QUESTION: What Does the City Do for Homeless Individuals During the Winter Months?

FACT​: The City partners with the faith community and the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center (JCOC) to offer the Winter Shelter program from November through March. Homeless adults are provided warm, safe places to stay overnight at local faith organizations and are connected to resources to improve their situations.
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volunteers serving homeless people at winter shelterThe City has a longstanding goal of ensuring that homelessness is rare, brief and nonrecurring. One component to achieving that goal is the Winter Shelter program. While they are at the shelter, participants connect with housing resources and counseling to assist them in getting off the street and into permanent homes. The program is one step toward providing homeless residents with opportunities and information to improve their housing situations.

The program is funded through the City’s Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation and operated jointly with the JCOC. About 25 local faith-based organizations host the shelter and rotate every week throughout the winter months. 

Shelter participants get warm meals, personal hygiene kits and winter clothing during their stay. The kits are put together with donated supplies. There is always a need for winter clothing and personal hygiene items. Donations are accepted at the JCOC, 1053 Virginia Beach Blvd.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • At the shelter locations: through the JCOC. For more information, please call the JCOC at 491-2846; they match people to volunteer positions.
  • Point-in-Time Count: through the City; this annual, federally-mandated count takes place in January. Teams of volunteers are needed to canvass assigned areas throughout Virginia Beach to identify and interview homeless individuals in a shelter and on the street. It’s done to secure funding for programs and identify what resources and programs are needed, or no longer needed, in our area. More information about the count and how to get involved is available on the City’s website.

For more information about homeless programs and services or how to get involved in the community effort, please visit VBgov.com/Housing. Individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of losing their home should call the Regional Housing Crisis Hotline at 227-5932.

Contact Information