All posts by Friendship House

2024 An Evening with Friendship House

Thank you to everyone who attended and supported our 2024 Evening with Friendship House event! We enjoyed seeing everyone and spending the evening with you all. Thank you to the businesses, organizations, and individuals who donated items to our silent auction or sponsored the event.

During our program, we celebrated our 2023 accomplishments including the expansion of our Transitional Housing program with the purchase of a house for women employed at our Clothing Bank, offering fully accessible Wilmington Code Purple emergency overnight shelter with the help of our community, and investing $330,000 in our Financial Assistance program helping 2,800 people secure housing or employment. We looked forward to 2024 and shared our goals. We’re excited to focus on fully expanding our Clothing Bank & Empowerment Center programs into Sussex County, being a part of the solution of decreasing youth homelessness in Delaware, and providing Transitional Housing for LGBTQ+ people. In addition, Valerie, a current resident of our Transitional Housing program, shared, “The staff at FH, have supported, encouraged, and guided me down a path nothing short of miraculous,” when talking about the impact FH has had on her. During the evening, we released our 2023 Annual Report which you can view here!

Friendship House for Me

About 8 months ago I was forced into the realization my life had become unmanageable and I was powerless over the circumstances to which I was living. With no options on the horizon, God dropped a way out into my lap.

After being abandoned and on my own since the 8th grade, I knew if I was going to find help, heal, and get my life together I could not depend on my family. By chance I happened upon a way into a rehab and intensive outpatient therapy (IOP) in California. I felt like my prayers had been answered. California was great and I was receiving great therapy. Unfortunately, I had to end this due to my kids being extremely neglected and abused by my mother in my absence. I was coming home to nothing: no car, no house, no job, and no prospects for the three.

I was due to arrive in Delaware early on a Thursday morning so I made an appointment for an IOP in Wilmington Friday. I didn’t know where I was going to live or how anything was going to work, but my kids needed me back. So long as I just keep doing the next right thing and the next right thing and the next right thing, the universe WILL provide a way and everything I need. Well God must have really heard me, and it all started with Friendship House. Someone at the IOP rehab center set up an interview with Friendship House during my intake and I was accepted!! IOP took me to get my luggage my mother was putting out in the rain. What felt to be my biggest hurdle turned into my greatest blessing! I moved into the Women’s Transitional Housing program immediately.

Since I have been there, I completed my IOP program, got the best job I ever had back, and enrolled back in school for my bachelor’s in science of criminal justice to become a criminal psychologist. I’ve gotten straight A’s not just in all my classes but also on every single assignment thus far. I’m active in AA/NA. The FH staff have helped me through several hurdles as I fight to get my kids back.

I truly don’t know where I’d be without Friendship House. I imagine this must be what it feels like to have a family that cares about the outcome of your life. To someone who’s never had a sense of family, I think that’s been the greatest gift of all. Friendship House will forever be my family even after I graduate. In a world where the system has failed me constantly and knocked me down, at least now I have Friendship House to help me stand strong. I couldn’t have done it without them.

Thank you Friendship House.

– Sarah

A Letter from our Executive Director

Friendship House has started several initiatives this year in order to stay committed to ensuring love and support are made available to our entire Delaware community. One initiative is to fully expand our Clothing Bank and Empowerment Center programs into Sussex County. The demands for our services continue to grow and we need to show up for our neighbors. Currently, we are providing these services to Georgetown and Seaford once a week.

The second initiative is decreasing youth homelessness in Delaware in partnership with several organizations. Together, we plan to scope out a multi-step process for minimizing youth homelessness and open up an avenue for more funding for the state of Delaware to address this issue. We have also successfully held a convening regarding youth homelessness where youth came to share their experiences.

Our third initiative is to ensure we provide transitional housing for all people. Our current houses are labeled for men and women and were originally designed with cisgender people in mind. We want to ensure we have a safe space for those who may identify differently. Therefore, we will expand our Transitional Housing program to include a house specifically for this group of people who are experiencing homelessness and can’t find a place where they feel safe and where they feel they belong.

These initiatives are bold. And we know we need to be creative, intentional, and authentic to fully support our most marginalized neighbors. Friendship House remains committed to being part of the change needed to ensure every person is on a pathway to finding their way home. We stand by our core value: Everyone deserves to thrive.

– Kim Eppehimer, Executive Director

The Hardest Thing To Do

Over the past months, I have witnessed the toll addiction has taken on me and especially my family. And I realized continuing down that path would lead to health issues, strained relationships, and missed opportunities.

There is a saying that the hardest thing to do in life is say goodbye. Especially something that has made you feel good or made times easier for you. But eventually, you will realize it will take everything away from you, like your job, friends, and family. Is that something you really want? Think about it.

That is just something I was not willing to do any longer. In my addiction, there were a lot of ups and downs. I didn’t have any control of my life. I was tired of being tired and wanted to make a major change. Since being in Friendship House’s Men’s Transitional Program I have really gotten my life back on track. I am almost a year sober, have a stable job, just started driving again, and was able to purchase a vehicle. I’m doing things in my life I thought were impossible for me to do. I understand addiction is a complex and challenging struggle but being in this program really helps you conquer your addiction. I have realized there is so much more to life than your addiction. There are numerous resources available to help the recovery journey in this program. Friendship House helps you with getting an ID, make appointments, helps you find suitable treatment options, and provides any assistance you need along the way. If there is anybody in need of help, Friendship House can give you the confidence to overcome the challenges of your addiction and build a brighter future.

– Charles

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