COVID Safety Message:
During the COVID-19 pandemic and current restrictions, the VB Strong Center staff’s #1 priority is the safety of all clients, staff, and community partners. In order to comply with all mandated restrictions and recommendations, the VBSC will continue to provide one-to-one navigation, education programs through telehealth services, and scheduled in-person sessions following Sentara Health protocol.
A Partnership – A Purpose
The VB Strong Center (VBSC) is a partnership between the City of Virginia Beach and Sentara Health. The primary function is to provide resources, support, education, and connection to community partners critically needed in the response to the tragic events of 5-31-2019. The VBSC focuses on a trauma-informed approach to empowering and uplifting everyone in their journey to healing and resiliency.
The VBSC is a grant-funded resiliency center that offers case management services and other programs at no cost as a “starting point” for the journey of healing to those directly impacted by the 5/31 shooting. Our team includes masters-prepared and licensed mental health professionals that have the knowledge, experience, and ability to respond to the effects of mass trauma.
VB Strong History at a Glance
- July 2019 – City of Virginia Beach and Sentara Health agreed to partner to build a resiliency center for everyone hurt by 5-31.
- August 2019– The location for the future site of the VB Strong Center was chosen and Sentara started the search for the future VB Strong Team.
- September 2019– the VBSC Team started working to develop every facet of the Center from scratch.
- October 29, 2019– the VBSC doors opened.
- October 29 – November 2, 2019 – the VBSC hosted a week long Open House for the community.
- March 17, 2020 – the reality of COVID is looming and the VBSC Team works hard to transition services to telehealth platforms to make sure classes, connection and case management continue.
- May 2020 COVID – prevents the in-person Remembrance events from taking place and teams from both the VB Strong Center and the City of Virginia Beach work quickly to plan and launch activities to honor, support and connect everyone virtually.
- May 30, 2020 – VB Strong hosts the first VB Strong Remembrance Music Festival Tribute – all via Facebook! A day long music festival engages thousands of people taking a moment to remember.
- May 31, 2020 – the City of Virginia Beach hosts a virtual remembrance service.
- September 1, 2020 – over 300+ individuals having connected with VBSC for support.
- October 2020 – VBSC hosts a Virtual 5K Your Way in hopes of connecting with people who have not reached out yet and to remind us all that we are #Stronger Together
- February to December 2021– VBSC Behavioral Health Team created a Digital Library with conversations, resources, and information about trauma, recovery, and healing: Click Here!
- March 2021 – VBSC created Mobile programming opportunities for specific departments within City of VA Beach
- April 2021 – VB Strong Center partnered with Virginia Victim Assistance Network to offer a Homicide Survivors Support Group!
- May 29, 2021 – City of VA Beach Police Officers held a Family and Friends Day Event at VBSC with Mounted Patrol Horses and more!
- July 2021 – 757 Auto Car Show Donation Presentation with VB Mayor Bobby Dyer: View Here!
- February 2022 – VBSC collaborated with community partners to create two new 7-week support groups: Click Here for more information.
- May 2022 – “Appreciation and Thoughtful work-desk” supportive baskets hand delivered to the VB City Departments impacted by 5/31.
- October 2022 – Initiated Mobile Programming (onsite) services for Building #2 City Departments and ECCS by offering resources, wellness support, information, and therapy dogs.
- December 9, 2022 – VBSC collaborated with several community providers to host a Community Resources Fair “Lunch and Learn” on COVB Municipal Campus at the Office of Performance and Accountability department (OPA)
- May 4, 2023 – Mental Health Awareness Expo
- May 20, 2023 – Survivor Speaker Event with Amy O’Neil, LPC & Boston Marathon Survivor: “Finding My Place: A Conversation & Connection with a Survivor!”
- August 2023 – “Act of Kindness” Summer Baskets for Building #2 Departments for the City workers.