Tuesday, January 31, 2023

City Council to vote on homeless center Tuesday

Aerial view of the Marine Reserve Center and surrounding areas (HNNDaily Photo/ Courtesy of the city of Newport News)
Aerial view of the Marine Reserve Center and surrounding areas (HNNDaily Photo/ Courtesy of the city of Newport News)

NEWPORT NEWS — The city’s planning commission is seeking City Council approval to use the vacant Marine Corps Reserve Center as a day service center for the homeless population.

According to the Greater Virginia Peninsula Homeless Consortium‘s January 2018 Point in Time report, there are 226 homeless persons living in Newport News.

If the proposal is approved, the Volunteer of America Chesapeake will operate the center and have various organizations on-site including the Hampton-Newport News Community Service Board, the Veteran Affairs Homeless Outreach, and the city’s police, human services and redevelopment and housing authority departments.

The Marine Corps Reserve Center is at 7401 Warwick Blvd.

The U.S. Department of Health and Services gave the five-acre reserve center to the city for free as long as the city uses the facility for “homelessness assistance purposes for “30 years”, according the city’s planning commission’s agenda.

The center would be open every day, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and have two police officers during operating hours and several surveillance cameras.

The vicinity and zoning map of the Marine Reserve Corps Center which is shaded in gray (HNNDaily Photo/ Courtesy of the city of Newport News)
The vicinity and zoning map of the Marine Reserve Corps Center which is shaded in gray (HNNDaily Photo/ Courtesy of the City of Newport News)

At the facility, homeless persons would have access to restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, storage for “personal items, an outdoor smoking area and haircuts, according to the proposal.

In addition, the building would be equipped with a children’s area, computer lab and multi-purpose spaces including areas for counseling, workforce development, financial literacy and case management.

On Oct. 3, the planning commission voted 8-1 on the proposal and the city manager recommended the plan to council.

The City Council meeting will be in the Council Chambers, 2400 Washington Ave. on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsiglianohttp://wydaily.com
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to julia@localvoicemedia.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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