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Newport News center helping homeless community impacted by inflation

Four Oaks Day Services and Training Center leaders said the center is starting to see an influx of people in need of help.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — After making the move to Newport News about a month ago, Henry Gavers fell on hard times.

“I moved from Missouri," Gavers said. "I was in the process of helping someone. And in that process, I ran into some bad luck."

Gavers said he became homeless and had to sleep in his car at night for shelter.

“I had pillows and a blanket," he said. "So, I understand what it feels like for the people that have been homeless for a lot of years.”

As he works to get back on his feet, he says some things are still trying to knock him down.

“I think the biggest thing would be the gas prices, inflation," he said. "With everything that’s going on, people are struggling.”

So, he came to the Four Oaks Day Services and Training Center for help.

The center is preparing to keep those experiencing homelessness cool for the summer months. But the center’s Executive Director Quincy White said more challenges are on the way.

“We are preparing for an influx of folks to come over," White said. "Hopefully, not become homeless.”

According to Virginia Commonwealth University’s RVA Eviction Lab, evictions in Hampton Roads have decreased throughout the pandemic, but White says numbers are starting to trend upwards.

“We’re starting to see evictions increase, and we are trying to prepare on our end for the flood of folks we see coming,” White said.

White said the center has hired a mental health specialist for those in need, and also has other available resources to prevent homelessness.

This news leaves Gavers optimistic about his future.

“I’m very grateful and very hopeful that I’ll be able to get back on my feet very soon,” Gavers said.

Ahead of the summer, the center is looking for donations to help the homeless community. White said the center is looking for water, sunscreen and light-colored clothing.

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