Monday, July 18, 2016

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

The City of Virginia Beach 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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Lighthouse Center to Close July 1 - 10

The Lighthouse Center, which provides day support services for homeless individuals and is located at 825 18th St., will be closed July 1 - 10.

This closure is necessary to facilitate a transition of staff and equipment from the prior operator, Volunteers of America, to the City of Virginia Beach Department of Housing & Neighborhood Preservation, which will now operate the services at the center. Staff will work to inform those who use the center about the closure and the options available during this time.

The city will reopen the day support service center and resume operations on Monday, July 11. The center's regular business hours will be Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, please call the day support service center at (757) 437-4911.

Limited Homeless Referral Services June 30 - July 1

City's Central Call Center Transferring to New Provider

The City of Virginia Beach will have limited homeless referral services between June 30 and July 14 as its central call center transitions to a new provider. 

Citizens who need to access emergency housing and homeless services in Virginia Beach during this time can call (757) 437-4911, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon. Please note that the city will be closed on July 4 in observance of Independence Day and will be unavailable to take calls.

Beginning July 15, the referral center, known as Connection Point, will be referred to as the Regional Housing Crisis Hotline. It can be accessed at (757) 227-5932.

The new call center will continue to be the single point of contact to streamline the homeless referral and assessment process. Families and individuals who are literally homeless will be connected to a case manager with the city's Department of Housing & 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.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Job Opportunities with Virginia Beach Housing & Neighborhood Preservation Coordinated Assessment Team

The City of Virginia Beach Department of Housing & Neighborhood Preservation seeks three dynamic and committed people to join the department’s Coordinated Assessment Team: 

2 - Housing Specialist I (Homeless Programs Case Managers) 
1 - Housing Specialist II (Coordinated Assessment Team Lead)  

Together this team is responsible for coordinating and implementing all aspects of the Coordinated Assessment and Referral process for homeless persons and those at risk of homelessness who are seeking services at the Day Support Center, as well as those referred for housing assistance from the Call Center. This team will also provide services to homeless individuals at the Day Support Center. 

For more information about these positions and to apply, visit www.vbcareers4gov.comClose date: June 13, 2016. 

The City of Virginia Beach is an EOE. Qualified Section 3 Residents (low- and very-low income persons) residing in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA are encouraged to apply for this position. For more information visit www.vbgov.com/section3.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Volunteers Needed for Annual Point-in-Time Count and Project Homeless Connect Jan. 27-28


The City of Virginia Beach and the BEACH Community Partnership will conduct the annual Point-in-Time Count of people who are experiencing homelessness the last week of January. In coordination with the count, Project Homeless Connect will also be held to provide supportive services and resources to homeless families and individuals. Volunteers are needed to help with both events.

  • Point-in-Time Count: Wednesday, Jan. 27, from
    9 p.m. to 12:30 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.
  • Project Homeless Connect: Thursday, Jan. 28, from
    8 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Open Door Chapel, 3177 Virginia Beach Blvd. Volunteer shifts are from 7 to 11 a.m. and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    Volunteers will help with a variety of activities (i.e., set-up/clean-up, registration, guides, administering surveys, handing out supplies and food, etc.).
To volunteer, register online at www.beach-cp.org/VOLUNTEER2016 by Jan. 4 Jan 15. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Mandatory training will be provided. For more information, contact Pam Shine, homeless programs coordinator with the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation, at (757) 385-5761 or pshine@vbgov.com.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires that the city conduct the Point-in-Time Count to continue receiving federal funds through the Continuum of Care (CoC). Each year, more than $1.3 million is granted through the CoC to Virginia Beach agencies that provide housing and supportive services to the homeless. The data collected from the count also enables the city to assess the size and characteristics of the homeless population in order to help develop and enhance strategies for preventing and ending homelessness.

BEACH, which stands for Bringing an End to All City Homelessness, is a community partnership of city, nonprofit and faith-based organizations. For more information about BEACH, visit www.beach-cp.org.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Outreach Worker Opportunity with Virginia Beach Housing and Neighborhood Preservation

Are you someone who is in recovery or formerly homeless and passionate about serving others within your community?  If so, the City of Virginia Beach Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation is seeking a part-time contractual Outreach Worker to work varying hours between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Sunday, for a maximum of 25 hours per week. The selected person will be employed by the Abacus Corporation, an employment agency, and assigned to the Housing and Neighborhood Preservation's Housing Development division. 

As part of a team, this position is responsible for seeking out and identifying homeless persons wherever they are in the city and assisting them to access services. This position will spend most of their time in the field working to identify homeless persons living in places not suitable for human habitation.

The successful candidate will engage homeless persons through outreach activities, conduct face-to-face interviews to determine appropriate referrals, and assist the person in connecting to these resources. The Outreach Worker will continue to build rapport, monitor the client’s progress and needs, and ensure continued connectedness to resources.

Minimum qualifications needed in order to be considered are education equivalent to a high school diploma or GED and experience equivalent to two  years post-homelessness and/or two years in recovery from substance abuse.  

For more information and to apply, send resume or letter of interest detailing specific qualifications related to the requirements described above to Lanitha Hudson at lhudson@vbgov.com or by fax to 757-385-1874.  Resumes/Interest Letters will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015.

The City of Virginia Beach is an EOE, qualified Section 3 employer. Low- and very-low income residents of the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA are encouraged to apply for this position.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Virginia Beach Houses 100+ Homeless Veterans

City Participates in National Initiative to End Veteran Homelessness

Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. announced on Veterans Day that nearly 300 homeless veterans in South Hampton Roads are now either housed or on their way to housing thanks to a regional effort to end veteran homelessness. In Virginia Beach alone, 157 homeless veterans now have or will have a place to call home. The mayor made the special announcement during the Tidewater Veterans Day parade and ceremony in Virginia Beach.

“No city wants to see anyone homeless. No city especially wants to see any veteran homeless knowing what our veterans have done for us over the years to make sure we have such a great life,” said Mayor Sessoms.

“For years, we’ve been working hard to identify homeless veterans. I’m happy to say we’ve teamed up with neighboring cities to make sure that every veteran who is homeless will be housed by November 11.”

The city and regional effort was part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness by the end of 2015. Last year, Mayor Sessoms signed the Mayor’s Challenge committing the City of Virginia Beach to the national goal. Since then, the city, region and state have been identifying homeless veterans and making every effort to house them.

The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provided specific criteria and benchmarks communities had to meet in order to achieve the goal under the initiative. These included identifying all veterans experiencing homelessness through coordinated outreach and quickly providing shelter or permanent housing to those wanting assistance. The agencies confirmed the Commonwealth had met all criteria and achieved the goal by Veterans Day.

“Based on our efforts over the last year, all of the homeless veterans we know about and who want assistance are either housed or in a program that will lead to housing,” said Pamela Shine, homeless programs coordinator with the City of Virginia Beach Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation.

“Through the initiative, we have made improvements to our system of services so that homeless veterans are not only prioritized for housing programs, but we can also expect to house them within 90 days or less. Extensive coordination regionally and locally was instrumental in helping us succeed.”

Together, the Cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Franklin, along with Isle of Wight County and Southampton County, worked with the VA, multiple nonprofit agencies and the faith community on the initiative.

The city is continually trying to find and assist any veteran in need of housing through ongoing outreach. Homeless veterans can also contact Connection Point, the city’s central call center for homeless services, at 227-5932.

“We plan to continue our efforts to ensure that every homeless veteran in Virginia Beach has the opportunity to have a home,” said Shine. 

For more information about the initiative to end veteran homelessness, contact Pamela Shine at 385-5761 or pshine@vbgov.com.

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