Virginia Beach Invites Residents to Join the Community Effort to Address Homelessness during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week (Nov. 16-24)

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (Nov. 12, 2019) — On a single night this past January, 260 people in Virginia Beach were found to be experiencing homelessness. However, since families and individuals experience housing crises and move in and out of homelessness on an ongoing basis for many different reasons, the scope of the homelessness issue and number of people in need are much greater.

For more than three decades, Virginia Beach has been committed to ending homelessness through a tapestry of faith, City and nonprofit organizations working together. In recognition of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, Virginia Beach Housing & Neighborhood Preservation invites residents to join the communitywide effort to make homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring:

Give the Gift of Warmth Donation Drive (Nov. 16 – 24)

Help people experiencing homelessness stay warm this season by donating the following winter items (new items and adult and children's sizes are needed): sweatshirts/pants, hats/beanies, gloves and scarves, hand warmers and lip balm. Donations can be dropped off at any Virginia Beach community recreation center:

Bayside Recreation Center
4500 First Court Road

Bow Creek Recreation Center
3427 Club House Road

Great Neck Recreation Center
2521 Shorehaven Drive

Kempsville Recreation Center
800 Monmouth Lane

Princess Anne Recreation Center
1400 Nimmo Parkway

Joseph V. Grimstead, Sr. Seatack Recreation Center
141 South Birdneck Road

Williams Farm Recreation Center
5252 Learning Circle

Monetary donations can also be made to VB Home Now, a 501(c)(3) foundation that supports and enhances the community system of services, programs and facilities to prevent and end homelessness in Virginia Beach. Donations to VB Home Now will help homeless and at-risk families, individuals and youth by addressing key needs in the community. To make a tax-deductible contribution to VB Home Now, visit www.vbhomenow.org.  For more information about the donation drive or VB Home Now, contact Erin Walker at (757) 385-5760.​

Free Movie Showing and Panel Discussion on Homelessness (Nov. 19)

Residents are invited for a free showing of a movie about people experiencing homelessness who seek shelter in a public library on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 6 p.m. at the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Blvd. Directed by and starring Emilio Estevez, the film also features Alec Baldwin, Christian Slater, Gabrielle Union and Taylor Schilling.

After the movie at 8:15 p.m., Virginia Beach Housing & Neighborhood Preservation, in partnership with Virginia Beach Public Library (VBPL), will host a panel discussion on homelessness in Virginia Beach, the role of our community partnership and other topics covered in the movie. Featured panelists are Karen Gratton, the City's homeless outreach team lead; Eva Poole, director of Virginia Beach Public Library; Master Police Officer Greg O'Hara with the Virginia Beach Police Department; Dallas Stamper, executive director of local nonprofit PIN Ministry; and Robby Rockey, executive director of administration and operations at The Gathering at Scott Memorial United Methodist Church. 

Registration is encouraged as space is limited.

Volunteer for the 2020 Point-in-Time Count

The Point-in-Time Count is an unduplicated count of people experiencing homelessness. The count, which is conducted during one day each January, provides a snapshot of the City's homeless population and helps determine how much funding our community will receive for homeless programs and services. Each year, more than $1.5 million is granted through the Continuum of Care to Virginia Beach agencies that provide housing and supportive services to the homeless.  

Volunteers are needed to help count and administer a survey to homeless persons living on the streets during the 2020 Point-in-Time Count on Thursday, Jan. 23, from 4 to 8 a.m. Volunteers must be 18 years old and attend mandatory training. To volunteer, register online by Jan. 3.

For more information about volunteering or to register online, visit www.vbgov.com/VBPITCount or contact Diane Hotaling at (757) 385-1278 or dhotalin@vbgov.com.