VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – In the spirit of giving, the community is rallying behind Virginia Beach residents forced out after Hurricane Matthew. The Salvation Army has set up a distribution center for affected residents.
The folks with the Salvation Army told 10 On Your Side they had so many donations from the community that they had to open the distribution center. Unfortunately, those donations came in for a sad reason: Many people in the area are without furniture, clothes, even homes. But the community has stepped up as many people begin to rebuild.
“They’re still in shock. A heavy, heavy shock,” said Johvanny Torres, one of the residents from Waypoint at Lynnhaven who was displaced after Hurricane Matthew.
The shock has remained weeks after Hurricane Matthew came through — devastating neighborhoods and in some cases, forcing people to find new homes.
Torres said, “Still, to see my mom sitting in a hotel and other friends and family that I’ve met in this process, every night it hurts.”
Torres is one of many residents from the Waypoint at Lynnhaven apartments who was forced to leave after cleanup crews found asbestos inside of the buildings. He and other residents have the opportunity to get new clothes, furniture, hygiene kits and more from the Salvation Army’s distribution center on Saturday. It’s a joint effort between the City of Virginia Beach, the Salvation Army, and people who donated items throughout the cleanup process.
“I never saw the devastation like this flood. Places that don’t normally flood, flooded drastically,” said Mary Mann, Salvation Army Social Services Director. “It was heartbreaking.”
But this is not a free-for-all. Only people who registered their damages and needs with the city will get the donated items.
“Unless you’ve been to a recovery center and checked in, signed in and your information has been passed on to me. I’m not going to be able to let just anyone in,” Mann said.
That’s because there’s only a certain number of items and they are 200 families expected to come through. But for those still fighting to find their next step, any bit helps.
“To see so many individuals just put themselves aside and just donate whatever they possibly can is just an amazing feeling,” said Torres.
The center will be open on Saturday starting at 8 a.m. at the Salvation Army’s distribution warehouse at 4725 Virginia Beach Boulevard.
Anyone who has not registered their damage with the city and still needs help is asked to give them a call at 311.