New collaboration provides aid to Delaware’s homeless

la-red-help-homeless

SUSSEX COUNTY – Aiding the estimated thousands of homeless Delawareans is a monumental task. One that is oftentimes better tackled by a team approach.

In southern Delaware, a collaboration between La Red Health Center (LRHC), Tap Faith Partnerships and A.C.E. Peer Resource Center was formed for that very reason.

Each member has its own area of expertise.

La Red Health Center’s primary mission is to provide quality patient-centered care to the diverse members of its community. Tap Faith, among other things, assists and refers people in crisis to various programs for aid with shelter, food, clothing, counseling, life-skill education, employment and housing. A.C.E. provides a sheltered resource for creating positive, sober support relationships, job search assistance and placement in affordable, sober housing.

Recently the collaboration, named the Sussex County Coalition (SCC), received a $100,000 grant from the Delaware Community Foundation that will be used to provide a range of services to the area’s homeless population. Currently it is estimated that as many as 650 Sussex County residents experience homelessness on any given night.

The grant will enable any of the coalition’s members to refer clients to either or both of the remaining SCC members for further assistance.

“For example, while asking clients other questions, I’ll say, ‘how’s your health? How about the health of your immediate circle?’” said Tap Faith Partnerships Chairman Gene Louis. “More often than not I get answered ‘so-so.’ I’ll refer them to LRHC for medical and dental attention.”

Last year a smaller grant awarded to SCC allowed it to assist more than 80 people to Tap Faith. The current grant, Mr. Louis said, should allow SCC to double its efforts. Overall the SCC expects to serve 820 homeless individuals in 2016.

“It will enable us to assist a minimum of 100 percent more people,” he said. “Last year we assisted 82 people. This year we’re going to do 150 to 180. The whole thing has been a blessing.”

For more information on the services provided by La Red Health Center, visit its website at laredhealthcenter.org. More information on Tap Faith Partnerships can be found at tapfaithpartnerships.org. A.C.E. Peer Resource Center in Seaford can be reached at 302 628-3016.

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