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LINK, Peninsula's largest homeless provider, receives national renovation grant

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Posted at 12:50 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 07:27:23-04

LINK of Hampton Roads has unveiled critical renovations made to their emergency services center, which serves about 26,000 people in need yearly.

LINK is the largest homeless provider on the Peninsula, providing those in need with food, clothing, shelter and social services.

The organization was doing it all from the inside of a run-down building built in the 1950s.

"All of our money goes to programs," said Lynne Finding, executive director of LINK of Hampton Roads. "Just about 1% goes to operations. 99% goes to our programs, so we were really living in substandard conditions."

But now LINK program members can come to do their laundry, collect food or even pick out a new outfit in LINK's newly renovated building.

The renovations come after LINK was one of just a hundred organizations nationwide to be awarded the Lowe's 100 Hometowns grant. LINK received $35,400.

"It took me to the ground when it was announced, I was in tears," Finding said. "Because we've been living in yuck for so long."

The renovated space also provides emotional benefits, giving clients a space where they feel they are accepted and can work to build a better life.

"Just coming down here... When I tell you I'm grateful, I'm grateful," said Renee Taylor, LINK program member and volunteer. "They made me believe in myself. They push me to go further. And that's what I'm doing. When I come down here I feel like I'm Superwoman. I feel like I can conquer the world."

LINK employees say the renovations are also beneficial to them, giving them a more comfortable space for case managers that help clients find stable employment, permanent housing and substance abuse programs.

"We're always out and about in the community, helping folks and doing what we need to do to support them, and it feels really good to come back to our own environment," said Ann Ruffin, LINK's program director. "We can come back and nurture ourselves a little bit better now."

LINK also assists veterans, low-income families and those with disabilities.

You can learn more about LINK and make donations to support their mission at their website.