City seeks help to count the homeless, provide services during two-day stretch in January

City of Virginia Beach Official Seal
City of Virginia Beach Official Seal

Virginia Beach is seeking volunteers to help it ascertain how many of its residents are homeless, hand out supplies and connect them with services in late January.

The work is part of the annual Point-in-Time Count of the homeless, which the city said helps it intelligently address homelessness and is necessary for federal funding.

Volunteers will count those living on Virginia Beach’s streets and administer a survey during a three-and-a-half hour window that begins at 9 p.m. on Jan. 27, according to a press release.

Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and register here by Monday, Jan. 4.

BEACH Community Partnership, a group of faith-based and nonprofit entities dedicated to fighting homelessness, will hold its Project Homeless Connect the day after the count. That event begins at 8 a.m. on Jan 28 and needs volunteers to perform one of several tasks in one of two shifts between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires the city conduct the annual count of homeless persons who are sheltered in emergency shelter, transitional housing, and Safe Havens on a single night — usually in January — in order to receive funding, according to its website and the press release. More than $1.3 million is granted each year through a HUD program to Virginia Beach agencies that provide housing and supportive services to the homeless, according to the release.

“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,” the city said in the release.

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.

Have a story idea or news tip? Contact city hall reporter Judah Taylor at Judah@SouthsideDaily.com or 757-490-2750.

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