Advocating for Yourself: Making that Mental Health Crisis Call - First in a Series by Brigid Hokana

This past year, 2017 into early 2018, was one of the most difficult of my life. I was diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury after a work-related incident, and this experience, opened me up to a world I hadn’t known before, the world of mental health treatment.

I have since been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Depression in January 2018.

This is my story of making a call that saved my life.

February 2017

Doctor’s office, the room’s lights were too bright, headache, stomach ache. Lemon bleach from the office’s cleaner.

“You were hit by a child?” The doctor smiled and cocked her eyebrow. “He must have been a big child, I guess…How old do you teach again?”

“Five and six year olds,” I said, the paper overlay on the semi-plush bench crumpled in my hands. “I was slammed against a steel framed door about six to eight times. I lost count.”

She swirled her rolling chair closer to her laptop. “Oh, okay.” She side-eyed me, then looked at her laptop monitor, typed a couple of things. “Now I’ll perform a couple of tests.” She shone a light into my eyes, and stopped, the side-eye back. “Your eyes are really dilated, you haven’t been smoking weed, have you?”

No. I was not high. My head injury had only been a couple of weeks before. I blinked a couple of times, immediately thinking: was this my fault?

I defaulted to how I handled moments like this: joking. “I heard when your eyes are dilated it can mean you’re in love, too.” I chuckled, then held the back of my head against the now everpresent pain.

She didn’t laugh. “But you don’t smoke or drink, correct?” She shone the light in my eyes again.

“No.” That light. The back of my head ached even more intensely than before. “Can you stop that, please? It hurts.”

She narrowed her eyes, “I recommend seeing a neurologist.”

She handed me a business card. “We’ll give you more information on the way out.”

March 2017

The neurologist said as she looked over her clipboard. “Yep, you definitely have symptoms of someone who has a Traumatic Brain Injury.”

I fiddled my sweaty fingers, hoping she’d help me understand what was happening to me. “I feel dizzy. Most days I can’t see straight. Or the fact that I don’t want to get out of bed most mornings.” I said.

She nodded, but that was the end of our visit. “I’ll prescribe you this medication, and we’ll see if your situation has improved. Until then, I will see you in August.”

August 2017

I missed that appointment because family members said I looked like I had improved since March. I was better, right?

September 2017-November 2017

I’m better, right? Like a broken arm, or a bout of flu, it eventually just heals, and goes away...Right? This sadness, this anxiety, it goes away, right?

November through December 2017

I wasn’t better. Vertigo, headaches, anxiety that increased with every day. A series of panic attacks that left me useless, drained. I talked with some people about the anxiety. But the other things I didn’t talk about, to anyone.

Thoughts of ending the pain, ending the hurt.

January 12, 2018

Someone who cares about me, though, noticed. “Go back to the doctor--now,” she said.

I did. This time I told my primary care physician everything, about the vertigo, about the escalating anxiety, about the sorrow that grew darker and deeper every day. I couldn’t work. I tried, stayed in my job, even though I was drowning.

The doctor said turned her chair away from me to peer at her laptop. “There’s not much else I can do,” she said over her shoulder.

“This is just to get out of your contract, correct?” she asked. “It would probably be better from a psychiatrist; we’ll print a list for you before you leave here today.”

“But the headaches haven’t gone away--they’re getting worse, and I’ve had two panic attacks this week--” My chest felt like it was being crushed in a vice, and my throat burned with tears.

“I will give you some anti-anxiety medication, maybe that will help.” Her fingers pattered over the keyboard. “Here, I will give you a note for one week, that should be enough time for you to find a psychiatrist who will fill out this doctor’s note for you and identify you. Now for the rest of your examination.”

I cried a little bit, wiped up the tears.

She smiled, an efficient smile, then said, “Just think happy thoughts.” she said. Then she added, “And pray..” With that, she walked out of the room. I cried. This wasn’t about just needing to get out of my job.

I wanted help. I needed help.

Later in my apartment, I clenched my chest, and I cried, “I don’t know- I don’t know-I don’t know.”

I called a mentor. She lives in a town more than an hour away, but she heard me. I knew she heard me, because the next link she sent me was a psychiatric clinic, “It is a walk-in, there’s no guarantee they can see you,” she said. “ Call them, then call me right back.”

I left them a voice message asking for an appointment. I called her back, crying, gasping, “I couldn’t reach anyone.” My heart beat like a hammer clashed against my ribs; my breath slowed and quickened, deepened and shallowed. I felt like I would throw up.

“Okay, I’ve got one more link,” my mentor said. “But I want you to read this one carefully. I think this one will give you help, but I want you to understand what will happen if you call. Call me back once you’ve looked at it,” she said.

I clicked open the link she had sent. The title read Richmond Behavioral Health Authority. It read: “Crisis Intervention” with white lettering and a red background. I dialed the number..

A black haze covered my view. I spoke with a person, I couldn’t say anything except “Help,” then “I need help” and then finally, I gave them my address and phone number.

I tumbled inside myself, drowning in feelings. Shame: maybe I shouldn’t have asked for help. Fear: maybe I should have considered pills again or the car or-

I called my mentor back, “I did it.”

“I’m scared,” I told her. The tears were different now. ”I don’t know what they’re going to do when--when they get here. Are they going to handcuff me? My mom told me about a teenage girl they handcuffed to get her to go to the emergency room.” I stared at my front entrance, waiting for a swat team to kick down my door. Or maybe a nurse with a stretcher.

Oh my god, everyone is going to know I am crazy. People are going to think I am insane.

I felt pretty crazy. Panic burned up through me.

“No, no, sweetheart,” she said. “They are going to take you to the emergency room, then they’re going to do a psych eval. After that.sweetie, you will probably admitted. You understand?” she asked.

I nodded, then said, “Okay, I am going to hang up and wait for them.”

When the first responders arrived--no swat team--they were attentive and gentle, answering my questions, and taking me, I realize now, to the very place I most needed to be.

I want to make clear that this is an account of just my personal experience, and I am aware that the experience of others may vary. But I feel it’s too important to not share my experience, to maybe help someone understand what can happen when you call for help in a mental health crisis.

When you make the call, this is what will happen:

  1. The person on the other line will ask your emergency. They will ask if you think you are a danger to yourself or others. If you say you are in Crisis or an Emergency, they are required by law to help.

  2. Police Officers will show up to your door. They are just acting as first responders, people to wait with you.

  3. An Ambulance comes next, and they ask you a series of questions about your physical condition.

  4. Upon arrival, a nurse, a doctor, a social worker, and a psychiatrist will ask more questions about your mental/emotional condition.

  5. The psychiatrist will ask if you had any suicidal ideation and how. Answer honestly.

  6. You will possibly be admitted, but they will give you the care you really need.

This is my account with the mental health care system and while it was a good experience, if someone else doesn’t have as good an experience, then you do not need to give up. Keep asking for help until someone hears you. There is no shame in asking for help.

If you have or have had thoughts of suicide, know that you can advocate for yourself.

If you need help in making that call, don’t be afraid to ask a family member or friend to help.

If you live in the Richmond area, call their Crisis Prevention Hotline: 804-819-4100

If you are advocating for someone else’s life, don’t be afraid to look over the step-by-steps from NAMI. You can find those here. 

Click here for more information on advocates for Mental Health and Virginia NAMI

Your mental health is as important as your physical health.

Don't be afraid to ask for help. 

 

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Brigid Hokana lives in Richmond, Virginia, and is a member of the Central Virginia Chapter of Writing for Peace. She is an ABA Therapist for Building Blocks and a MFA student at West Virginia Wesleyan College. She wants to pursue a career as a Teaching Artist and Webcomic Artist. Brigid loves being a part of Writing for Peace and cannot wait to see this organization grow.

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Resource: Richmond Young Writers!

Looking for something awesome for kids to do? Check out Richmond Young Writers! 

Richmond Young Writers is a creative writing incubator for ages 9-17. We write, we read, we laugh, we cry, we get messy, we polish things up, we bond. We make each other better.

RYW offers once-a-week fall and winter/spring after-school workshops in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, journalism, comics, and other topics.

In the summer, we offer 18 different week-long creative writing camps, complete with amazing guest author appearances, snacks, deep thoughts, wordy goodness and a new crew of crazy writer friends.

About

Richmond Young Writers was founded in the summer of 2009 at Chop Suey Books with the intention of introducing young people to the joy of creative writing through workshops taught by professional writers in the community. Our workshops are now held right down the street at 2707 West Cary Street.

Full and partial scholarships are offered in each workshop to ensure that all students have the opportunity to participate in our programs.

We have had the pleasure of writing with young people ages 8-17 from Richmond, Henrico, Glen Allen, Ashland, Chesterfield, Midlothian, Montpelier, Powhatan, Moseley, Mechanicsville, Afton, Rockville, Gloucester, Charlottesville and more.

Learn More Here

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Compassion for the Four-Legged: A Survey of Virginia No-Kill Shelters from Semein Washington

Our human community is in need of compassion or assistance but, as those who have pets and care for other animals know, we are not the only ones who require attention. Animals who have been placed under human care, largely dogs and cats, often need new homes and the chance to live fulfilled lives. Many shelters do not have the resources or time to care for animals who haven’t found homes and subsequently have to put them to sleep.

One way to counter this cruelty is to do whatever we can to support no-kill shelters.. These institutions are committed to animals living long fulfilled lives and finding a loving home.

The following entries are highly rated by No-Kill Network.org.

AARF of Richmond, Virginia - “AARF is an acronym thatstands for Animal Adoption and Rescue Foundation. We are a Richmond, Virginia based, non-profit, all volunteer, non-euthanizing organization founded in June of 1993. Our goal is to rescue orphaned animals and place them in loving homes.”

To volunteer, donate or adopt with Richmond’s AARF: http://www.aarf.org/

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Humane Society/SPCA of Nelson County - “The Humane Society/SPCA of Nelson County (HS/SPCA) strives to improve animal welfare by providing care and adoption of ‘unwanted’ companion animals through: our ‘no-kill’ adoption center, foster care networks, satellite adoption venues, and Kitten & Puppy Rescue/Transport Programs; by funding veterinary services and education programs; and, by controlling over-population through low-cost Spay-Neuter-Vaccinate and Feral Cat Trap/Neuter/Release programs.”

Learn more, volunteer, donate or adopt here: http://www.nelsonspca.org/

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The Animal Aid Society - Hampton, Va. - “The Animal Aid Society is a "No-Kill" dog shelter. The mission of the Society is to provide to and/or for animals, other than Man, shelter, medical aid, care and protection, to act as a placement agency for dogs in good health, and to provide education for the humane care and treatment of dogs, and to attempt to prevent cruelty to dogs. It is a nonprofit organization which receives no funding from state or federal agencies. All of the funds required to maintain the shelter and care for the dogs come from donations and special fund-raising events. Donations to the shelter are tax deductible.

Our dogs are not euthanized. Dogs are kept at the shelter until placed in a home; however, this means that new dogs can only be accepted by the shelter after previous ones have been adopted or permanently placed in foster care. All our dogs are:

  • Examined by a veterinarian.

  • Receive medical care as needed.

  • Current on vaccinations.

  • Spayed or neutered.

  • Regularly walked and exercised.

  • Socialized and Loved.

  • Temperament tested.

  • Microchipped

The Animal Aid Society can be contacted here: http://www.animalaid-va.org/

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Humane Society of Loudoun County (Leesburg) - “The Humane Society of Loudoun County, VA (HSLC) is a no kill, animal welfare organization founded in 1966 to rescue and rehabilitate abandoned, feral, and neglected animals from Loudoun County, VA.. Our mission is to provide a second chance for our needy four-legged friends and to work toward a time when all animals have loving homes. By visiting schools, retirement homes, and other public venues, we try to enrich people´s lives with the magic of animals´ unconditional love, and to teach humans the value of proper care and responsibility of beloved pets.

As an organization, we work to influence legislation to protect animal rights. Our efforts helped local officials identify the need for and pass both anti-rodeo and hot car ordinances. Currently we´re communicating with VA state representatives on a bill to provide officials with training on recognizing the link between animal cruelty and child abuse, then breaking that link through education.”

Humane Society of Loudoun County can be contacted here: https://humaneloudoun.org/

_____________________________________

Additional resources and locations for no-kill shelters can be found here

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IMPORTANT RESOURCE: Free Immigration Screening Clinic, Feb 17, 2018, Richmond VA

What does DACA mean to you? The end of TPS for Salvadorans and Haitians? New immigration policies?

Free Immigration Screening Clinic
Saturday, Feb 17, 1-5pm
Sacred Heart Center
1400 Perry St, Richmond VA

___________________________________________________________________________

For more information,

call 804-230-4399 or 804-643 -1086

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¿Qué te significa DACA? ¿Nuevas políticas de inmigración? 

Consultas gratis acerca de la inmigración
Sábado, 17 de febrero, 1-5 pm
Sacred Heart Center
1400 Perry St, RIchmond VA



Patrocinado por Legal Aid Justice Center, VICPP Central VA Sanctuary Network, & Sacred Heart

Sponsored by the Legal Aid Justice Center, VICPP Central VA Sanctuary Network, & Sacred Heart Center

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IMPORTANT RESOURCE: Richmond City’s Cold Weather Overflow Shelter Open January 30 – February 1

The Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will be open Tuesday, January 30 – Thursday, February 1 as temperatures are forecast to remain at or below 40 degrees.

Residents in need of overnight shelter are asked to report to Commonwealth Catholic Charities (511 W. Grace Street) during operational hours for a comprehensive intake and referral to the appropriate shelter. Shelter registration is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  

For individuals who are not eligible for existing shelter space or if all available beds have been filled, Commonwealth Catholic Charities will provide a referral to the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter.

The Cold Weather Overflow Shelter is located in the City’s Public Safety Building at 505 North 9th Street. The shelter opens each evening at 7 p.m. and closes the following morning at 10 a.m. Individuals seeking access to the Overflow Shelter must have a referral. Food will not be provided and pets are not allowed.

City residents are also advised the Department of Social Services provides emergency assistance with gas and electric disconnection notices for residents who qualify. Residents may also call the Fuel Line at (804) 646-7046.

The elderly or residents with disabilities should contact Senior Connections for assistance at (804) 343-3000, Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, please contact Commonwealth Catholic Charities at (804) 648-4177.

More info here at Richmond2Day

RVA, please share! 

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Important Information! Domestic Violence at Colleges and Universities (from Ullman & Associates, Attys at Law)

"...according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), approximately 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses knew their attacker. An astonishing 35% of those victims reported that the rape occurred while on a date.

Here are other NCADV Domestic Violence on College Campuses Statistics:

  • 25% of female students experience sexual assault over the course of their college career.
  • 53% of victims of domestic violence were abused by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • 21% of college students report having experienced dating violence by a current partner.
  • 32% of college students experienced dating violence by a previous partner.
  • 13% of college women report they were forced to have sex by a dating partner.
  • 60% of acquaintance rapes on college campuses occur in casual or steady dating relationships.
  • 13% of college women report they have been stalked – nearly half of those were by a current or ex-boyfriend.

As you can see, statistics on domestic violence and rape at colleges and universities are staggering. Unfortunately, these statistics are likely much higher as many survivors do not report crimes to authorities out of fear of reprisal, fear of future acts of violence, anxiety, low self esteem and more.

How Domestic Violence at the University Level Is Different

Domestic violence – that is, violence between intimate partners – is a horrifying form of aggression. The abuser terrorizes his or her victim using physical force, coercion or threats, and takes advantage of a person he or she claims to care for. Domestic violence can, but doesn’t always, occur in acts of sexual abuse. Unfortunately, young victims of dating violence are often hesitant to come forward because of societal stigma and fear of retribution.

The university environment can further exacerbate the fear associated with domestic violence. A victim of domestic violence may feel that coming forward would threaten her or his social reputation, or would “ruin the life” of a prominent campus figure (though, of course, it was that prominent figure who broke the law).

Social media now plays an increased role, as teenagers and college students have the opportunity to covertly bully and threaten victims online.

Many students are also away from home for the first time and may feel isolated from their trusted support networks, especially family.

Beyond the social pressures, there are administrative challenges to face. Some colleges conduct their own hearings in response to student reports of domestic violence, but they may drag their feet. Many students have reported not being taken seriously or being put through arduous and disorganized hearings.

Victims are sometimes forced to continue attending class alongside their abusers or even live in the same residence hall. These missteps may stem in part from the mistaken perception that most college students prefer to “hook up” rather than engage in committed relationships, and that instances of dating violence are nothing more than isolated disputes between students. This is as offensive as it is incorrect. Most students do not frequently “hook up,” and instances of violence between intimate partners in college are a form of domestic violence...."

from Charles R. Ullman & Associates, Attorneys at Law

Learn More About Legal Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence at College Here

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RESOURCE: Free Clinic of Central Virginia, Lynchburg

The Free Clinic of Central Virginia envisions a community where everyone has access to quality healthcare services. The mission of the Free Clinic of Central Virginia is to provide high‐quality medical, dental, pharmacy and health education services to those in Central Virginia who do not have the resources to obtain these basic healthcare services. We are able to do our work because of generous volunteers who give of their time to help improve the health of our community.

Contact Info

Free Clinic of Central Virginia, 1016 Main Street, Lynchburg, VA 24504

Phone: 434-847-5866 • Fax: 434-528-2529 • E-mail: info@freeclinicva.org

Hours

 Monday, Wednesday and Friday — 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday and Thursday — 8:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Closed every afternoon from 1-2 p.m. for lunch.

Become a Patient

Free Clinic of Central Virginia provides expert care with superior treatment results to patients at all points in their care from diagnosis to treatment and ongoing wellness.

Make An Appointment

------------------------------------

Ways You Can Support the Free Clinic of Central Virginia

Volunteer

Volunteers keep the “FREE” in The Free Clinic. Volunteer support keeps costs low, enabling us to provide quality medical, dental and behavioral health care for those who might otherwise go without care. More Here

Donate

Your gift will help provide medical, dental and behavioral health services in our community. Our work is only possible with generous support from those who share our commitment to making health care available to all. Donate Here

 

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RESOURCE: Richmond cafe offers 'Need One, Give One' Coat Rack For Community

From WWBT TV, Channel 12, Richmond VA

"One area cafe is helping to keep people warm with more than just coffee and tea.

There is now a coat rack outside of Brewer's Cafe in Richmond's Manchester neighborhood.

It is called the "Need One, Give One" coat rack, and the concept behind it is simple - if you need a coat, you grab one. If you want to give a coat, hang one up on the rack for someone else...."

".So, if you need a coat, or simply want to donate one, just head to the cafe located at 1125 Bainbridge Street....."

READ THE REST HERE

Good Read: "The Food Activist Handbook" by Ali Berlow

"Small steps can create big changes in your community’s food quality and food security, helping to get more healthy food to more people and support a better food system. Ali Berlow shows you dozens of things that anyone can do, from creating a neighborhood kitchen for preserving fresh food to mapping farmland, connecting food pantries with food producers, starting a school garden, and organizing a community composting initiative. Every action you take can help keep farmers on the land and family farms intact, keep money in the local economy, reduce the carbon footprint associated with food transportation, and preserve local landscapes. If you’ve had enough of E. coli scares, disappearing farmland, pesticide problems, and hunger in your community, this inspiring book will show you exactly how one person really can make a difference."

"One person really can make a difference. From starting neighborhood kitchens to connecting food pantries with local family farms, Ali Berlow offers a variety of simple and practical strategies for improving your community’s food quality and security. Learn how your actions can keep money in the local economy, reduce the carbon footprint associated with food transportation, and preserve local landscapes. The Food Activist Handbook gives you the know-how and inspiration to create a better world, one meal at a time."

Read More on Ali Berlow & Buy The Food Activist Handbook Here

 

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EVENT: WINTER WARMTH DRIVE--RICHMOND & FARMVILLE--We need your help!

NEEDED: HATS, SCARVES, COATS, GLOVES, BLANKETS, SLEEPING BAGS

From Project Curator Stuart Nicholson: 

With temperatures reaching as low as 6 degrees in some areas of Central Virginia, businesses are reducing hours or closing, as travelling and faring in the cold is treacherous.

I work food delivery and I can’t count anymore how many people I have seen huddled under piles of blankets at bus stops or under small canopies. With the number of homeless people in the area and even more families unable to heat the homes they have, what kind of message of peace does it send if we just overlook those less-fortunate around us?

True to our principle of Action, Writing For Peace – Central Virginia is hitting the streets and faring the dropping temperatures to announce our Winter Warmth Drive. Throughout January, we will be collecting gently-used coats, hats, gloves, scarves, blankets, sleeping bags, whatever you have to give make the winter a little more bearable for everyone.

Watch here for more details coming soon regarding drop-off locations in RVA and Farmville, and specific dates.

How much you love your life is what every life is worth! – Brian Yorkey, If/Then; 2013

 

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RESOURCE: Emergency Shelters: Virginia Beach, Suffolk, Norfolk, Hampton, Williamsburg, Newport News

PLEASE SHARE. 

NO ONE SHOULD BE OUT IN THIS COLD. 

EMERGENCY SHELTER INFORMATION

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VIRGINIA BEACH

Virginia Beach has now opened an overnight shelter for adults experiencing homelessness through the city’s Winter Shelter program.

For information about the Winter Shelter program, contact Pam Shine at (757) 385-5761.

Families with children experiencing homelessness or who are at-risk should call the Regional Housing Crisis Hotline at (757) 227-5932 to access the city’s homeless prevention and services system.

READ MORE HERE

Salvation Army Rehabilitation  Center  
5524 Virginia Beach Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23462
757-499-0032
Serves single men. Recover-based program. Work in exchange for room and board. 

Judeo-Christian Outreach Center
1053 Virginia Beach Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
757-491-2846
Serves single men and women but will take small families. Call for space availability. 

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SUFFOLK

CAPS Night Stay Winter Shelter - Suffolk, VA

Contact information: 326 N. Main St., Suffolk, VA 23434
 PH; 757-276-9126  Website: http://www.capsuffolk.com  Email: nightstay@capsuffolk.org


Pick up is at the Suffolk Seaboard Train Museum, 326 N. Main St. Bus leaves for host church location promptly at 6:30 each evening. The site rotates among host churches on a weekly basis. We are unable to provide services to sex offenders or individuals with alcohol or drugs in their system.

Services: 
Night Stay Program
The Night Stay Program is a rotating night shelter for people experiencing homelessness in the winter months. Churches take turns hosting the program for a week at a time, opening their doors to provide shelter, food, safety and a listening ear to our neighbors.

MORE INFORMATION HERE

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Norfolk/Portsmouth

Union Mission 

Norfolk, VA 23502
(757)627-8686
Our desire is to help all who are in need. We are a
Christian ministry but accept anyone who needs our help.
We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


Emergency Shelter for Men, Single Women and
Women with Children
5100 E. Virginia Beach Blvd., Norfolk, VA 23502

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Portsmouth Volunteers for the Homeless - Portsmouth, VA

800 Williamsburg Ave, Suite B, Portsmouth, VA 23704
 PH: 757-399-0200

Primary provider of emergency shelter for single homeless individuals and to move them from dependency to self-sufficiency, through supportive services in cooperation with other organizations in the Portsmouth area.

READ MORE HERE

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HAMPTON

A Night's Welcome(Winter Shelter Program)  

317 Rip Rap Road
Hampton, VA 23669
757-850-8956

Residence
757-723-2996
 Rotating shelter sites from November through March. Information on shelter sites and transportation available through the Hampton-Newport News Community Service Board (PATH Homeless Services). No referral needed. Shelter times are from 7 PM to 7 AM. Sleep on mat on floor, meals served, and no shower services. Clients on their own during the day. Must carry items with them. For the schedule, see the A Night's Welcome webpage.

H.E.L.P. House  
317 Rip Rap Road
Hampton, VA 23669
757-850-8956

Residence
757-723-2996
H.E.L.P. is a non-profit organization that ministers to the dignity and needs of the people in the Hampton Roads community by providing assistance in the areas of housing, food, assistance and health and dental care. 

Transitions  
P.O. Box 561
Hampton, VA 23669
Hotline:
757-723-7774
Serves women and women with children that are experiencing domestic violence. Will take homeless women and children if room is available. Referrals made through the hotline. 

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WILLIAMSBURG

Avalon Center for Women and Children
P.O. Box 1079
Williamsburg, VA 23187
757-258-5022

Helpline:
757-258-8051
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NEWPORT NEWS

Menchville House  
P.O. Box 22687
Newport News, VA 23609
757-833-5980
Email

Peninsula Rescue Mission
3700 Huntington Ave.
Newport News, VA
757-380-6909
Single men only. 

PORT Shelter Program, LINK, Inc. (Winter Shelter Program)  
10413 Warwick Blvd.
Newport News, VA
757-595-1953
Rotating shelter sites from November to April. Information on shelter sites and transportation available through the Hampton-Newport news Community Service Board (PATH Homeless Services). No referral needed. Shelter times are from 7 PM until 7 AM. Sleep on mat on floor, meals served, and no shower services. Clients on their own during the day. Must carry items with them.

 

 

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RESOURCE: Richmond VA Cold Weather Overflow Shelter Open December 29- January 4

PLEASE SHARE. 

 EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, DECEMBER 1, 2017 UNTIL APRIL 15, 2018 THE COLD WEATHER OVERFLOW SHELTER HOURS OF OPERATION WILL BE 7 P.M. UNTIL 10 A.M.

The Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will be open Wednesday, December 29 – Thursday, January 4th, 2017 as temperatures are forecast to remain at or below 40 degrees.

Residents in need of overnight shelter are asked to report to Commonwealth Catholic Charities (511 W. Grace Street) during operational hours for a comprehensive intake and referral to the appropriate shelter. Shelter registration is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. For individuals who are not eligible for existing shelter space or if all available beds have been filled, Commonwealth Catholic Charities will provide a referral to the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter....."

"City residents are also advised the Department of Social Services provides emergency assistance with gas and electric disconnection notices for residents who qualify. Residents may also call the Fuel Line at (804) 646-7046.

The elderly or residents with disabilities should contact Senior Connections for assistance at (804) 343-3000, Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m....."

MORE DETAILS HERE

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RESOURCE: Lynchburg, Danville: Cold Weather Shelters

"The Coordinated Homeless Intake and Access - known as CHIA - helps locals facing homelessness get placed in a shelter with just one phone call to the program coordinator, Megan Wood.

Shelters are not just for those facing homelessness.

Folks who don't have working heat in their homes can also get assistance.

Contact the Salvation Army any time at (434) 845-5939 or call CHIA at (434) 485-7200 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m."

MORE DETAILS HERE

Pleas share. 

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RESOURCE: VIRGINIA HOMELESS SHELTERS AND SOCIAL SERVICES

List of Virginia Shelters

Many are emergency shelters along with general homeless shelters and some transitional housing opportunities. As a note, many of these shelters now have waiting lists. Please call before going to them. Many waiting lists are very long.

Please pass on.