City Re-Launches Housing Crisis Hotline and Enhances Day Support Services for Homeless Individuals

Friday, July 15, 2016

​The City of Virginia Beach today re-launched its hotline for emergency housing and homeless services. Citizens who are homeless or at risk of losing their home should call the Regional Housing Crisis Hotline at (757) 227-5932, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The new call center, previously known as Connection Point, will continue to be the single point of contact to streamline the homeless referral and assessment process. Families and individuals who are homeless will be connected to a case manager with the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation and assessed for shelter, transitional housing and permanent housing programs based on their circumstances. Those who are at risk of losing their home will be assessed for financial assistance or other safe and appropriate alternatives to prevent homelessness. 

ForKids, a nonprofit based in Norfolk that serves homeless families and children, is the new provider operating the city's call center under a contract with the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation. The organization currently operates the housing crisis hotline for the City of Norfolk and Peninsula cities.

The city also has enhanced day support services for homeless individuals at the Lighthouse Center, 825 18th St. In addition to continuing to offer showers, laundry and mail delivery services, an assessment team will now be available at the center to refer and connect individuals directly to housing programs.

"We will now have our Homeless Outreach Team and new homeless case managers onsite to engage individuals and assess them for shelter, transitional housing or permanent supportive housing programs," said Pam Shine, homeless programs coordinator with the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation. "Our goal is to ensure that everyone who walks through the door to access services has a housing plan." 

Individuals will also be able to access a variety of other organizations and resources, including the Department of Human Services, Veterans Affairs, employment agencies and support groups.

Volunteers of America, a faith-based nonprofit that provides health and human services, has operated day support services at the Lighthouse Center since it opened in 1997. Effective July 1, the city's Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation now operates day support services at the center.

"Volunteers of America and Debbie Maloney, executive director of the Lighthouse Center, have been valuable partners in our communitywide effort to address homelessness in Virginia Beach," said Andrew Friedman, director of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation. "The organization has connected hundreds of individuals to various resources to help them overcome their homelessness, and we hope to build upon this foundation by incorporating best practices and a housing first approach in order to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring for even more individuals." 

The day support service center is open Monday through Friday, 8 to 5 p.m. Day support services are available until 3 p.m. For more information, please call the center (757) 437-4911.

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