VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - The City of Virginia Beach held a public meeting Wednesday night at the Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library to get input on it's plan to end homelessness in the city.
The Department of Housing and Neighborhood Preservation is trying to update it's 10-year plan to help the homeless find homes, and the City wants to know what people think of the proposed changes.
"A lot of things are improving and working towards housing and support services around that and we think it’s very exciting," said Deborah Maloney, Director of Volunteers of America.
Maloney said she's already seeing the benefits the time and attention to this issue is making.
"I’ve been able to see our residents and participants at the Lighthouse and shelter program really start to kind of move in successful ways," said Maloney.
City Council adopted the plan in 2007 because it had to have a 10-year plan to receive federal funding addressing homelessness. Now, the plan needs to be updated to include some new issues.
One issue is that federal regulations require some changes to the City's homeless services system to be in effect by August of next year.
Another issue is that the City needs to add a Housing Resource Center to the plan; In May, City Council approved design funding for a center that would be built on North Witchduck Road.
Also, some issues came to light after a study of the city's Housing Crisis Response System earlier this year. The results revealed needed changes to the system of agencies and programs designed to assist the homeless and people at risk of becoming homeless.
Some people attending the meeting also voiced concerns about what's being done for homeless veterans specifically.
"We just really need to address those soldiers coming back with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries and sexual assault trauma because those are the ones falling through the cracks and tend to be homeless," said Robin Whitehead of the Disabled American Veterans.
If you missed the meeting you can share your thoughts about the plan and it's proposed changes online until 5 p.m. on September 5.
The department plans to announce an updated plan on its website in September, and then City Council will consider the proposed plan in October.
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