Not everyone has a home for Christmas

The Housing Resource Center in Virginia Beach provides various services to the homeless population (Southside Daily Photo/ Courtesy of the City of Virginia Beach)
The Housing Resource Center in Virginia Beach provides various services to the homeless population (Southside Daily Photo/ Courtesy of the City of Virginia Beach)

VIRGINIA BEACH- The holidays are usually a time filled with presents, decorative lights and family, but not everyone here will have a place to go home to.

A place of their own, that is.

“We’re at full capacity,” said Kristin Ward, development director of the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center, in regards to the nonprofit’s singles homeless shelter. “There’s not enough beds right now to meet the need.”

The Judeo-Christian Outreach Center is one of several nonprofits involved with the city’s new Housing Resource Center, which opened earlier this year.

According to the group’s website, the center is a “one-stop shop” for people who are homeless or are experiencing a housing crisis and combines a shelter, housing, day services center, health center and other services all in one building.

The Judeo-Christian Outreach Center runs the singles shelter for adults over 18. They have 51 beds in total: 20 for men, 18 for women, seven beds for those with disabilities and six flexible accommodation beds which can be used for LGBTQ individuals or as needed.

The men and women sleep separately, and each gender’s sleeping quarters include bunk beds and a shared bathroom.

Those needing shelter must call the Regional Housing Crisis Hotline at 757-227-5932. The operator asks several intake questions to determine which housing service is best suited for the individual based on his or her circumstances and refers them to a housing program.

While the homeless can use the day services center to get help with housing, there is no guarantee they will get shelter at night, Ward said.

And this shelter isn’t the only facility at the Housing Resource Center at full capacity.

On Christmas Eve, the mothers staying at the short-term family housing shelter wrap presents for their children (Southside Daily Photo/ Courtesy of The Samaritan House)
On Christmas Eve, the mothers staying at the short-term family housing shelter wrap presents for their children (Southside Daily Photo/ Courtesy of The Samaritan House)

The Samaritan House which manages the short-term housing shelter for families at the center is also full.

The shelter has a total of 40 beds and also accommodates cribs.

Eva Fuze, marketing and events coordinator at Samaritan House, said the families are from Virginia Beach and include single moms and teens.

The Hooligans Car Club of Virginia and other business hosted a toy drive for the Samaritan House last week, providing enough donations so the nonprofit could give all the families staying at the housing shelter gifts, while volunteers from Prosper Insurance decorated the common area, Fuze said.

Christmas Eve, the moms and volunteers will wrap gifts while the staff members watch movies with the children.

It is not clear if there is a special meal planned at the short-term housing shelter or the singles shelter for Christmas.

Both the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center and the Samaritan House are accepting donations.

See the details below:

Judeo-Christian Outreach Center, 1053 Virginia Beach Blvd.

  • Full sized toiletries, such as shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, etc.
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Sock and underwear for men and women (all sizes)
  • Winter clothing, such as coats and jackets

Samaritan House, 2620 Southern Blvd.

  • Laundry detergent for sensitive skin
  • Sock and underwear
  • Size 15 boys shoes and sneakers
  • Toy and activities for kids ages 12-17 (book store gift cards, movie
  • passes and bowling passes)
  • Bus passes and/or Uber and Lyft tickets
  • Items must be labeled at ‘HRC’

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.