All posts by Friendship House

Summer 2017 Youth Groups

This summer we were blessed with three weeks of service from several different church youth groups! We enjoyed our annual visit from Linden-Linthicum United Methodist Church from Maryland! This year they shared 5 of their amazing youth and 2 of their incredible adult members. We are so grateful not only for all of their hard work at the Clothing Bank of Delaware and Elizabeth House, one of our houses for women; but also their faithful spirits, fun attitudes, and dedication. We have loved having your group come the past several years, and hope to see you all back in the future!

A big thank you to Crossroads Presbyterian Church youth group and leaders out of Middletown for making us a part of their Stretch Week this summer. They were a hard working, dedicated group who showed up ready and able even through one of the hottest weeks! During their time with us, they sorted thousands of pounds of clothing, helped the Clothing Bank with orders, weeded and mulched our gardens, painted the Palmer House fence, and more. We are grateful for their sense of community and faith through service. Thank you and we hope to see you soon!

At the end of the summer, we hosted St. Frances from Baltimore, who collaborated with two other Baltimore churches to come to Wilmington for three days to work. They filled an entire dumpster as they not only cleaned out our basements in housing but also helped Westminster’s furniture ministry and Calvary Presbyterian by cleaning their space while they were here.

Do you have a youth group needing a summer project? We would love to coordinate with you! Call (302-652-8133) or email us today (fhkime@gmail.com) to talk about how your church youth group can get involved!

The Honor was Ours!

We had the honor of hosting several community leaders at Epiphany House for dinner in order to give them the opportunity to meet Kim, our new Executive Director, and to hear about the wonderful things we are doing for New Castle County.

Community leaders in attendance included Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki; County Executive Matt Myer and Aundrea Almond (Mr. Myer’s Chief of Staff); John Cook from Secretary Walker’s Office (Secretary Walker is Delaware’s Secretary of Health and Social Services); Kay Keenan, Michele Whetzel and Ginger Ward from Fund for Women; Kelly Firment and Mary Hickok from Delaware Community Foundation; Stan Diver, David Fleming, Anne Eidschun and Kate Copperthwait from Wilmington Rotary; Peg Eitl, Vice President of Customer Relations from Highmark; and Drew Fennell, Chief Officer of Strategic Communication and Development of Christiana Care. Thank you for taking the time to visit with us!

Story From Our Resident – Todd G.

Friendship House has given me freedom from a life of Pain! I was accepted into the Friendship House Program after graduating an eight month stay at The Salvation Army. I got sober there, but that was just a beginning.

Realizing I needed more support I entered Friendship House. I started off in Andrews Place where I was given a hot shower, a warm family-style dinner each night, and a safe place to sleep. Morning comes early at Andrews Place; I was up and ready to start my day before the sun was up.

Friendship House stresses the importance of Recovery meetings and I would go to “Early Risers,” starting at 7:30 am. After that I would pound the pavement and look for work. It took weeks to find a job, but I didn’t lose faith because of the support from my counselor, with whom I would have weekly sessions.

The great thing about the counselors here is they are always present even if you don’t have a scheduled session with them. This was–and is– extremely beneficial to me in helping stay focused.

After showing I could work and follow the rules, I was moved over to Criswell House, where I was allotted a little more freedom. You have responsibility to keep the house clean and welcoming for the next candidate. It was instilled in me the importance of setting attainable goals. I set goals for my physical, financial and mental health and–sometimes to my surprise–I achieved them!

Now I’m at Daughtry House. Here I’ve been afforded the opportunity to grow even more. I’ve had “time,” which is something the Friendship House has given me: time to really reconnect spiritually with God; time to improve my self-esteem, time to build friendships that will last a lifetime. And, most of all, time to realize I’m no longer a strung out junky. I’m a Human Being just doing the very best I can with what God has given me.

I plan on returning to college in the near future to finish my Behavioral Science degree. My hope is that I will be able to give back what was so freely given to me!

– Todd G.

Story From Our Resident – Ashley S.

I am currently in Stage Two of the Women’s Transitional Housing program. I can hardly begin to explain how much this program has done for me and the extent of my gratitude for the staff and other women here.

I transitioned from the “Six for One” program in Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution to a residential inpatient program through Connections for women. Then I came to Friendship House.

At the beginning of my journey, I was broken, at my rock bottom and hopeless. I am proud to say that today I have almost ten months clean time. I actively participate in the NA and AA programs. I do one-on-one treatment through Connections’ Outpatient substance abuse treatment. I am compliant with all probation requirements, have paid off all fines and fees that I owe to the state. Most important, I am gradually becoming more active as a parent to my two-year old daughter, who is allowed and encouraged to stay with me. Last, but not least, my focus and determination allowed me to accept a position as Assistant General Manager at a restaurant where I have been working on and off for five years.

From planning out my days one week ahead of time, the responsibility of being home for dinner every night in Stage One, to allocating my money by writing out my financial plan, saving money, meeting program requirements and setting short term weekly goals, I am learning a lot. I feel that with hard work and constant determination I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. In a nutshell, I’ve been guided in the right direction to live a more structured, responsible and successful lifestyle which, to me, is key after living a chaotic and unproductive life of drug use and crime for a long
time.

I plan to stick and stay as long as I am allowed. I am so grateful for all the love and support I have been shown and for my daughter being allowed to come here. Coming to this program is one of the best decisions I’ve made thus far in my life.

– Ashley S.

Story From Our Resident – Chuck D.

Approximately 10 months ago, I came into the Friendship House Men’s Housing Program. I felt blessed when they told me I was accepted into the program because, frankly, I had no where else safe to go. Had I not been accepted in the program, I could not say with certainty I would still be in recovery or even alive.

You are around people who become like family, so you have a network before you are even introduced to the AA or NA meetings. They show you how to balance and save your money to prepare you for when you complete the program.

There is such a bond you grow into with your counselors; they help guide you and help you. They are spiritual guides that can bounce ideas back and forth. The actual housing is just one small part of a bigger program. In all aspects of your life, you have people who can/will help you as long as you put in the action required. I never felt unwelcome or out of place, which is a big deal for me. I feel like this is the first home I’ve had in a long time–not because of the building but because of the positive vibrations the staff projects.

I still have a lifetime to live, thanks to the help of Friendship House and I believe I will have a lifetime of friends/family because of this program.

In December, we had a Christmas Party; some of us don’t have family. The staff and volunteers made sure we came together; we had dinner and shared good times, laughing with each other. The gifts they gave were very cool. Material things are not what I focus on as much in these days, but it was very nice and it made me feel loved to receive them. It made me cry tears of joy because I haven’t felt love like this in a long time.

Tonight, I know I will sleep with a roof over my head, warm in bed, in clean clothes, clean body, happy with a group of people who have my best interest at heart, who I can talk to anytime. Thank you, God.

– Chuck D.