New women’s shelter opening in Dover

DOVER, Del. – There’s a pretty big development in the city’s fight to combat homelessness. The Central Delaware Housing Collaborative is creating a new shelter but it’s specifically for women.

The Collaborative was formed about a year ago out of the city’s task force on homelessness. Officials say women experiencing homelessness in the area don’t have enough places to turn to. But that’s all about to change.

“There definitely is a problem. You get to know some of these people and some of them it’s a way of life and some of them have just fallen on hard times,” says Dan Houghtaling, the Board President of the Central Delaware Housing Collaborative.

Homelessness is at the forefront of discussions across the city of Dover and officials know the lack affordable housing ties right into homelessness, specifically among women.

“Delaware State Housing Authority has a two to three year wait for families to find housing affordable housing,” says Houghtaling. “We keep track of how many women come in that need housing and the need is not being met. There’s not enough beds in the area, for women that need a place to stay.”

So the Central Delaware Housing Collaborative is creating that place at 801 W. Division Street. “Most of our bedrooms will accommodate two to four people. We will have one bedroom set aside for a woman that’s pregnant or expecting or has an infant. We may be able to work with them.”

The organization is currently renovating the home into a shelter that will be able to house up to 21 people. “We will take people that are homeless, bring them into the shelter, they can stay up to 60 days. We try to find them jobs. We work with them. That’s one of the priorities when they live here is to better themselves,” says Houghtaling.

Officials say this home will finally help a part of the population that’s under served. “It’s definitely needed. There needs to be a place. Women are kind of neglected sometimes. They become victims and not the same priority that men have to find shelter and stuff like that,” says Houghtaling.

This is the Collaborative’s biggest project to date. Officials say guests will be referred to this shelter by other agencies like the Delaware Housing Alliance. They also say there’s a potential for a partnership with state services for people to use vouchers on housing with the Collaborative.

As far as a timeline, officials say if all goes as planned the shelter should open in January. The Central Delaware Housing Collaborative also owns the lot right next to the shelter. In the future, they’re hoping to build transitional housing there with 12 units.

Categories: Delaware, Local News