Every shelter guest is assigned to a caring, Christian case manager. After a thorough needs assessment and identifying the causes for the guest’s homelessness, together they create a personalized action plan and timetable. Case managers work with them to eliminate the barriers to healthy independent living, offering assistance with obtaining a state ID, birth certificate, or veterans’ benefits; job- and life-skills training, relational counseling, spiritual support, and referrals to a variety of helpful community agencies. Our ultimate goal is for our guests to heal and deal with the issues that made them homeless. As our guests work their plan, they build a better life in permanent housing and never find themselves homeless again.
Most of our homeless guests arrive with common and chronic physical or mental health concerns, usually because they have not had insurance or access to affordable healthcare. The Mission’s Wellness Program helps them address their neglected health to live robust, whole lives. It also provides a limited lodging for homeless adults who have recently been hospitalized or completed rehab therapy.
Thanks to a grant from the Sentara Health Foundation and other generous supporters, our Wellness Team is able to provide overall wellness evaluations, assistance with prescription medication and medical supplies, referrals to doctors and medical care (including dental and vision), bus passes for appointments, and health education classes. Partnerships with 42 local agencies help us meet the critical medical and mental health needs of our guests and residents.
Homelessness need not mean hopelessness. The heart of our ministry at The Union Mission is to share the love, grace, and gospel of Jesus Christ with every man, woman, and child we serve. Though some arrive with a faith background, others have not grown up in church. Here, in addition to providing compassionate practical help, we introduce each guest to God’s plan of eternal salvation through His Son. Bible studies, chapel services, Bible-based programs, and opportunities to pray with staff offer our guests faith-based wisdom, emotional support, and spiritual transformation.
Both our Bashford Men’s Shelter and our Women and Children’s Shelter provide walk-in practical assistance for those who do not wish to stay in our shelters, as well as an indoor place for our shelters guests to remain during the day if they are not working. Day Center services include meals, showers, toiletries, clothing, laundry facilities, phone and computer access, case management services, and referrals to other agencies such as the Virginia Employment Commission, Legal Aid, the Veterans Administration, and the Norfolk Community Services Board.
Temporarily on hiatus. Please call 757-627-8686 since hours of operation vary from shelter to shelter. Bashford Men’s Shelter, ext. 200. Women and Children’s Shelter, ext. 331.