Rotary Club of Hampton Roads partners with Samaritan House, community members to renovate domestic abuse shelter

Posted at 4:57 AM, Nov 12, 2020

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A local shelter for domestic abuse victims is about to get a makeover, just in time for the holidays.

Saturday morning, about a dozen members of the Rotary Club of Hampton Roads will begin work replacing all the floors inside one of the Samaritan House safe houses. Based in Virginia Beach, Samaritan House is an organization offering shelter for domestic abuse and human trafficking victims.

The Rotary Club will be joined by the owner of a construction company called We Build, along with five Seabees, who do construction with the U.S. Navy.

The project is made possible by a $5,000 grant from Rotary International.

"We have in excess of 336 people that were in our shelters last year, and for that many people to be rotating in and out of our shelters, the wear and tear is significant," explained LaShonda Carson, Samaritan House's program director.

With the pandemic causing more people to seek shelter from domestic abuse in the Samaritan House's more than 12 safe houses, as well as the holidays approaching, the project will go a long way for people going through difficult times.

As a non-profit, the organization relies on community partnerships like the one it shares with the Rotary Club of Hampton Roads.

"We want to make the world a better place, and we'll start with our community and then we take it out from there," said Rotary Club of Hampton Roads President Dave Rosenthal. "We also do projects regionally and worldwide, but our community is important, and we want to serve those that we can."

Rosenthal says he expects to work through the day on Saturday and into Sunday, if needed. He says the Rotary Club also plans to do some exterior work.

Samaritan House and the Rotary Club are also collecting new and gently used kitchen items, like pots, pans and other household staples, for abuse victims ready to transition to permanent housing. If you can help, you can email the Rotary Club of Hampton Roads at or contact them here.

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, call the 24-hour Samaritan House crisis hotline at (757) 430-2120.