Category Archives: Announcement

In Loving Memory of Donna Johnson

Donna Johnson
September 11, 1962—September 13, 2018

Donna, a graduate of our housing program, died September 13, 2018 from cancer surrounded by family and friends. I am grateful to work with a group of people who are so compassionate and generous who have allowed the Housing Staff to walk with Donna and to keep her safe during the last years and days of her life. Your kindness gave her strength to fight the good fight. It touched and gratified her family to know she had such a supportive community. Blessings to you all.

– Marcy Perkins

Annual Meeting Executive Director Remarks – 2018

Below are Kim Eppehimer’s remarks from the annual picnic on July 22nd.

Thank you for being here. The year 2017 was a tremendous year, and we are blessed to have an amazing staff who work tirelessly to ensure all those who come to us are met with grace and receive help.

To our employees, thank you for all you do. I feel fortunate to work amongst these saints.

We are blessed to have a wonderful group of dedicated volunteers who work side by side us, serving our community with dignity. We are so incredibly grateful for each of you.

And, we have an incredible board of directors – they are your neighbors and members of your faith community, who have dedicated many hours to helping us move this mission forward. Thank you for all that you do.

Although we are doing well financially, it feels every dollar we raise takes a little extra fight. The demand for resources continues to grow, and the bucket of resources is shrinking.

It’s not just me, or the board or the staff working for those dollars. It’s also each of you. Whether you know it or not, you are one of our many voices when it comes to advocating for Friendship House needs. We hear your stories after serving dinner at Andrew’s Place, donating your time to the Clothing Bank, or volunteering at our Sunday Breakfast. Stories that tell others how much you love this organization. I see how you share our posts on Facebook and the comments explaining how much you care for our ministry. I am grateful for your support financially, your gift of time, and how you share Friendship House with others.

As you know as well as I do, there are many people experiencing homelessness and displacement who need our help. Friendship House has become an important piece of the puzzle to their success. And as with every puzzle, it’s hard to complete if there is a missing piece. We are critical to this community. And you make us possible to exist.

There is much work to be done to ensure that this critical piece of the puzzle remains as stable as it has always been. In the coming years, we will continue to focus on empowerment using our method of ministry which relies on hospitality, the community, and education. We believe we can continue to offer every person we serve a pathway where he or she can be proud of themselves and experience self-sufficient living.

We will focus on our income stream by ensuring we are keeping healthy relationships with our ministry partners, finding ways to collaborate with other organizations, and constantly telling the stories of the men and women we are blessed to meet, who tell us we have changed their lives – but really, we know, it is our lives who have been changed.

We will continue to serve county wide. Every neighborhood that we look at tells a similar story – whether hidden or in plain sight, people are constantly at risk of or facing displacement. If we band together to shed light on these needs, and fight against stereotypes and shame, we have a better chance of reaching those who are in despair. Thursday, I dropped by our Newark Empowerment Center and while Josh, one of our case workers, was on the phone with the utility company I introduced myself to the woman he was serving. She is 84 years old, and the first thing she said is “I am so embarrassed to be here. I have never needed help.” After medical trauma this year, her small pension wasn’t enough to cover her needs. That’s not even the worse part. The part that hurts the most is she was so proud and scared someone would know she was asking for help she decided to leave without taking any help at all.

It is our job not only to open the door and invite people in, but to ensure they know they are on safe and often sacred ground. And that’s a job we can all do.

It is hard to believe it has been a year since I stepped in as Executive Director, and we celebrated Bill Perkin’s 30-year tenure at Friendship House. It has been a year full of growth and opportunities. We served almost 5,000 people last year, not including the 5,000 we served through our clothing bank distribution. Volunteers brought 700 meals to our men’s and women’s housing, meeting residents and learning how close we all come to the edge of despair and at the same time how resilient a human being can be. We saw men and women beat the odds against heroin, get jobs, reunite with their families and children, and come back to us to say we saved their life. We also witnessed men and women losing the battle, as heroin took their bodies and they died. We hosted code purple 23 times last winter, including a cold spell that lasted for 14 days in a row. We served 52 Sunday breakfasts to our Wilmington folks, alongside many of you.

We celebrated our 30th anniversary last year, the Newark Empowerment Centers’ 10th anniversary, and next we will celebrate the Clothing Bank’s 20th anniversary. 30 years is not a long time in many ways, yet it’s amazing to think of all that has been accomplished. We have three empowerment centers and several empowerment ministries partnerships, 12 transitional houses, a clothing bank that receives 200,000 pounds of donated clothing a year. I am truly excited about and remain fiercely dedicated to our future.

Friends, I remain optimistic our work is that of God. It does not mean our work is easy or that the burden will be light. It just means we are where we are supposed to be, and as long as we stay faithful, God will help us with the rest.

Thank you, again, for all that you do for Friendship House. And thank you for your support and faith in our ministry, staff, and clients. You are a true blessing. Thank you.

– Kim Epperhimer (Executive Director)

Highmark Walk 2018!

Dear Friends,

What would you do if you were given $60,000? I can tell you what we will do with the $60,000 you raised for us through the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community: We will serve more people who are struggling with homelessness. We will house more people who are in need of sound programming looking for a self sufficient way of living. We will give away more clothes. We will give more women jobs. We will be able to say yes to one more person who is asking for help. We will continue to be a sanctuary for those who need it most and a stepping stone to empowerment for all those who ask.

Because of you.

Friends, you are heroes!

And we felt incredibly blessed to walk 3 miles with you on behalf of all those we serve who were unable to do so.

Thank you. Thank you to the team captains who got 420 people to sign on as walkers in support of Friendship House! Thank you to every person who joined us today to walk or who joined in prayer! Thank you for breaking every record we set! THANK YOU for raising $60,000 for our life saving ministries!!

Let’s do it again next year!

Your greatest fans – The Friendship House family

Our Next Executive Director Is Named!

Friendship House of Delaware is proud to announce that Kim Eppehimer is to be the next Executive Director effective January 1, 2018.

Kim has been working at Friendship House since 2014, after volunteering through Red Clay Creek Church Presbyterian Church for several years.

After working over a decade in the multi- family and low income real estate field as a loan officer, a Vice President, and a software engineer, her family moved to Delaware while she worked from home as a consultant to be with her two young boys.

Once she found work at Friendship House, she knew she found a vocation and a place to call home.

“This is truly an honor. I am humbled to have been chosen for this role and I am committed to both the mission and people of Friendship House,” Kim says.

During her time with Friendship House, Kim has been actively involved at each ministry. From ministering to volunteers at winter sanctuary, mentoring interns, and walking with clients in the suburban empowerment expansion ministry she helped to establish, Kim has developed a knowledge and a passion for each of the ministries.

Kim comes to us with a Masters of Accounting from the University of Maryland, and recently received a certificate in Theology and Ministry from Princeton Seminary and a certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Delaware.

Bill Perkins, who has been serving as Executive Director of Friendship House since 1989, is pleased with this choice. “Ever since Kim began volunteering at Friendship House, it was clear she has the passion to serve the homeless and our community, as well as the capability of running such an organization. I could not be more pleased with the selection of Kim as Executive Director. As we celebrate our 30th year of operation and move into the next phase, Kim will be the kind of leader that can continue the mission of Friendship House.”

Marc Marcus (Assistant Executive Director and Director of Day Ministry), Marcy Perkins (Director of Transitional Housing), and Kathy Graham (Director of the Clothing Bank), are in agreement with Bill. “Kim will be a wonderful Executive Director. We are looking forward to continuing to work with her and supporting her in her new role.”

Please join us at our annual meeting Sunday, April 23 to congratulate Kim!
Annual Meeting Details
12:00 PM: Open House at Friendship House Admin Office
1503 W. 13th Street, Wilmington DE
1:30 PM: Annual Meeting at Westminster Presbyterian Church
1506 W. 13th Street, Wilmington DE