Turning homeless people away at Delaware shelters

DELAWARE– For many homeless shelters around Delaware, serious changes had to be made since the COVID-19 pandemic heightened, and that includes turning away the needy.

The Crisis House Emergency Center and Immanuel Shelter told us they are being advised by the state to not take in more people.

“During this COVID-19 pandemic we have put a freeze on clients coming in, but also on clients leaving,” Ryan Leonardo, Housing Locator and Program Manager at Crisis House Emergency Center, said.

“We decided that we did not want to put the folks that we have been working with at any greater risk, and by taking folks in that we don’t know where they have come from or circumstances,” Don Peterson, Interim President at Immanuel Shelter, said.

A decision that has left many trying to find other accommodations.

“The beds are just simply aren’t available, we know there are people that are out there living in tents, surfing on couches,” Peterson, said.

While worrying about where the homeless will sleep is a major concern, donations for the folks who are already in the shelters is an issue as well.

“Donations have really gone down and as a small non-profit we really rely on donations,” Leonardo said.

” The state is encouraging us to continue to shelter the folks that we’ve been sheltering and they are working with us to be able to provide the funding for us to be able to do that,” Peterson said.

But through this all, the shelters are trying to help one another.

“It’s affecting everybody obviously, but it really does affect the homeless population as well, all the non-profits down here have a really good relationship with each other, we’re really trying to get through this together,” Leonardo said.

We are told with the need for donations, if anyone is able to help provide shelters with their time or items, it would be greatly appreciated.

Categories: Delaware, Local News