VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — All month long, 13News Now is highlighting important non-profits in Hampton Roads ahead of the area’s annual day of giving: Give Local 757.
To all those experiencing homelessness, the doors are open. Just keep fighting to get through them.
That message is from the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center in Virginia Beach.
For the last thirty years, the organization has been known for its community dinner, offering hot meals to the homeless every night at 5 p.m., even on holidays.
On average they provide 100,000 meals every year.
“If you were able to look inside that number, you’d find a lot of families and a lot of individuals who are being prevented from becoming homeless in the first place,” said Todd Walker, Judeo-Christian Outreach Center executive director.
Walker said when it comes to housing, the JCOC works with landlords to provide low-cost rent options for people who are struggling.
Their work has helped people like Clyde, who told 13News Now life passed him by for the last 20 years.
Homeless and eager for a change, Clyde found the outreach center, and last November, he moved into his own apartment, ready to start over with a new lease on life.
“Those stories are the ones that touch my heart,” said Walker. “We always tell our clients, ‘There is a reason your windshield is bigger than your review mirror.’ What’s out ahead of you is bigger than what’s behind you.”
Walker says they want to do even more to offer that outlook to people like Clyde.
They’re working to add housing of their own to the footprint of the JCOC headquarters near the Virginia Beach Sportscenter.
That is why, right now, donations will go a long way.
“We really would need the community support as we get closer to that goal as well,” said Walker.