ISSUE: The City’s Resources to Address Homelessness

FACT: The City of Virginia Beach recently completed construction on a new Housing Resource Center to provide homeless residents the support and programs they need to get off the street and into a permanent home.
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Scheduled to open its doors to the public in September, 2018, the 62,000 square-foot facility will be a major asset in how we address homelessness in Virginia Beach. This unique facility will be a one-stop shop where people experiencing homelessness or a housing crisis can have access to mainstream benefits such as healthcare and counseling, along with a safe place to stay.

Homelessness is a top concern for the City of Virginia Beach. Part of the mission of the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation, or Housing, for short, is to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring. The new Housing Resource Center, or HRC, will provide the tools to help achieve that goal.

It features 10 motel-style rooms for families, 49 shelter beds for individuals, and 29 one-bedroom efficiency apartments for permanent housing. Residents in the apartments will pay rent, however the individual shelter beds and motel-style housing are meant to provide temporary shelter.

City Council adopted a strategic plan to end homelessness in 2017, expanding on a previous plan from 2013. Housing works in tandem with local faith and nonprofit organizations to identify and assist individuals who are homeless or at risk of losing their home. For those who are at risk, there are resources available to help keep them in their home, which is preferred, provided their home is safe. A combination of grants, private donations and City funding is available to provide limited financial assistance to those who qualify.

Ending homelessness among military veterans is one of the City’s top priorities. The goal is to have a homeless veteran off the street and into a permanent residence within 90 days of being identified.

It’s difficult to know exactly how many individuals are without a home in Virginia Beach at any given time, but it’s estimated to fluctuate between 300 and 350 people throughout the year. For the most vulnerable individuals and families without a home, the City works to get them into permanent housing or a shelter as quickly as possible, and connect them to other resources that can help, such as job training or counseling.

The HRC is an investment to assist our most vulnerable residents. It will be a place where people can get the tools, knowledge and resources to put down roots and improve their quality of life.

To learn more about the HRC, please visit VBgov.com/housing-resource-center. If you, or someone you know is homeless or in a housing crisis, please call the Regional Housing Crisis Hotline at 757-227-5932.

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