NORFOLK, Va. — Fresh laundry and a new haircut are things some of us may take for granted. For people experiencing homelessness, these things are sometimes hard to come by.
Leaders at Calvary Revival Church are hoping to change that with their inaugural “Summer Homies Festival” hosted by the church’s nonprofit outreach program, Revive Community of Virginia.
People experiencing homelessness got a shower, meal, haircut, manicure and free laundry service.
Program Director Shandesa Templeman said her team picked up people around Hampton Roads -- who are unhoused -- and brought them to the church for the event.
“I like to call it a little self-care and healthcare day for our homeless and unsheltered population here in Norfolk," Templeman said. "We did two pickup locations in Virginia Beach and then two in Norfolk, so we’ll shuttle them back here and then when they get here, there are haircuts available, a hot meal.”
Among those getting a little extra help today was Robert, a man in his 50s who did not want to appear on camera. He said events like this one mean a lot.
“I didn’t expect a turnout like this or support, and it’s nice to see, especially when you’ve been homeless," Robert said. "You know there’s people out there who care about you. And sometimes if it weren’t for events like this, you’d have your head hung low a lot. This brightens up your day.”
Event organizers also offered free health screenings and new clothing. Templeman said her team wanted people in unsheltered communities to feel cared for and loved.
“Homelessness is something that’s super prevalent in this area but it’s also very out of sight, out of mind," she said.
The goal was to help 1,000 people in Hampton Roads in one day. Organizers say they plan to hold the event every year.
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