SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Homeless and struggling families in Hampton Roads now have a new place to go to help them get back on their feet.
ForKids is celebrating the grand opening of their regional headquarters in Suffolk.
This facility has been in the works for a few years.
10 On Your Side spoke with the CEO, who said the new building will allow them to serve even more families.
“As soon as we put our sign out front at this building almost a year ago, more people found us, more families knew that we were here and the community knew we were here, and that’s going to change how we work in this community,” said CEO Thaler McCormick.
The new space is over 7,000 square feet and has a donation distribution center along with educational centers for children.
“The team has been working out of about two rooms for the last decade, so for us this is a whole new education center that will serve up to 50 kids a night,” McCormick said.
“A lot of cases when you’re homeless, it’s awful hard to keep up to your grades,” said Rick Clarke, Board of Directors Chairman.
McCormick said experiencing homelessness can be traumatic for families and children, so lots of time was spent on the details inside.
“This is full of light, it’s calm, welcoming colors. We have plants and greenery. We want our families to feel that this is a welcoming environment where they’re safe,” McCormick said.
ForKids has helped about 500 struggling families just in the last six months. Most of them need help paying rent or utilities. Others need a place to stay. We’re told the new facility will help expand their services.
It’s about 4 times larger than what we had before,” Clarke said.
“Our capacity here is much greater so I think we’ll certainly be able to grow our resources for families in Western Tidewater,” McCormick said.
This center in Suffolk does not have a shelter but one will be built at the new regional headquarters for South Norfolk in Chesapeake. Construction is set to begin there in early 2019.
If you’re interested in volunteering or donating to ForKids, click here.