A Sanctuary In Time Of Need
302-652-8278 • fax: 302-652-8641
Twenty-four years ago, Friendship House started with a dream, a store front drop-in center, a handful of volunteers and an operating budget of $30,000. Today that same dream of hospitality, empowerment and community is fulfilled through a network of sixteen church-based centers, programs, shelters and half-way houses serving over fifteen thousand needy people a year. Like seeds sown in good ground, the original team of faithful servants has yielded a rich harvest of over fifteen hundred volunteers assisting a core staff of twenty dedicated men and women. From the Clothing Bank of Delaware which collects and processes over 12,000 lbs of donated clothing monthly to the three Day Centers which serve over 250 clients daily to the the two Transitional Housing Programs which graduate nearly seventy-five individuals and families each year into permanent employment and housing, Friendship House has been a bountiful instrument of God’s grace.
The financial support of Friendship House has also kept pace with this extraordinary growth. This year it will cost over $3,000 a day to keep the ministries of Friendship House in operation. Since it possesses no endowment and accepts no government funding, Friendship House relies totally on the support of its coalition of churches, businesses, organizations and individuals for financial support. Up to now, it has always been enough.
A hallmark of Friendship House has been its ability to allow its sponsoring community to feel a sense of ownership for its various ministries. Each of our programs has its own host of guardian angels, who provide some of the people, money and prayers to sustain it. Through their personal involvement in each ministry, the volunteers from these sponsoring churches and community organizations transform their community's financial aid to homeless strangers into gifts of love between friends. In the community interaction, they receive as much as they give and learn how little it takes to make a difference.
To become a community sponsor, a church, business or community organization has only to be willing to make an ongoing commitment of time and funding to a Friendship House ministry. There is no mandatory level of financial support or minimum number of volunteers to qualify as a community sponsor. Friendship House asks only that each community get involved in a personal fashion in the Friendship House ministry that best suits its members. All community sponsors are also invited to appoint a representative to our board of directors.
If your business, church or community organization is interested in helping to sponsor a Friendship House ministry, please contact Bill Perkins at the Friendship House office.
Besides the corps of fifteen hundred individuals who volunteer at Friendship House, there is a much larger group of people who support our ministries financially and spiritually. As with our community sponsors, we encourage all our benefactors to personalize their giving by designating a particular segment of the homeless community to support. Their constant prayers and faithful giving have sustained many of our ministries for over a decade.
Every gift, not matter how small, makes a difference. For example, at the cost of $15 per night (one third the price of the cheapest motel room), an elderly, homeless man can exchange the cold and dangerous streets for hot meal and a warm bed at Andrew’s Place. For $25, the Clothing Bank can collect, sort and distribute 30 lbs of warm winter clothing to people in need. For $50 a day, a woman and her children can live in a safe, nurturing environment at either The Jane Ashford House or Palmer House. For the price of a carton of cigarettes, a night at the movies or a trip to the mall, you can be part of giving somebody back their life.
Be part of the multitude of small miracles that keeps our ministry going. Consider becoming a regular benefactor of one of our various ministries.