NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — For one nonprofit in Norfolk, HOPE stands for “Helping Others Pursue Excellence.” 

At this moment, the HOPE Foundation is not able to house their guests in their shelter due to social distancing guidelines. But the health and well-being of the homeless population is still their top concern.

“Hope is not in the building,” said Sylvia Boone, HOPE Foundation executive director. “Hope is in the heart of the person who is as an extended hand of God helping those in need.”

Typically during the summer months, the HOPE Shelter in Norfolk is a packed place where they try to give relief to people who’ve fallen on hard times; providing a roof over their heads a few days a week and home-cooked meals.

This year, due to social distancing guidelines, the mission is the same but the delivery will be different. Starting this Sunday they’ll be providing “hope on wheels.”

“Honoring social distance, we’ll be delivering to our guests letting them know that hope still lives,” said Boone.

“We’re going to go out and take food to those who are in need without reservation,” said Pastor Orlando Goodhope. “We’ll go and serve them as we would want to be helped if we were in the same position.”

They want to be of assistance wherever help is needed, knowing that right now, their call to restore hope and faith in humanity includes providing a few added things.

“We will provide home-cooked meals to the guest three days a week: Monday, Wednesday Friday,” said Regina Darden, HOPE Foundation founder and winner of WAVY’s 2020 Remarkable Women contest. “We’ll also give non-perishable food items, personal hygiene items, gloves, masks and hand sanitizer.”

Darden says the Norfolk Community Services Board has placed most, if not all, of the guests they usually house in hotels. They’ve sat down with city officials and implemented several preventative measures to minimize risk to themselves and the homeless population they serve — their guests in good times and bad. If you’d like to help, they are accepting donations.

Click here for more information if you’d like to volunteer.

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