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Hampton Roads Community News

Seton Shelters Must Find New Home For Boys In Crisis

VIRGINIA  BEACH

Seton Youth Shelters has a deadline of December 31, 2020 to find a new shelter for boys in crisis after the Catholic Diocese terminated its 35-year lease at the North Lynnhaven Road location.

“The timing could not be worse for us, and for the thousands of youth we serve each year. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost support, we now find ourselves searching for a shelter for the hundreds of boys we serve each year.  We need both a short-term and a long-term solution to this emergency,” Executive Director, Jennifer Sieracki, explains.

“Seton made a promise in 1985 to provide shelter, counseling and support to our region’s most vulnerable runaway, homeless, and more recently and frequently, trafficked youth. That promise includes a commitment to never charge a youth or their family for the lifesaving and critical shelter, outreach and mentoring services which we provide 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

  Seton Youth Shelters is facing unprecedented revenue losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next year from loss of annual fund, event, and corporate donor donations as a direct result of COVID-19.

Sieracki continues, “The need for our services will only increase over the next few months, as we are a microcosm of our community, in both achievements and in adversity. Right now, our community is in a state of crisis. COVID-19 is creating stress and hardships on youth and their families, and this stress and hardship continue to bring those youth onto the streets and into our shelters and related programs. Without us, these children will have nowhere to turn—nowhere to go—but onto the streets and into the hands of predators. For their safety, our doors must remain open.”

  Seton Youth Shelters is the region’s only organization devoted exclusively to providing shelter, street outreach and mentoring services to youth 9 up to 18. Each year hundreds of boys and girls, ages 9 up to 18, arrive at the two Virginia Beach residential shelters—often in the middle of the night, sometimes with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Youth are provided food, shelter, clothing, school supplies, counseling and the support necessary for them to either return to their families or continue on to another safe, home environment.

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Seton’s Outreach Program visits area schools, events, and neighborhoods, reaching out to thousands of youth, offering crisis intervention, counseling, and shelter options.

To learn more about Seton Youth Shelters, visit setonyouthshelters.org or our Facebook page at facebook.com/setonyouthshelters. For information about how to help, contact Jennifer Sieracki at 757.963.5795 x 105 or email jsieracki@setonyouthshelters.org.

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