Virginia Beach needs your help identifying where the homeless are sheltering

(Southside Daily file photo/Courtesy of Pexels)
(Southside Daily file photo/Courtesy of Pexels)

Virginia Beach Housing and Neighborhood Preservation is asking for the public’s help in identifying locations throughout the city where individuals have been seen living without shelter.

The information will help guide teams of volunteers during the annual Point-in-Time Count on Jan. 23, according to a news release from the city.

Residents can submit locations directly on a map from their mobile device or computer at through Jan. 8.

Signs that an individual is living unsheltered include personal belongings left behind, a structure resembling a bed is present, individuals have been seen there on multiple occasions, etc.

Location points should also include the date seen and additional details that will help describe the situation.

The city is asking for visual observations only – please do not engage the individuals, according to the news release.

“The Point-in-Time Count is important because it provides a snapshot of homelessness in Virginia Beach. The more we know about our homeless population, the better we can serve their needs,” said Pam Shine, homeless services system manager. “Each year, we try to ensure that the count is as thorough as possible. With the public’s assistance, we can enhance our outreach efforts and help ensure that everyone who should be included is counted and assessed for services.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires cities that receive federal funding for homeless programs to conduct an unduplicated count of the homeless population, known as the Point-in-Time Count.

The count helps determine how much funding a community will receive for homeless programs and services, and provides demographic information about a city’s homeless population.

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.

For more information about providing locations for the Point-in-Time Count, contact Ashley Love at 757-385-5162 or

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Melanie Occhiuzzo started her professional journalism career at Southside Daily in June of 2018. She has since become a storyteller for the local community with special interest in anything locally-owned or animal related. You can find her running between meetings, researching the latest dog story online or reporting on the local school systems.