It was a bittersweet moment at Roanoke's Transitional Living Center.

Total Action for Progress is closing the program after 25 years, and Thursday afternoon residents, staff and supporters gathered to say farewell.

Providing shelter, food and services for the homeless, the center has helped more than 5000 people make a fresh start.

Cathy Bittler is a resident who will leave the center on Friday. "To have that many people who have struggled and been helped in this one facility," Bittler said, "it kind of brings into focus exactly how big the problem is."

A shift in federal funding forced TAP to close the center, but leaders say their work with the homeless will continue, focusing on programs that offer the promise of permanent housing to individuals and families who need shelter.