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80 people from Norfolk's temporary homeless shelter relocated to Scope to ride out the storm

A team of volunteers helped get people at the city’s temporary homeless shelter out of the elements.

NORFOLK, Va. — City crews across Hampton Roads started prepping early for Tropical Storm Elsa.

Norfolk Stormwater crews cleaned out drains and a team of volunteers helped get people at the city’s temporary homeless shelter out of the elements.

The volunteers got to work Thursday morning covering up cots and tents at the shelter.

“We wanted to take some extra precautions,” said Norfolk Community Services Board Director Sarah Fuller.

The shelter opened in May at the former Greyhound bus station.

Tents are set up in the gated parking lot, and there are a variety of services inside. But with dicey weather in the forecast, city officials didn’t want to take any chances.

“There is going to be a lot of wind, a lot of rain,” Fuller said. “We want to make sure everybody stays safe and dry tonight.”

Fuller said they relocated more than 80 people to the Norfolk Scope Arena.

“We are just bringing mats and blankets with us, it’s very minimalist,” Fuller said. “We are just there for one night.”

Over the last few months, the shelter has also created a sense of community.

“The last thing we want people to feel like is that this is just a shelter, something that they come to and exist,” said Urban Renewal Center Director Jordan Brown. “We want them to be upward, mobile and even in these storm situations, we want them to know they are cared for.”

Fuller said they are constantly looking for volunteers to keep this safe space up and running.

“Volunteerism is great, and we want this to be a community endeavor here at this location,” Fuller said.

The city is working on a permanent shelter location and hopes to have that open sometime this fall.

Anyone interested in volunteering can reach out to Pastor Jim Wood, at jim@fpcnorfolk.org.

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