Event aims to aid homeless

Published 10:09 pm Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Homeless people in Suffolk and the surrounding area will get a little community support on Thursday during Homeless Assist Day, sponsored by the Western Tidewater Continuum of Care.

During the special program — which will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the National Guard Armory on Godwin Boulevard — homeless people will receive clothing, shoes, supplies, medical and dental assessments and connections with local shelters.

The WTCC hopes to help more than 50 individuals and families, according to Tenisha Peoples, who chairs the committee that is organizing the event. Peoples is also the Healthcare for the Homeless Case Manager at the Peninsula Institute for Community Health Main Street Physicians office location.

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During the most recent homeless count, more than 50 individuals and families were identified as homeless in the Western Tidewater area, which includes Suffolk, Isle of Wight, Franklin and Southampton.

“We think this one-stop shop of service providers will help our homeless to garner information referrals and services from agencies that are not as readily available in our area,” she said in a press release announcing a need for volunteers.

“We will be relying heavily on volunteers to make this day successful,” said Nicole Krieger, director of resource development at the United Way of South Hampton Roads. “Volunteers will help with services such as intake, street outreach, triage, food service, transportation, logistics, data entry, discharge and entertainment for children.”

Donations of school supplies, gently used shoes and clothing, socks, toiletries, water, strollers, food gift certificates, sleeping bags and blankets also will be accepted. Free transportation is being provided from a variety of sites across the region.

To make a donation or to volunteer for the event, contact Peoples at 925-1866 or Krieger at 539-1498.