It’s hard to picture a Richmond citizen with a bigger heart than David Simmons, a resident at Pullman Point Apartments, deacon-in-training with his church and longtime advocate and mentor to numerous kids in the local community.
The father of six children of his own—five of them grown plus a teenage daughter—and grandfather to six, Simmons has also spent countless hours providing guidance and encouragement to the youth at Pullman, particularly those who might be lacking a father figure of their own. Many of them have taken over the years to calling him a godfather, Uncle David and even ‘Dad’ on occasion, and Simmons has attended plenty of their sporting events, graduations, and other such doings. He’s also coached kids at Pullman Point basketball tourneys, taken them on outings to the reading truck and helped them with homework.
“I just want to see them grow up and have a chance,” Simmons says. “That’s worth more to me than any amount of money.”
A professional forklift operator by trade, he interviewed recently for a new opening in Oakland and likes his chances at getting the position. His deacon-in-training efforts, with the New Hope Baptist Church in Oakland, have additionally been rewarding for Simmons, who hopes to be ordained in the near future.
Currently married and raising a teenage daughter with his wife, Simmons was born in Chicago and spent some years in Arkansas before moving west in 1999. Now a 15-year resident at Pullman Point Apartments, he says he’s seen improvements at the complex in recent years—including improved parenting around the community with a greater focus on health and diet.
“I see parents taking their kids to the breakfasts,” Simmons comments in regards to the on-site Soleil Kids Café breakfast program, “and it’s nice to see this program doing something about nutrition.”
For Richmond’s recently launched, free daily breakfast offering provides the complex’s school-age children and their families with a nourishing meal to help prepare them for school and beyond.
Twelve Questions—David Simmons
- Favorite unknown gem of Richmond: Nichol Park
- Favorite eatery in area: Golden Corral, Red Robin
- Person who has inspired you the most in life: Mother and Father
- Favorite celebrity: Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Samuel Jackson
- Favorite animal: Dogs (especially shepherds)
- Favorite hobby: Spending time with kids
- Favorite place to visit: Las Vegas
- Favorite musician/s: James Brown, Billy Holiday, Miles Davis, Nina Simone
- Movie you’d recommend to a friend: Get Out, The Conjuring 2
- Favorite sports team/s: Chicago Bears, Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Giants
- Best advice ever received: A rolling stone gathers no moss
- Favorite thing about Richmond: Better than Oakland