FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2018
Media Contact: Becky Lyle Pinkard
(757) 622-6400 Ext. 102
Calls into the Norfolk-based call center are being managed from homes across Virginia & DC
NORFOLK, Va. – The Regional Housing Crisis Hotline, serving 14 cities of Hampton Roads, evacuated their Zone A offices on Colley Avenue in Norfolk and headed to high ground in living rooms across the state. The Hotline answers up to 450 calls a day from households experiencing a housing crisis and connects them to the resources throughout the region that can best meet their needs. The hotline received over 45,000 calls last year.
This week, the staff of the Hotline continues to respond to a call volume that has spiked due to Hurricane Florence, but they are doing so wearing furry slippers and sweats from living rooms as far away as Fredericksburg and the District of Columbus, where they evacuated to earlier this week to ensure their work is not interrupted by Florence. The entire call center staff is equipped with mobile phone equipment and laptops that are always available to grab and go in the event of emergency such as a category 4 hurricane or the Bomb Cyclone in January.
Homeless families seeking assistance with shelter both before and after Hurricane Florence makes landfall may still call ForKids Regional Housing Crisis Hotline at (757) 587- 4202. In addition to the many resources the Hotline typically makes available to homeless families in need, it is working with City partners to provide callers with additional disaster resources that are available to residents across Hampton Roads. The ForKids crisis call managers are available to receive calls from 8am-7pm, Monday through Friday. The Hotline staff will maintain their self-serve shelter menus with updated information and will regularly check voicemails for emergency needs over the weekend and until approximately 10pm each weeknight.
“We make every effort to keep the Hotline open in weather emergencies so that fragile families have a human to connect with when they have a housing crisis. By sending our team to multiple locations on different power grids and data networks, we strengthen our resilience to disasters. Our staff like it because, for a couple of days, they can wear their pajamas to work.” said ForKids CEO Thaler McCormick.
To provide assistance to families needing Hurricane Assistance, donations can be made on the ForKids website, www.forkidsva.org. To follow the needs of ForKids children and families as the storm plays out, follow them on Facebook.
Photo Caption: ForKids Regional Housing Crisis Hotline Center
ForKids, inc. is a non-profit agency founded 30 years ago with a mission to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty for families and children. On any given day, ForKids’ in-depth programs assist approximately 200 families including 400 children; our services now touch the lives of over 49,000 individuals each year. The agency provides housing, education and wrap around services for families experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of homelessness. Services include counseling, tutoring, field trips, summer camps, classes in life skills, parenting, budgeting, GED tutoring, job coaching and case management. For more information, please visit www.forkidsva.org or call (757) 622-6400.