Virginia Beach needs help identifying locations where residents are living unsheltered

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach is looking to identify locations where residents are living unsheltered.

Members of Virginia Beach Housing & Neighborhood Preservation are asking the public’s help in identifying locations throughout the city where people have been seen living without shelter as part of the street count of the new year’s Point-in-Time (PIT) Count of the homeless population.

Residents can submit locations directly on a map from their phones or computer HERE.

Some of the signs that an individual is living unsheltered include:

  • Personal belongings left behind
  • A structure resembling a bed is present,
  • Individuals have been seen there on multiple occasions

City officials say they are asking for visual observations only and advise residents to not engage the individuals.

The PIT count helps determine how much funding a community will receive for homeless programs and services and provides demographic information about a city’s homeless population.

Each year, approximately $2 million is granted to Virginia Beach agencies that provide housing and supportive services to the homeless.

Interim Homeless Services Administrator Pam Shine addressed the importance to find unsheltered residents so they can be included in the count and assessed for services.

“This public input opportunity has enhanced our outreach efforts to help ensure the count is as thorough as possible. Since launching it in 2018, the public has helped us identify dozens of unknown locations where people were living unsheltered,” said Shine.

Typically, during the PIT Count, Homeless Services staff lead teams of volunteers to canvass the city and survey people who are without shelter. To promote the health and safety of the community during the pandemic, the department will not be recruiting new PIT volunteers this year.

For more ways to give help and join the community effort on making homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring in Virginia Beach, CLICK HERE.

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