was was incarcerated soon after. Her first charge for distribution landed her a 45-year sentence with a gift of 40 years being suspended. She received her GED while incarcerated. Ms. Clarke was a returning visitor at the Virginia Correctional Center for Women on two different occasions. In 2008, she went to the Richmond City Jail on a possession charge. This time, she enrolled in the Belief Program while at the jail where she received helpful counseling, which led her to participate in her recovery. After release, she began to volunteer at the Richmond City Jail and joined the R.O.O.T.S. organization, where she currently serves as administrator. She enrolled in the CrossOver Health Care Ministry Lay Health Promoter Program to earn a certificate. She currently attends J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College where she is pursuing her undergraduate degree in substance abuse counseling and human resources. She is a certified recovery coach, wellness recovery action peer for mental health and a motivational speaker. She currently operates her business “On Purpose,” a re-entry program that houses ex-offenders.
Randall Goodall was born in Richmond, Va. and later moved to Caroline County, Va. with relatives. During his adolescence, he became frustrated watching his mother struggle to provide for her family. At age 10, he learned to package and sell drugs. He started selling marijuana in middle school and soon “graduated” to cocaine. He was kicked out of high school at 16. These life choices resulted in a life of crime, drugs and alcohol. At age 22, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison. His imprisonment lasted from 1989-2000. He was extradited to the State of Connecticut to face additional charges of attempted murder and robbery. He credits God’s grace and mercy to the charges being dropped. In 2010, Mr. Goodall was introduced to the R.O.O.T.S. organization, where he currently holds the position of administrative assistant, and is also a member of Mountain of Blessings Christian Center. He credits his personal growth to the R.O.O.T.S. organization for his consistent sobriety and freedom from incarceration.
Board of Directors
Board Member – Attorney, Commonwealth Attorney’s Officer
Sara M. Gaboric
Board Member – Attorney, Johnson, Gaboric & Fisher-Rizk, PLC
Edward Judkins, MHS
Board Member – Director of Shelter Operations, Caritas
Board Member – Senior Probation and Parole Officer and Re-entry Specialist
Board Member – Counselor, SCORE