Free Rides For Homeless Help to Increase Access to Critical Services

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – Homeless in Delaware have a new resource to help them make their appointments, get to care centers, and start the process of finding a permanent home.

Higher Ground Outreach Inc. offers rides free of charge for the homeless population, allowing them to make it to locations virtually inaccessible on foot.

“Most of the time people don’t have a way to get to these resources they don’t have funds or transportation but at Higher Ground, we believe that by giving them these rides to the locations they can build that routine and begin to end their homeless situation,” said Higher Ground Outreach Specialist Lou Hernandez.

He says that many of the care networks for the homeless are interdependent, yet are many miles away from each other, with little flexibility when it comes to scheduling. He says his most frequent trips have been to care centers and to the DMV, where he helps file requests for identification cards, a key in securing access to medication, social security and disability payments.

“They get that ID, they get this help and it can start them on the path to getting out and being homeowners or renting, but they are not getting there without the transportation,” he said. Hernadez says Higher Ground has been able to help between five and six people per day using the two cars they have as part of their company but says that’s nowhere close to meeting the need.

“I’d want to see a fleet of cars that can get into these spaces that the folks can trust will get them to where they are going, and where it’s possible to have that be the way that these folks aren’t walking for miles in the cold,” he said.

He says financial constraints and expensive licensing have so far prohibited them from purchasing more cars or working directly with centers as a sponsored ride-share. He says his organization is looking to expand and shift the need, but they say donations in the dollars, clothing, and heating equipment can help the homeless get through their current conditions, before dealing with more systemic needs.

“These guys are boots on the ground but they lack infrastructure and support required to perform the task so we are hoping the community will rally and support us and send what we need to either the PO Box or to [Hernandez] to help give out to folks while we work on expanding,” said volunteer Jack Muhs.

Muhs says the ultimate goal would be a shelter that allowed for long-term overnight stays, with private storage.

“They need safety and warmth and peace of mind that most of us take for granted, and it’s a long struggle but now more than ever we need that help and then we can build more support,” Muhs said. Higher Ground Outreach Inc. says they have reached out to state and local representatives to host a roundtable discussion to address the needs of the homeless and advocacy groups that serve them.

Volunteers who are interested in helping or donating out can do so online as well as reach out to Lou Hernandez at 302-470-7497. Hernadez tells us their PO Box address can be found at  Higher Ground Outreach Inc, P.O. Box 11, Georgetown, Delaware 19947

Categories: Delaware, Local News