House of Hope welcomes women into new Dover shelter

DOVER, Del. – House of Hope, a new 16 bed shelter, is now accepting guests in Dover. Officials say it’s greatly needed in the community and they believe its holistic approach is key to breaking the cycle of homelessness.

“The homeless population, in general, is much larger than what a lot of people realize,” says Valerie Bradshaw, an administrator at the Appoquipinick State Service Center.

The shelter at 801 West Division Street is designed specifically for women. “I’ve always wanted to have a safe environment for women that they can be empowered,” says Paulette Winkfield, a social worker and board member of the Central Delaware Housing Collaborative.

The Central Delaware Housing Collaborative is behind the new facility which feels more like a home than a shelter. “When you think of being homeless a lot of people are reluctant to want to come into a shelter. They are thinking of an atmosphere that is going to remind them of an institution or a prison style setting not a feeling of home,” says Bradshaw.

Officials say the welcoming environment is just one part of their holistic approach in order to help the women who will come through the doors. “We love an opportunity to partner with facilities like this who aren’t just treating the individual like a number but are actually taking the time using the trauma care approach to work with them,” says Bradshaw.

Winkfield says typical housing vouchers are only good for 21 days but this program serves women for 60 to 90 days, in all aspects of their lives. “The proposal that I had made for the state was if you give us that voucher for eight weeks, we could help the client with their substance abuse, mental health, workshops, trauma informed care, bank accounts, employment or disability. Whatever they need,” says Winkfield.

Bradshaw says the goal is to equip women with the tools they need to move forward and live independent productive lives. “It will allow more people to come in but not go back out to the streets but to go on to actually securing housing.”

House of Hope only accepts clients based on referrals through the Housing Alliance of Delaware or State Social Services. Clients can stay there for 60 or even 90 days before they move on to transitional housing, as long as they meet certain requirements.

If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness, you can contact the Division of State Service Centers at 1-866-843-7212 or click here to visit their website.

If you would like to donate to or volunteer at House of Hope, click here to visit their website for more information.


Categories: Delaware, Local News