Winter Programming

Each winter, Friendship House (FH) provides additional programming to give those most vulnerable more options during the coldest times of the year. These services include our Saturday Morning Hospitality at First & Central Presbyterian Church, which creates an opportunity for those experiencing houselessness in Wilmington to seek warmth every Saturday morning. This then provides a place for a person to go every morning during the winter months as our Wilmington Empowerment Center is always open in the mornings Sunday through Friday. In addition to Saturday Morning Hospitality, all five of our Empowerment Centers extend their normal hours on the coldest days.

Our Winter Seasonal Programming also includes Code Purple which FH offers in New Castle County when overnight temperatures feel like 20 degrees or below. When the temperature dips this low, the outdoor conditions can become life-threatening. With the support of our community, which provides volunteers, food, and space, we can open for overnight emergency shelter in Wilmington, Newark, and Middletown. This service is critical and needed in our community.

We have hosted 8 Code Purples already this season, and expect more cold nights to come. When asked what Code Purple is like, Sajhi, a Code Purple guest, replied “It’s a blessing. Some say people don’t care, these people care.” Other guests, Kauhdria & Derek, shared “Everyone is treated the same.”

Joe, who frequents both of our Wilmington winter services, shared, “It’s the only place open, I come to get out of the cold, get something to eat. [The] best part is just being able to come in.” Anthony shared, “I come because there is no other place to go after being put out of the shelter. I come for coffee, food and to recharge my phone. The volunteers treat us as people. They respect us and talk with us.”

We are so grateful for our community and faith partners who make these services available.


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