HELP Looks Forward to Expanding Permanent Housing for Homeless
Do you realize how serious the homeless situation is in our area? It’s not just the amount of homeless people but also the desperate need for available housing. As of January 2012, our community’s homeless population consists of nearly 700 people. Over 60% of the homeless rely on emergency housing and over 30% are veterans. The Hampton Roads Ecumenical Lodgings and Provisions (HELP)has the only homeless shelter in Hampton- The Help House. With the support of Sturdevant Construction in Newport News, who has selected HELP as their charitable partner for 2012, HELP is working on expanding their permanent housing.
Currently, The Help House only holds 5 families which is equivalent to 22 people. No other shelter on the Peninsula will accept a man with his children. Since the other shelters designated for men do not accept children, The Help House is their only option. HELP has plans to build an addition onto the Help House that will double its current capacity. Even with the generosity of Sturdevant Construction, the project requires additional funding.
There are countless churches that provide support to the homeless community and HELP’s new day center , currently under construction, will certainly help coordinate their efforts and provide a variety of needs and resources to the homeless; but a day center does not provide the much needed permanent housing. HELP is a member of the Greater Virginia Peninsula Homelessness Consortiumand both the day center and their plans for an addition to the Help House are in line with the Virginia Peninsula Mayors and Chairs’ 10 Year Plan to end homelessness. Although the day center will be completed within a few months, there is currently no expected start date for the permanent housing project. HELP hopes they are able to raise funding and have the project completed by Summer 2013.