NewsPositively Hampton Roads


People Taking Action: Local woman hosts fundraiser for nonprofit benefiting the homeless

Posted at 5:28 PM, Aug 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-20 18:09:40-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. -A pizza slice neighborhood fundraiser: A fundraiser Tracy Barton-Niles recently held in front of her Chesapeake home benefitting a nonprofit she started, the Homeless Hustle Network.

She was a little surprised when News 3 showed up with cameras rolling.

"And I'm still in shock - sorry!"

Why was she in shock?

Tracy Barton-Niles receives her People Taking Action award from News 3 Anchor Kurt Williams

"Because she told me y'all were coming but I didn't believe it," she said with a laugh.

The person she was referencing is Mandi Turner, who sent News 3 an email. Mandi read a portion of it: "I've known Tracy for over 20 years. She has always helped the homeless."

It's evident when you see the piles of donated items on her porch. The bags are packed with a variety of items, including clothes that she regularly loads up and drops off to the homeless at various locations across Hampton Roads. She explains why she does this.

"Everybody sometimes just needs a little pull or a tug or a push from the back, not another 'no.' I want to be a 'yes' to someone."

And it's not just using her van to take clothing and other supplies to the homeless - she's also using that van picking the homeless up and taking them to medical and dental appointments, to social service appointments and sometimes to court if they've been the victim of a crime.

Related: Virginia Beach woman throws huge baby showers for single moms

Her husband, Bryan Niles, admits it's a lot of work.

"It's constant. It's constant doing stuff, constant working... it's a full-time job over the full-time job I already work, but Tracy really is the spearhead for it."

And that's why Mandi nominated her.

"Tracy truly is an amazing person with a huge, giving heart! I would love to see her recognized!"

And that's exactly what News 3 did. We presented her with a People Taking Action award, along with a $300 Visa gift card from out community partner, Southern Bank.

She was grateful and modest.

"This is awesome! But it's not just me, it's all the people in the network - seriously, I'm just the big mouth."

For more info on the Homeless Hustle Network, click here.

Do you know someone who's worthy of a People Taking Action award? Click here to nominate them!