Friendship House has undergone both ministry and program growth as the demographics of suburban populations in New Castle County have shifted over the years. Friendship House has made a proactive choice to find ways to better serve those who are not receiving available services because they are unable, unwilling, or unaware. It’s a fierce battle for many who are not use to being the one asking for help. We have seen people weeping from desperation as they struggle to put the pieces of their now broken life back together. We have witnessed anger from a situation that is out of someone’s control, or the deep anguish of watching a loved one suffer through an addiction. And this is happening throughout the suburbs of New Castle County. This is no longer, and hasn’t been, just an inner city “problem.”
To combat this, we have proactively begun finding ways to be available to our suburban churches who are finding themselves with less resources to handle the increase call for help. Either from strangers, neighbors, or their own congregation – the need is continuing to increase. Friendship House has started a ministry collaboration with several churches in the Pike Creek and Millcreek areas by being available at food giveaways or hosting dedicated hours on site. In Middletown, we are on location three mornings at Church On Main in partnership to the community. We are also revamping our referral process for the North Wilmington area by meeting people by appointment in local churches instead of having them come into Wilmington which for some became a deterrent. Finally, we have collaborated with an existing organization in the Richardson Park area called Richardson Park CAP to assist with financial assessments and help manage their distribution of funds in hopes of working with their clients through our empowerment ministry model.
To improve our infrastructure to handle this growth, we have hosted several Empowerment Ministry workshops targeting potential volunteers in each of these areas. Instead of hiring additional staff, we want to work with our existing support base and include you in this journey, to meet and work with your own communities. In this we will find common ground and transformation within each of us.