A Sanctuary In Time Of Need
302-652-8278 • fax: 302-652-8641
Daytime hospitality is "Ground Zero" for services to the chronically homeless. Sanctuary from the elements, use of a clean rest room, a hot cup of coffee is often the first step toward establishing a relationship of trust that can lead to a broader range of services. During its operating hours, the Empowerment Center offers the following hospitality/survival services:
A condition for any services other than basic hospitality involves a simple client intake, which includes such basic information as the client’s name, birth date, social security number, emergency contact, etc.
Clients who are looking for help address the underlying causes of their current situation begin individual case management with an FH staff person. This involves a more extensive client intake and issue assessment interview. Using this information, the staff person can lay out for the client his program options within the New Castle County human service network. If the client is willing, the staff person can make the appropriate referrals and provide the client with the necessary resources to pursue his recovery strategy. Most of the time, this path forward will require the client either to enter a residential program or to relocate temporarily closer to the programs he/she wishes to access. Typically recovery strategies address one or more of the following issues:
Churches typically contact Friendship House about social service situations beyond their own expertise or experience. Such situations usually involve clients who are either homeless or are about to become homeless. The client may be a parishioner, an acquaintance of a parishioner or a total stranger. The person in need is nearly always in crisis. While their greater need may be a realistic and hopeful path forward, their immediate request is usually for financial assistance to get them through another crisis.
Through its screening and consultation services, Friendship House offers to:
Requests to churches for financial assistance may be divided into requests of less than or more than $50.
People contacting any of the sponsoring churches with needs for financial assistance involving $50 or less should be told that the church no longer offers such assistance, but that they can go directly to the appropriate Friendship House day center without referral or appointment.
FH Men’s Day Center
Contact: Bill Perkins, Marc Marcus, Mike Williams
FH Women’s Day Center
Wedns. 8:30 – Noon
Contact: Lu Johnston, Marcy Perkins
Newark Empowerment Center
Contact: Marc Marcus, Mary Berlin
Friendship House administers financial assistance to such clients based upon guidelines that address the following general areas of need:
Medical Needs: Verifiable prescriptions (no opiates or controlled substances) Checks written to local pharmacy
Transportation: Verifiable interviews and/or appointments. Assistance issued : agency bus tickets. Stranded travelers referred to Traveler’s Aid; assisted only in consultation with Traveler’s Aid case worker
Work Clothing: People with verifiable jobs requiring specific clothing not available through FH Clothing Bank
Motels: One night emergency stays only, e.g. client can verify that he or she is on a shelter waiting list. Client is in case management with a reputable agency who is asking for such help while they try to place the person
Groceries/Food: Referrals would have to come through local food closets that can verify that the client has a special need, which they cannot meet.
If at all possible, financial assistance is not in cash, but by check, voucher or token.
Financial Assistance for housing related issues would be restricted to people residing within the Greater Newark area.
When someone contacts the church for financial assistance, they are referred to Friendship House for screening with no guarantee of financial aid. The church contact voice messages (302-652-3105) or faxes (302-652-8641) the Friendship House Church Referral Line, identifying themselves, the church, the client’s name, client’s phone number and the financial request.
After contacting the Church Referral Line, the church contact gives the client the phone number and business hours of the appropriate Friendship House day center (Wilmington Men’s Center, Wilmington Women’s Center or the Newark Empowerment Center). It is the client’s obligation to contact the appropriate Friendship House day center to set up an interview. Interview times are usually available within 48 hours of initial contact.
If seeking financial assistance of more than $50, clients are required to present proof of income and expenses.
Once the Friendship House staff person has screened the client and established a reliable context for making a decision, he/she reports to the referring church, which will then instruct Friendship House, whether or not to assist the person.
If the church chooses to assist the person, they may instruct the Friendship House to issue a check for a specific amount to the appropriate business or agency (e.g. Delmarva Power, realty company, pharmacy, etc.).
Upon receipt of a Friendship House invoice, which would include the client’s name, vital statistics, a summary of the assessment and photocopy of whatever check was issued, the referring church will reimburse Friendship House.
During winter Friendship House and the churches of the Newark Homeless Coalition operate an overnight sanctuary whenever the night-time temperature falls below twenty degrees Fahrenheit. This is not a shelter; there are no beds, showers or lockers. It is simply a warm, safe room in one of our churches where people with no place to go that night can get in out of the cold. It is open from 6:00 at night to 6:00 in the morning. The host church provides a light supper in the evening, hot beverages throughout the night and transportation for those who need it in the morning.
Those who wish to take advantage of this service are required to register and complete an intake form. They must also agree to abide by the sanctuary schedule and follow some basic sanctuary rules.
Code Purple Sanctuary Schedule: