Category Archives: Blog

The CARES Act and Nonprofits: What you need to know

The CARES law now gives $300 annual deduction for charitable giving (no itemization needed). Previously, individuals were only able to deduct contributions if they itemized deductions on their personal returns. As a result of the 2017 tax law changes, the number of individuals who did so dramatically declined. CARES will allow for this deduction regardless of whether they will be itemizing their deductions, but only for the 2020 tax year. For those that do still itemize, CARES provides an increase in the Adjusted Gross Income cap from 60% to 100%. On the corporate side, the cap is raised from the historical 10% to 25%.

For more information Click Here.

COVID-19 Update 4/10

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Friendship House has remained open to offer emergency assistance to our community. We are amazed how the numbers of those in need continue to increase. We are so grateful for the support of our community and we are especially grateful for your desire to help us serve. Even if you are not physically with us, you are helping by following the Governor’s orders by staying home and keeping physical distance when out. You are helping by keeping us and those we serve in your prayers.

We do have occasional needs for specific items. We are being careful on how and when we accept these for the safety of our staff and guests. Therefore, please only send in donations in response to our staff’s direct request. We will give a detailed list of current needs with drop off explanations to people who have offered their help.

One of the most important things you can do is offer monetary donations. Friendship House is committed to the well being of our staff and the needs of our community. We have not decreased the pay for any full time employee. In addition, we are getting requests daily for financial assistance and emergency shelter requests due to COVID-19. A record number of Delawareans have already submitted for unemployment. Many of those are on the brink of homelessness. Although the state is doing everything it can to avoid a financial crisis, it is inevitable that it will not be enough. This is where Friendship House’s ability to fill gaps is critical. We are needed by our neighbors. You can help. Please consider a donation to help us help those most in need.

Thank you for all you do for us!

Black vs. Timeeka

Timeeka is what my mother named me when I was born into this world. But by age 15, my nickname was BLACK when I entered the prison system. Growing up as a child I had everything I needed except my mother and father. Although I had loving caring grandparents, I always wanted attention and love from my biological parents. Growing up the oldest sibling was bitter sweet. I was in charge of the household while my grandparents worked long hours. It was sweet because I learned how to take care of my siblings and was able to put a smile on their faces even though we were all struggling. It was bitter because it meant I missed out on my teenage years. No school formals, no after school activities, and no hobbies because I was more focused on my siblings than myself.

I was considered an adult before my sweet 16 birthday and nothing was sweet about that year.

At the age of fifteen, I was sentenced to 90 days at Grace Cottage Facility for teenagers. I was the youngest in the building. I heard many different stories from the other teenagers and it made me want to be just like them even though it was criminal behavior. To be honest, I was more comfortable in the system than at home because I was able to be myself while incarcerated. I didn’t have any responsibilities for no one but myself and I found peace. Once released with no support system, I started shoplifting for myself and siblings. It gave me money in my pockets and I was able to support my siblings. We were no longer singled out or teased by others. We were no longer considered homeless. In 2009 I was sentenced to 3 years in prison for a shoplifting charge that turned into a robbery for using excessive force. You would think that after 3 years I would have learned from my past mistakes, but the system just helped me analyze more ways to get away with criminal behavior. Then, my grandmother passed away in 2012, 10 months after I was released. I had no Mom or Dad as support – just me, my siblings and a criminal background. I turned to the streets for money and support. January 1, 2017 I gave birth to stillborn twins. I became depressed, and emotionally scared. I started self-medicating myself with ecstasy pills just to be happy and less depressed but that did not help my inner spirits. In 2018 I was sentenced to 2 years for aggravated possession.

Meet Timeeka…

June 2019, I was sent to work release at the Hazel D. Plant Women’s Treatment Facility. Immediately I started working at the Friendship House Clothing Bank. I loved everything about the place. The way they helped others, the way they talked to me and most importantly I learned who I was really born to be. I can’t explain the energy in writing but let’s just say I felt the love, peace and support I never could find elsewhere. God works in mysterious ways. Whoever would have thought my last mistake would be my testimony! Today I am part of the Friendship House family. I am now a full time employee at the Clothing Bank where I help women each day accomplish their short and long term goals. I’m now a consistent key player in my  brother’s life and school activities. I’m no longer taking risks to provide for myself and siblings, instead I am slowly trusting the process and allowing myself to help others step closer to their goal, as well as mine. I am happy and at peace in my life right now and I thank God and the Friendship House!

It’s not that I didn’t want to change, each time I was released from prison, I didn’t have the support system to change.

The Friendship House was my support system this go round and look at me now! Friendship House has played a major part in my change and in my journey. I am forever grateful for Ms. Cheryl, Ms. Kim and Ms. Robin. They saw the eager in me and allowed me to bring it into reality. My advice is “be patient with yourself and love yourself unconditionally regardless of your struggle.”

Yours truly,
Timeeka

Dear Friends,

Our mission is simple: unite people facing homelessness with loving, supportive communities they can call home. How do you do that in a time when we are expected to isolate ourselves? How do we connect someone living in a car to a job, a stable environment to live in, and a supportive community when people are losing jobs? Our environment is deeply unstable and resources are scarce.

These questions bring me back to how we, Friendship House, define community.

First, a community is wherever you call home. For many, home right now is your physical space, and those isolated in that space with you. For others, their home is our empowerment center – opened for sparse hours at a time to ensure our friends know they can come home. Maybe, though, home has expanded to be your neighborhood streets – still a space you may be confined to, but a space you may not have seen as often as you do now.

Community is how we respond to each other. I have seen hundreds of social media posts where people are offering to buy groceries or deliver medicines for people unable to get out. Others are supporting nonprofits and small businesses. I have seen and felt countless gestures of love and have witnessed support and acceptance.

Community is also uniting. It’s coming together as a collective to do the right thing for each other and for the larger group. Friendship House has been involved with the uniting of organizations of various types, coming together to protect and serve each other, including ensuring something as simple as access to public bathrooms for our most vulnerable, homeless population. Our community has grown to include the world as we unite on a common front battling such a horrendous and scary virus, sharing what works and what does not.

This pandemic is teaching us our community is the collective human race – from China, to Italy, to the United States, we are a united, loving, supportive front that will learn, adjust, and respond so the needs of the community are met. And we do this because we love. We love each other, we love our planet, and we love God. Together, that love is greater than anything else we can imagine. That is community.

Your friend,

Kim Eppehimer

Executive Director

Sunday Breakfast 3/22

Every Sunday morning for over 30 years, Friendship House has been a place anyone could come to in the early morning hours for coffee, a hot breakfast, and community at our Sunday Breakfast. Regardless of weather or holiday, we came together.

Sunday, when everything else in the City of Wilmington was closed to some of the most vulnerable in our midst, we still found a way to be open. For a single short hour, for coffee and a cold breakfast to go, we experienced a modified Sunday Breakfast. Among the long line of people waiting their turn to come in, with staff and volunteers lovingly serving, we found community. We were the only place open for a single hour in the heart of Wilmington, in the foyer of our dear friend The Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew. On this busy hour, we found church with 80 guests and friends. In the midst of everything, our clients were the loving supportive community for us.

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