PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Each year, Hope Charitable Services opens its doors to local youth in Portsmouth all summer long.
Hope raises around $57,000 solely through donations, but this year is different.
“To be quite honest with you, camp starts in else than two weeks and we don’t have a penny for camp,” Frank Allen, the Director and Founder of Hope Charitable Services, said.
Allen said the COVID-19 pandemic and loss of crucial donors have made it impossible to open the doors of the Hope Summer Day Camp.
The summer camp is where Nevaeh Hunter comes every summer.
“Sometimes I want to get out of the house and stuff. It makes me happy, so that’s the reason I go,” Hunter said.
She has attended the Hope Summer Day Camp for the last nine years. For her mom, Jacynthia Jenkins, the summer camp brings a sense of security.
“We had a bullet go through our house and both of us had to hit the floor,” Jenkins said.
10 On Your Side investigators are tracking gun violence in Hampton Roads. Since the first of January this year, we’ve recorded more than 65 shootings that resulted in injuries or death in Portsmouth.
That’s why Allen continues to create a safe space.
”Some of them would remain locked up in the house because their parents [don’t] have the capacity to and other ones things in life have detracted their parents and they aren’t able to be there for their children,”Allen said.
“The children would become their own masters of the street and fit in where they can fit in. That is the part that is so scary.”
The reality is that 60 kids could be without the summer day camp, however Allen said he still has hope.
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