A Sanctuary In Time Of Need
302-652-8278 • fax: 302-652-8641
720 N. Orange St.
Wilmington, DE 19801
Genell Walls, Home Base Program Manager
Pam Ray, Job Readiness Program Manager
Lu Johnston, Financial Assistance Program Manager
Located in Sts. Andrew and Matthew Church, the Women’s Center offers hospitality, various survival and recovery program, as well as financial assistance to homeless women as well as those who are facing personal crises.
Through its Morning Hospitality Program, the Center strives to provide a place in which women and children can always feel welcome to simply sit, relax, and be refreshed in body and spirit. In this casual and friendly atmosphere, we feel that we can offer the ultimate service of sharing time and conversation with our guests. Through its Home Base Program, Friendship House provides clients with the means to maintain their place in society even though they have lost their physical residence. Hospitality and Home Base Program services include:
The Center is also designed to provide assistance to women who need help accessing the network of community social services. Afternoons are devoted to individual consultations between clients and staff. The staff is committed to providing the necessary time to help each woman form plans to meet her goals.
Job Readiness Program:
With the deepening of the current economic recession in 2009, Friendship House found the unemployment rate among its clients at an all-time high. Even temporary jobs and day labor positions became hard to find. Compounding this problem were the other impediments common to a majority of Friendship House’s employable homeless clients. These included:
Dependence on the shelter/soup kitchen network for food and housing
Lack of work-required documents (e.g., DE State ID, Social Security Card, Birth Certificate, etc.
Proof of a high school diploma or GED certificate
A Home Base for mail, phone calls and personal storage
Limited computer literacy
Access to online computers for job searches, online applications and email
Limited and expensive public transportation
While its existing empowerment program services met some of these needs, Friendship House felt challenged to do more. For the last two years, it has been dedicating an increasing amount of its Day Center human and financial resources to an expanded Job Readiness Program for those motivated clients in need of a more strategic and holistic recovery programs. With help from the Wilmington Rotary and the Verizon Foundation, it established on-site technology centers at each of its day centers and housing programs through which clients could receive computer training and apply for jobs and housing on line with the assistance of Friendship House staff and volunteer mentors.
The Job Readiness Program has four levels , each with its specific objectives and tasks. These levels are:
Level One: Creating A Realistic Strategy
(Initial Intake, Issues Assessment, Strategic Plan)
Level Two: Basic Training
(Resume, Email, Computer Literacy Classes, GED Tutoring)
Level Three: Job Search Mode
(Online Job Searches and Applications)
Level Four: Job Acquisition and Maintenance Mode
Financial Assistance Program:
Besides assisting Women's Day Center clients with the funds to purchase such essential daily needs as I.D., bus tickets, medical prescriptions, etc. Friendship House also serves as a central referral, screening and consultation center for its sponsoring churches when someone calls them in need of financial aid to preserve their current housing. At the Women's Day Center, this service is provided by Lu Johnston. Last year, Friendship House in collaboration with its sponsoring churches disbursed more than $100,000 of financial aid to at risk housed residents of New Castle County.