Monday, December 11, 2023

Homeless center in Newport News closed due to coronavirus concerns, but ‘services are continuing’

(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Pixabay)
(WYDaily file/Courtesy of Pixabay)

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

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.


John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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