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Norfolk Urban Renewal Center founder surprised with grant from TEGNA Foundation

The Urban Renewal Center in Norfolk works year-round to bring positive change to the city through countless projects reaching the homeless, our youth and more.

NORFOLK, Va. — 13News Now is shining a light on groups making a positive impact in our community.

The Urban Renewal Center in Norfolk works year-round to bring positive change to the city through countless projects reaching the homeless, our youth and others.

“We bring people together to be a common solution to a common problem,” said founder Antipas Harris.

Harris said their biggest outreach this year gave hope to the homeless. The URC worked with city leaders to provide a temporary shelter at the greyhound bus station.

“To see in the eyes of people when we give them food or give them clothes, tell them they have a warm blanket, how appreciative they are, it says to me we have a common humanity,” Harris said.

This city now runs a permanent shelter at the Budget Inn. Harris’ team has helped 60 residents find a job, so far.

“When they come to me and say, 'Hey, I have a place to live now,' it tells me that the work we are doing is not empowering poverty and we are not just giving a handout, but a hand up,” Harris said.

The URC is also heavily involved with youth in the city. Harris says volunteers in the community make their work possible.

"To support the community, it costs a lot of money,” Harris said.

13News Now wanted to thank Harris’ team.

On Thursday, 13News Now surprised Harris with a $13,000 check to give his organization a little boost. The funds came from the 2021 TEGNA Foundation Community. TEGNA is the parent company of 13News Now.

Harris said the URC is aiming to reach more homeless folks and youth in 2022.

“We anticipate building the URC to unite the community for positive change,” Harris said.

Harris said they work with the city to provide day services to anyone experiencing homeless at the Budget Inn off Tidewater Drive. There, people can get food, clothing and help with beginning job searches.