ForKids was born in Norfolk’s Ocean View neighborhood almost 30 years ago when parishioners at Holy Trinity Catholic Church discovered families coming to their food pantry were sleeping on church grounds and local beaches. Holy Trinity partnered with 12 other Ocean View churches to found “Homeless Haven,” incorporated in the City of Norfolk on May 16, 1988. The agency’s sole program, “an emergency shelter facility which will serve the homeless,” called Haven House, opened the very next year on D View Avenue and still provides assistance for over 200 people each year.
Today, ForKids is one of the largest providers for homeless families in Virginia, touching over 37,000 lives annually through its holistic housing programs and extended services for families.
With a mission of breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty for families and children, ForKids is more than a safety net. Our full spectrum service model simultaneously identifies the compound root causes of each family’s homelessness and improves mental health, education, employment and personal obstacles with supportive services culminating in self-reliant families with permanent housing.
Breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty for families and children.
We envision a future where no child is homeless. Through the hard work of our staff, volunteers, partners, and families, innovative programs and persistent advocacy, ForKids will break the cycle of homelessness, foster strong families, and help parents gain and maintain safe and stable homes.
• We believe the future of our community is rooted in securing the future of our children.
• We believe family responsibility is the key to generational stability.
• We believe each individual has unique strengths and abilities that can be nurtured so that they
can achieve self-sufficiency.
• Our families are our full partners in the process of achieving self-sufficiency. We accomplish
goals with them, not for them.
• We believe change is a process, not an event. Emergency shelter is not a permanent solution to
• We believe we must be fully accountable for every contribution made to ForKids and wisely use
all funds entrusted to us.
• We believe it is our responsibility to educate others about the complex nature of homelessness
and advocate for changes in community policies and programs.
• We work as a team to address complex challenges of homelessness through innovative thinking,
hard work, and service excellence.
• We are committed to delivering services that achieve tangible results. We rigorously and regularly
assess our programs, making changes where necessary to improve results.
We know that homelessness is a complex problem. In order to adequately tackle housing instability, ForKids has created innovative programs providing services that identify and address the problems that keep families cycling through poverty and homelessness. The ForKids Model of service provides wrap around assistance in three primary areas: housing, education, and critical services. Children catch up in school while parents receive housing placement, healthcare access and coordination, case management, job coaching, mental health consultation and other services essential for stabilization. We believe that our ultimate success and mission impact are a direct result of this innovative combined service delivery.
The heart of ForKids is our holistic services for families that come to us in need of shelter. We are committed to providing them with “The ForKids Model” of Housing, Critical Services and Education according to their individual needs.