Events scheduled for Virginia Beach Homelessness Awareness Week (Dec. 19 to 23)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Two events are scheduled in Virginia Beach in observance of Virginia Beach Homelessness Awareness Week, Dec. 19 to 23:

Donation Drive
A donation drive will be held Dec. 19 through 23 to collect the following items for the homeless community: new or gently-used blankets (twin size only), jeans, socks, hats, scarves, gloves and travel-size hygiene items. Donated items may be dropped off at the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center (JCOC), 1053 Virginia Beach Blvd. JCOC will also accept monetary donations.

National Homeless Persons' Memorial Day Vigil (Dec. 21)
On the longest night of each year, communities across the nation gather to commemorate the lives of the men and women who have died homeless. This year's memorial service and candlelight vigil for Virginia Beach will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m. at the Lighthouse Day Support Services Center, 825 18th St.

"The purpose of Homelessness Awareness Week is to increase knowledge and understanding of people who are experiencing homelessness and who are at-risk. We also want to recognize the efforts of the city, nonprofit service providers, faith organizations and other agencies that are committed in making homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring for many families and individuals in Virginia Beach," said Pam Shine, homeless programs coordinator with the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation. "We hope that through Homelessness Awareness Week, we can engage more members of our community in getting involved in our homeless outreach efforts."

Homelessness Awareness Week is sponsored by the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission in partnership with the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation and the BEACH Community Partnership.

In addition to these events, the city is encouraging interested citizens who are at least 18 years old to volunteer for the upcoming Point-in-Time Count of the homeless population. The 2017 Point-in-Time Count will take place on Thursday, Jan. 26, from 4:30 to 8 a.m. Volunteers will be part of a team assigned to one of the four police precincts in Virginia Beach to help count and administer a survey to homeless persons living on the streets. Mandatory training will be provided. To volunteer, register online at www.beach-cp.org/pit-volunteer-2017 by Jan. 10. For more information, contact Pam Shine at (757) 385-5761 or pshine@vbgov.com.

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