Virginia Beach, Va - It's a major effort to end homelessness in Virginia with a nice chunk of change earmarked to help.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is giving $20 million to programs across Virginia, about $6 million is going to be spent in Hampton Roads.
A former painter, Bobby Dunn spends most of his days along the intersection of Mercury Boulevard and Cunningham Drive in Hampton. He's homeless.
“I just hang out, try to get a couple dollars to get some to eat,” Dunn explained. “Ain`t a whole lot to do when you don`t have any money.”
It's hard to find money for programs that work which is why the Department is giving more than $6 million to Hampton Roads homeless programs like Judeo-Christian Outreach Center.
“We`ll get approximately $59,000 and they`ll go toward our permanent supportive housing program,” the Outreach Center’s Executive Director, Todd Walker, said. “The program was put in place to help the most vulnerable homeless person, which is someone who has been chronically homeless.”
Walker said this grant from HUD is the only way they`re able to offer these services. He also mentioned that grants and these types of programs are the best way to combat this problem. He said last year, there were more than 400 homeless people in Virginia Beach. Luckily, he expects those numbers to decline this year.
It's a problem Hampton Police know about and they are doing their part to help out.
“The new initiative is to hand out blankets to the homeless individuals in the area or, basically, anybody that`s in need,” Corporal Reginald Williams said.
“I think that is a great, great thing. It keeps people warm at night,” Dunn said.