All posts by Kristen Reisor

A Message from Marcy Perkins

Dear Friends,
As of December 31, 2019, I will be stepping down as Director of Housing for Friendship House. I have been pondering this decision for several months and the timing seems propitious.

These past 25 years have been wonderful: at times heartbreaking; at times filled with joy. I have learned so much from the women; their courage in addressing their issues has inspired me to look at my own. Their deep spirituality has influenced my relationship with God.

My co-workers and the volunteers have been a source of support and inspiration: so many willing hearts and helping hands.

The gift that is Friendship House will continue to grace many lives, as it has graced mine. Thanks be to God who is so generous to all of us.

Marcy Perkins

From Kim Eppehimer,
I am so grateful for Marcy – as a mentor, colleague and, most important of all, as a dear friend. Her leadership to our housing program and to all of Friendship House will be truly
missed.

Marcy leaves us a legacy full of her love of God and of humanity, and her devotion to our residents is built from that love. The best way we can honor her legacy is to keep the housing program going; a program built by her love, generosity, and keen sensitivity and awareness of the needs of others.

Our Transitional Housing program is as strong as it has ever been because of Marcy and the team of exceptional people who will continue to lead our housing program as she retires.

I hope you will join me in thanking Marcy for her amazing gift of service to others. We will find a time in the spring to celebrate her ministry to Friendship House.

We love you, Marcy. Thank you for being you.
Kim Eppehimer,
Executive Director

A Gift That Keeps Giving
Friendship House started the Perkins Fund when Bill Perkins, our previous Executive Director for the first 30 years, stepped aside. This fund is used to honor the legacy he built. Now we are honored to add Marcy’s legacy to this fund. Gifts made to this fund are used to ensure their programs continue! You can use the link below or send a check with “Perkins fund” in the memo to PO Box 1517, Wilmington DE 19899.Thank you.
Donate to the Perkins Fund

Ronnie Krier: 1/17/53 – 11/3/19

Ronnie Krier
January 17, 1953 – November 3, 2019
The best tribute that can be given to Ronnie comes in the voices of those he has helped: “He kept it real. He told it like it is. He really cared.”
Ronnie was born in the Philadelphia area and moved to Delaware 16 years ago. He got sober with the help of Limen House, then got a part-time job with Friendship House. He worked at Gaudenzia Fresh Start for several years, then returned to work in the Friendship House Men’s Transitional Housing Program.
Ronnie was “old school” as they say in the recovery community. Some people were offended by his direct honesty; others loved it. He could be loud and irritating, but he had a tender heart. In his latter years, he was blessed by the birth of his son, Semaj, who was the light of his life. As he was fighting cancer, Ronnie was blessed to reconcile with his siblings and
his two older sons. These meetings gave him joy and peace.
Our lives have been changed by knowing Ronnie and, now, by losing him. As he would say, “Thanks, Buddy. Love ya.”
A Memorial Service will be held on December 4, 2019, 6:30 pm, at The Episcopal Church of Sts. Andrew and Matthew (719 N. Shipley Street).  All are Welcome.

Jane’s Story: Facing My Fears

My story starts in a small town in South Jersey (Chatsworth) with a loving family and pretty much anything I needed. However, from as far back as I could remember I had always feared something. Whether it be death, failure, change, confrontation, rejection, success it didn’t matter I was fearful. I was pretty quiet growing up and shy for some reason I remember hearing it said kids should be seen and not heard. I liked to be at home I wasn’t much for socializing. I was an only child until age ten. When I was told about my mom’s pregnancy, I had an overwhelming fear for her well being and my unborn sister as well. All went well and although I had my sister, I still very much still felt to be an only child because of the age difference. During my teenage years, my fear became more of “Am I good enough?”, embarrassment, intimacy, feelings in general. Then my twenties seemed to bring even more fears and I became so uncomfortable with myself.

“I HAVE BEEN TAUGHT ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT CONCEPTS IN MY RECOVERY HERE – INTEGRITY.”

However, I did find alcohol to be some what of a mending agent. At this time I didn’t abuse it though I’ve been around alcohol my whole life. I believe myself to have been an alcoholic long before the substance entered my body. Whatever the fate may be, my drinking did progress around thirty eight and continued for about seven years. At that point the only fear I had was not having another drink. After a very tiresome bit I found myself hospitalized yet again and looking at treatment options. I was given an opportunity to come to the Wilmington, DE Salvation Army. Having no idea of what it was, I almost welcomed insanity, and said sure! Now I felt that some old fear creep in and I felt that fight or flight response I’ve always had, and something, maybe someone kept me still enough to make it to Delaware.

I was able to graduate from the Salvation Army program after nine months, who than referred me to the Friendship House of course with this move meant more fear. Was I ready? Should I think about going home? Again I felt the need to sit through this uncomfortable feeling for each time I have I seem to feel much better. Thank goodness for those other thoughts!

Friendship House has allowed me to ease back into society and be sure to take care of myself first and foremost. Through their counseling, outside therapy, different support groups, volunteers, AA, my sponsor, and my roommates, I am able to start facing my fears one day at a time. I am now employed with Parks and Recreation in the City of Wilmington because of a job opportunity presented through Friendship House by the Delaware Center for Horticulture called Branches to Chances.

I am forever grateful for the Friendship House, all persons involved, staff, volunteers, past and present. Also, to those we have lost on our journey. One last thing in closing I have been taught one of the most important concepts in my recovery here – integrity.

Yours truly,
Jane T

Welcome Home

Home, according to the Webster dictionary, is defined as one’s place of residence. Friendship House defines home as a loving and supportive community there for you in your time of need.

For us, home is where you feel safe, loved and accepted. Not everyone is fortunate to say they have truly felt “home.” Uniting people facing homelessness to a community where they can feel loved and supported – a place they can call home – is our mission.

At every Friendship House location we desire to meet each person on their journey without expecting anything more from them then their story. And for many, that’s a big ask. Because their story is one of heartache, pain, loneliness and lack of home. It is in these moments the best thing we can
do for each person is to love them when they are feeling the most unloved. To share with them we believe in who they are today and who they can be in the future, because it is then they are feeling the most hopeless. To let them know, no matter what, they matter, too.

Friendship House is in the business of uniting individuals facing homelessness to communities who can accept, love and support them. Communities where we can look each other in the eyes and see a child loved by God staring back. We are about walking with people for as long as it takes for them to love and believe in themselves. That’s Friendship House – where community is home. Welcome home.

Kim Epppehimer

Executive Director