VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Families and individuals experiencing homelessness or a housing crisis in Virginia Beach were able to access a variety of supportive services and resources on Thursday.
More than 100 people showed up for the event and people said they are grateful for all of the free resources, and they hope this help can land them a job in the near future.
“A lot of love, I’ve noticed. Everyone is feeling happy. I’ve noticed people who don’t normally smile are smiling,” said Michael Mendoza who received the free resources.
Project Homeless Connect helped those in need at the Virginia Beach Housing Resource Center.
“People have often stereotyped about who needs help, but no one would want to be in their situation,” explained Andrew Friedman, Director of the Virginia Beach Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation.
The event featured one-stop access to services and resources designed to assist families and individuals in moving closer to preventing or ending their homelessness. These include housing resources, social services, legal resources, veterans’ services, and other related resources.
Participants also received donated services from local businesses and organizations, such as health and dental screenings by Old Dominion University School of Dental Hygiene and haircuts provided by Rudy & Kelly Academy, A Paul Mitchell Partner School.
Friedman said, "I wish we could do it more often. It’s so obvious that it is filling a big need that if we had a way to do it more often then I think we should. It’s really valuable."
Project Homeless Connect is sponsored by Virginia Beach Housing and Neighborhood Preservation and BEACH (Bringing an End to all City Homelessness), a community partnership between city, nonprofit, and faith-based organizations.
“Showing people who care and actually taking their own time out to help us without being paid, it’s really special to me,” said Mendoza.