Displaced Virginia Beach residents trying to move forward

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Taneisa Giddens was standing in-line outside the Waypoint at Lynnhaven apartment complex last Saturday trying to get answers about her terminated lease.

“There was a long line of people. They were just standing outside trying to find answers to what was going on,” Giddens says.

Saturday, she stood in a shorter line at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center receiving housing assistance from the city.

“I know the process is going to take longer, but I’m praying that something will be done as soon as possible,” Giddens says.

The City of Virginia Beach opened the resource center to help residents still dealing with the devastation left behind by Hurricane Matthew. Maricel Delacruz also visited the center. She says she got knee deep water inside her home off Rugby Road.

“It’s been really tough for us but I think this experience allows me to be humble. I’m thankful I have my health, my daughter. The amount of help pouring in helps,” Delacruz says.

Delacruz was only living in the home for seven months before it flooded, but she left the center optimistic about her future.

“This has been really hard, but my faith in the Lord has allowed me to have courage and see the outpouring of people’s love with everything we’ve lost,” Delacruz says.

Johvanny Torres could be considered one of those blessings Delacruz mentioned. Although he was also flooded out of his home at Waypoint, he’s spending his time helping former neighbors move into new apartments.

“We’ve helped roughly eight families move in their new place,” Torres says.

Torres says he was able to make that happen in only two days with the help of several organizations, including the Salvation Army and Hotelkids.org. Other supplies, like the moving van, was also donated to help move in residents.

“No cost to them, unlimited mileage, unlimited gas, unlimited boxes empty for them to pack. Just trying to make sure families move in as quick as possible. Many of us have November 2 deadlines,” Torres says.

Torres is hoping to continue to help families, including families from other complexes going through the same situation as his Waypoint family. The life changing experience turned out to be just that for Torres by getting involved in charity work.

“I just want to keep doing this. It feels good to see everyone smile when no one is there to give them a hug,” Torres says.