All posts by Friendship House

Deidra’s Story

I was lost, but found out what it feels like to happily live without drugs or a drink.

My name is Deidra and I am 43 years old. I lived in Middletown, a very small town in Delaware. I grew up in a single parent household. Although I didn’t have everything I wanted, I had a good childhood and had everything that I needed. At age 15, I had my first child. I didn’t finish school and I started hanging around the “cool” kids. I began smoking weed, which was a big mistake.

Fast forward a few years later, my mother was involved in a terrible car accident. This turned my whole world upside down. She was left paralyzed from the chest down. When she passed a year later, I fell into a very deep depression. Along with smoking weed, I was now doing crack and drinking like there was no tomorrow. I can truthfully say that I was comfortable with how I was living and did not think I had a problem. I didn’t realize it then, but I was headed toward mass self-destruction.

I slowed down on the crack and began doing pills, any kind as long as I was high. When the pills stopped working, I picked the crack back up. I also started doing heroin and let me tell you, I didn’t do one without the other. My addiction became worse and I began to lose everything. I did anything and everything to get the drugs…steal, trick, beg, and borrow. This resulted in me going to jail for 18 months.

While in jail, I completed Key-Crest drug programs. You would have thought I learned my lesson, but I ended up relapsing. This time I ended up overdosing and had to be administered Narcan, not once, but four times. When this happened, I saw the light. I decided to go to rehab. I remember reading a phrase that said, “Change I must, or die I will”.

While in rehab I made the decision to look into Friendship House, and let me tell you…I am so happy I did. I love it. The staff is wonderful, kind, loving, trustworthy, and most of all, non-judgmental. They keep me on my toes! I am learning how to take care of responsibilities such as self-care, budgeting, saving money, doctors appointments, paying bills, and everyday living. I am living life on life’s terms and I am very grateful today!

Since being at FH, I have successfully completed an intensive outpatient program. I recently landed a job, was able to start budgeting, and am saving towards my own place. I also have plans to finish my GED. My future is bright and I am on the right track!

Hope Center and Beyond

FH is exiting the NCC Hope Center as their Social Service Anchor. We planned to manage client services there temporarily through March 2021. As COVID-19 continued to limit resources, we agreed to stay for the remainder of the year. We are grateful to always be connected with the Hope Center, serving more than 1,000 people experiencing homelessness in its first year. As we exit the Hope Center, we are witnessing the many needs throughout our county and state and will do what we do best: fill the gaps in services for those experiencing homelessness and houselessness. From expanding our Clothing Bank’s School Uniform program to meeting the needs of a variety of residents in our Transitional Housing program to focusing on the growing needs of an increasing population of unsheltered people through our Empowerment Centers and Financial Assistance program – the need is everywhere. We are looking forward to refocusing our energy and resources on our core programming to be the best version of ourselves as we can, helping people with love and support. Thank you for all you do to make these things possible. We are forever grateful.

New Year’s Resolutions

The start of the year tends to be a time of goal setting and resolution making. Gyms fill up, new diets trend, and alcohol sales go down in support of “Dry January.” January 1st is an easy target for goal setting because people need inspiration to start something new – a “clean line” between who you were and who you want to be. Even though we are happy to say goodbye to 2021, this new year started off challenging. It seems difficult to make any other resolution than to find a way to live with COVID in our lives. At the same time, we need personal goals to find hope in a better tomorrow. Goals that help us be better versions of ourselves. However, when you are at your own personal bottom, sometimes the only goal is to get out of bed that day. Or maybe it is to scrape enough together to pay one of four overdue bills. Or even to just get through the day. We understand for those experiencing homelessness goals are required so they can stay focused and centered when everything around them feels like it’s spiraling out of control. They need hope in a better tomorrow.
There are many changes in 2022 for Friendship House – but for anyone who comes to us for help, our number one goal remains the same: ensure every person feels respect, compassion, grace, acceptance, and love as they journey back towards a loving, supportive community they can call home. 
January 1st may be a clean line for many; however, at FH, every day is a clean line for all those we serve. We are committed to being a safe place of renewal every day.
Have a New Year’s Resolution? Click here to email us!

On a Cold Night

Imagine you are outside during one of the coldest months of the year, the temperature is below freezing, the wind is whipping fast, and there is no sun to help warm your body. Now imagine you don’t have a warm home to escape to.

For people in our community experiencing homelessness, they don’t have to imagine this as this is their reality. “It’s unsafe for people to be out there when it’s so cold,” says Robin, the Manager of our MOT Empowerment Center. These individuals typically go unnoticed, they are ignored.

Not by Friendship House. FH partners with various faith communities to run our Code Purple program throughout New Castle County. Code Purple gives individuals experiencing street-level houselessness a warm and safe place to stay overnight when the temperatures are too dangerous to be outside.

“It’s just not safe. We give them a place to feel welcomed. To feel seen and not forgotten,” Robin added.

Long time Newark Code Purple volunteer, Tom, spoke about his experience, “Code Purple has been a gateway to getting to know the homeless folk. I’ve developed some terrific relationships, friendships.” Robin mentioned a conversation she had with a client who frequents our Code Purple’s, “in all the places he’s traveled through he said he’s never felt this type of hospitality or love.”

Code Purple is a life-saving program. FH does this with help from our loving, supportive community. “Our community has really pulled together,” Robin said. Tom was right in saying, “it takes all kinds of people to make this thing work. We can’t do it alone.”

FH Art Contest

Please support the life-saving, life-changing programs of Friendship House as part of your year-end giving. By supporting FH you are helping someone in your community find a way home!

Donate Today!

Cash and checks can be mailed to PO Box 1517 Wilmington, DE 19899

FH hosted an art contest for our annual appeal post card asking students from our school partners to illustrate what kindness means to them. Below are the 4 winning art pieces. Which post card did you get in the mail? Scroll through to see the incredible illustrations on kindness.

The artist for this postcard is Laila, a first grader at Richardson Park Elementary School.

Laila loves to play with her brother, draw, and color! When she grows up, Laila wants to be an artist.

Why we chose this one: We love the colors Laila picked and the big smile on the person’s face! The message to “be kind” is powerful and a good motto to live by! 

Thank you Laila for sharing your message and your passion for art with us!

The artist for this postcard is Natali, an eighth grader at Shue-Medill Middle School.

Kindness has so many definitions. It can be expressed in many ways. Helping others, taking care of the environment, ourselves, and many more. The gesture can be showed in many ways; big or small. Kindness is a thing we don’t know we’re doing until we did it. It’s hard to explain. But I guess a gesture that makes us know we helped another or ourself. It’s the word that describes us feeling good after we did something good. Be kind.” – Natali

Why we chose this one: We are moved by the inclusivity and creativity behind Natali’s gestures portraying kindness in this illustration!

Thank you Natali for creating this moving and impactful artwork and sharing it with us! 

The artist for this postcard is Alana, a fifth grader at Richardson Park Elementary School.

Why we chose this one: We love the bold and bright color of Alana’s illustration! The message is simple yet powerful, and a message FH practices everyday. 

Thank you Alana for sharing your artwork with us, we loved your image and the message it portrays! 

The artist for this postcard is Amatullah, an eighth grader at Shue-Medill Middle School.

Friendship Fish
“On a cold lake in autumn, two fishes meet and become friends. The only wish a fish has is company and a friend.” – Amatullah

Why we chose this one: We are impressed by the talent in this piece and moved by Amatullah’s interpretation of kindness as friendship!

Thank you Amatullah for participating and sharing your beautiful interpretation of kindness with us!

Thank you to all of the students who participated in the contest. We received so many beautiful pieces with wonderful messages, we truly had a hard time narrowing down the winners! We hope you will all continue to practice your art and sharing it with the world! You have a fan, and a friend, in Friendship House!