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Homeless shelter in Norfolk to move to motel on Tidewater Drive

Norfolk is taking a longer-range look at what's next to help its homeless population.

NORFOLK, Va. — Since May, the former Greyhound bus station has functioned as a homeless shelter. But we've known it's only temporary until October.

When that time is up, Norfolk will pay up to $140,000 dollars to lease property at 1050 Tidewater Drive. It's the Budget Lodge motel near the Tidewater Gardens section, close to downtown.

City council members on Tuesday gave the go-ahead for a lease agreement there. That property will transform and serve as the city's next temporary homeless shelter.

The city's existing shelter called "The Center"  was not designed for the long term.

Plans are to move out services there and move into the motel property in October.

This next step is exciting for advocate and founder of #KeepVAWarm, Katrinia Freeman.

"This right here means a lot, not only to myself but those who we are assisting. Because they know that they'll eventually have somewhere to go. And they are providing other services in 'The Center' for them," she said.

Freeman told 13News Now that there are some success stories. However, others still need assistance from the city.

"We do want to make it easier for them because it's hard to care for so many individuals," she said. 

Freeman is among those ready to help. She has donations, like coats, winter gear, and toiletries, ready to go.

#KeepVAWarm works with the homeless and those in need all across the 757. The group plans to distribute donations on September 25.

"We just want to support. We just want to be an extra resource," said Freeman. 

The lease agreement for the motel property runs until December. Hopes are to reach a more long-term solution. 

The city continues working with key groups, churches, and volunteers to help the homeless population.