Hampton church rebuilds dilapidated house to help homeless female veterans


HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Female veterans are the fastest growing segment of homeless veterans in America and Virginia.

A church right down the road from the Veterans Affairs hospital in Hampton is hoping to help some of these women get back on their feet.

Victory House is being renovated by West End Baptist Church.

“Our motto is empowering the children of God to live victoriously, and we want everybody to live victoriously,” said Senior Pastor Paul Thomas.

The house on Shell Road is just three miles from the Hampton VA Medical Center and sits right across the street from the church.

Thomas and his wife, Vernissa, say it was a drug house that was literally falling apart when their church bought it three years ago.

In the past five weeks they’ve built a fifth bedroom, a second bathroom and new stairs. They moved in donated appliances and hope to move in residents starting December 1, 2019.

“When you’ve had someone who’s served their country and now is struggling to live in this country, I think we need to do something about that.”

Paul served 24 years in the Navy and Vernissa was a reservist. Their church has put up veterans in need in hotels in the past.

The new home will allow them to help even more people with more programs.

They do not have a tax exempt charity designation, so they will charge a modest rent, around $500-$600 a month. But there will be food in the kitchen, linens in the closet and no other bills to pay.

“They will have security, internet, Wi-Fi, everything,” Vernissa said.

She added they will also have access to classes through the church to help them find work, and they’ll even give them rides to work or doctor’s visits when needed.

“We are really planning to do a ministry.”

If you know someone who might benefit from the house, or would like to help, visit their Facebook page or contact the church at 757-251-2560.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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