In the 30,000-square-foot former Marine Corps Reserve facility that sits behind four prominent oak trees on Warwick Boulevard in Newport News, those without a place to go can do laundry, take a shower, get a ride to an evening homeless shelter or stay warm on a cold day.

Those who use the Four Oaks Day Service Center also can receive job training, be referred to employment opportunities, get help with housing, or receive treatment for mental health or substance abuse issues.

The center opened in December and operates daily. Doors are typically open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., but the center has stayed open later during the winter to coordinate with the churches that operate overnight shelters. The center also opened earlier on particularly cold days.

“We just give them a chance,” said Syretta Williams, a housing specialist in the city’s department of human services.

Williams is a member of that department’s housing broker team, which helps people avoid homelessness or take steps to find a place to live. The team is one of several working in Four Oaks at 7401 Warwick Blvd.

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