As a precaution and to avoid the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), officials in Newport News closed the Four Oaks Day Service Center “to protect clients and employees.”
“While the center is closed, services are continuing,” officials said in a news release. “Staff is out in the field, partnering with the Salvation Army and LINK to deliver food and supplies to places we know homeless individuals find shelter.”
Four Oaks opened in February 2019. It’s operated by the city of Newport News the Volunteers of America Chesapeake and other organizations who provide various services such as job skills training, permanent housing, medical treatment and financial literacy classes to people who are homeless.
“It’s a one-stop service and assistance center where men, women and families experiencing homelessness receive supports and are connected to comprehensive community services under one roof,” according to its website.
Officials said staff are connecting people with medical providers and working with local health care organizations to provide screenings on an as-needed basis.
“We are also creating a mobile thrift store to provide sleeping bags, blankets, coats, hats and scarves,” according to the news release.
The city is also planning for additional services, including placing handwashing stations in key locations, offering laundry services and partnering with health care organizations for COVID-19 testing.
Area churches also have provided donations.
Prior to the spread of coronavirus, employees at Four Oaks and the city’s Housing Broker Team were able to find homes for some individuals and families.
“While they are now in a place of their own, many are not completely self-sufficient and some have been affected by business closures and lack the resources to purchase food and supplies,” officials said. “The nonprofit community has stepped up to provide groceries and essential items to these individuals and families during this critical time.”
Volunteers are not needed at this time and, since staff is in the field, donations are not being accepted at Four Oaks as of now.
If you, your church or civic organization would like to discuss donations or support, you can contact Quincy White, executive director of the Four Oaks Day Service Center, at email@example.com.
As of Friday, Virginia has 114 positive cases of coronavirus. James City County, which is seeing the brunt of the cases, has 19; Williamsburg has four; York County three and one in Newport News.
The two coronavirus-related deaths in the state were in the Peninsula.
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