Local shelter looks to fill financial gap with people who can 'Give From Home'

Posted at 7:02 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 23:18:00-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- For decades, the Peninsula Rescue Mission said it's never turned away anyone needing shelter - until now.

"For the 54-plus years that we’ve been in ministry, our doors have been open every day," Paul Speight, the director of Development for the Peninsula Rescue Mission, told News 3. "We’ve very, very rarely have to tell someone we don’t have space."

Just like other shelters, the mission closed its doors because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also had to close its thrift store, which brought in a fifth of its income to operate.

“That comes with a cost of having to say you’re sorry," Speight said, "'our doors aren’t open at this time until this pandemic is over.'"

But help is coming in the form of a hashtag that requires your help -- #GiveFromHomeDay on Tuesday, April 21.

It was created by a marketing firm to help shelters across the nation stay afloat during this pandemic.

“We’re hoping that will help fill the gap of lost income from the thrift store," Speight said.

Anyone can help and contribute; you just need a computer or mobile device with an internet connection. Then, you click on this special link that takes you to the mission's donation page.

From there, you can donate any amount. All of those funds will go straight to the mission.

“Because of all the lost jobs out there, there’s going to be more people needing shelter when we open our doors," Speight said. "We’re trying to think of the big picture and long-term as well."

The mission hopes to raise $5,000 to stay afloat because Speight said, “homelessness never takes a break.” When the shelter and thrift store will reopen, Speight said he is not sure.

“My hope in all of this is that we would just as a community be compassionate to those who are in the greatest need," he said.

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