VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — It’s been a long time coming for Seton Youth Shelters, but they’re ready to announce some exciting news.
The nonprofit’s team has been on a mission to find a new home after the lease for their boys’ home was terminated. Now, they’ve locked in a new property that would allow them to have multiple services on a single campus.
Seton Youth Shelters is a nonprofit that protects trafficked children and gives shelter to runaways, among other help.
Executive Director Jennifer Sieracki says they kept on pushing through despite the pandemic and lease issue.
“We know without us here, there are children who are homeless, who have been trafficked, who are at risk and have other issues, would have nowhere to go,” said Sieracki.
For them, the storm passed and then a rainbow came in the form of some very generous donations. Sieracki says the new location was made possible by the lead donor of Seton Youth Shelters’ Building Promise Capital Campaign.
The cross is still hanging at the former site of St. Luke’s Methodist Church off Stoneshore Road in Virginia Beach, but soon, the property will give new life to the nonprofit.
“When we noticed there was a ‘for sale’ sign up, we were able to act on it because of the gift from our capital campaign. It can take several months to negotiate an offer, but here we are today with our contract and moving through the process with the city for approval to bring Seton Youth Shelters together on this wonderful property,” said Sieracki.
Sieracki says this will allow them to have their boys’ shelter, girls’ shelter, and administrative and education center all in one place.
She says they hope to close on the property in late June or early July, with plans to bring boys into the existing building while they begin construction on phase one.
While one big dream is now a reality, the entire project comes with a price tag of over $5 million. The shelter still has $1.4 million left to raise.
“We do know it’s the most challenging time we think in the history of our economy to do this. So we’ve got some work ahead of us but we’re hoping the community will help us,” said Sieracki.
Sieracki says they expect all the construction will be finished in the next three to five years.
If you’re interested in donating, you can visit the Seton Youth Shelters website.