CHESAPEAKE, Va (WAVY) — The Help and Emergency Response shelter (H.E.R.) is getting ready to help even more more women in crisis.
The non-profit is renovating an old medical office building in Western Branch. It will become Chesapeake’s first domestic violence shelter.
“It’s the perfect spot for us because we cover all of Portsmouth, all of Chesapeake, and we’re only two miles away
from north Suffolk,” said Beth Cross, H.E.R. Executive Director.
The new shelter will be a triage center, of sorts, housing 10 people for a week or two while they transition into a new home or the main shelter in Portsmouth.
The Portsmouth shelter is always full to its 40-person capacity. Last year they served a total of 375 people, 161 from Chesapeake.
The new address opens up new funds from the city and state to help those Chesapeake residents.
Antonette Johnson, who works on rapid housing for women at the shelter, told 10 On Your Side, “I definitely want to see this bigger and better because of what I went through.”
Johnson, who became a mom at age 16, was raped by a neighbor. She said said she only wishes she would have known about the shelter back then. She can’t wait to help more women when the Chesapeake location opens in October.
“I’m overjoyed! Everyday I answer the phone and I know the gift that I have I get to give it to them,” she said.
Cross calls this renovation an all-hands-on-deck situation. If you would like to help with the manual labor or donations click this link for the H.E.R. shelter’s website.