St. Columba Ecumenical Ministries, Inc. grew out of the St. Columba Presbyterian Church, located in the Robin Hood Apartments. In 1987, St. Columba Ministries became St. Columba Ecumenical Ministries, Inc.
During the years of operation, St. Columba has been instrumental in the forming of the Dwelling Place and the Samaritan House. St. Columba operated the Virginia Beach Winter Shelter for three years before Volunteers of America took over operations. St. Columba operated a drop in center in Virginia Beach in 1991 and from that came the idea for the St. Columba Day Center in Norfolk.
We moved to our present site at the corner of Lafayette Blvd. and Dunkirk Ave. in 1995. While 70% of our ministry is provided to those who find themselves homeless, we also reach out to the less fortunate in the community.
In 1998, St. Columba received a grant to establish Next Step, a transitional housing program that is home to up to 16 single, homeless adults who are trying to overcome their homelessness. This program was reallocated to supportive housing for 11 chronically homeless single adults in 2023.
St. Columba is funded through federal, local and foundation grants, as well as donations from churches, businesses, and individuals. We also receive in-kind donations that support our clothing closet, food pantry, and assist Next Step residents who are just starting. St. Columba is a small ministry, but reaches many people, those in need, as well as those who want to help others in their time of need. The idea is to welcome all persons, in whatever state they find themselves and to help when permitted.