Long-running Portsmouth summer camp for at-risk kids may not open this year due to funding, staffing concerns

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Posted at 5:01 PM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 17:01:03-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - After 28 years, a Portsmouth non-profit's summer camp for at-risk children from low-income families may not be happening this year.

HOPE Charitable Services announced its academic-based Summer Day Camp may not be available for part - or all - of the summer this year due to funding and staffing concerns.

The camp is an academic program focused on feeding children when schools are closed for the summer and progressing their education through priming, remediation and other scientific-based programming and character building, according to camp coordinator Kameron Billings. It operates Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 27-August 20.

Billings said most families pay little to nothing to enroll their kids in the camp, so staff raises money to cover scholarships, supplies, staff, food and other costs.

"These families already must choose between rent, groceries, utilities, gas, and other costs. Adding those extra two meals five days a week that schools normally provide during the school year is an extra burden when a family's money is already stretched to the limit," Billings said.

HOPE Charitable Services will spend about $55,000 to provide eight weeks of summer programming for 60 kids.

To learn more about the Summer Day Camp or to make a donation, contact Bishop Frank Allen by phone at 757-761-0974 or via email at You can also make a donation online here.

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