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State of Delaware Catholic Charities assistance programs.

A number of services are offered by the Delaware Catholic Charities. The organization can provide assistance to families in a crisis. This can include satisfying basic needs (such as food or clothing), emergency assistance (rent, utilities) and also ongoing support. The agency and its case managers really focus on addressing the long term needs of the Delaware family, whether it is employment, housing, or some other issue.

Emergency Shelters are located across the state, including in all counties in Delaware. Hundreds of families are housed nightly and they also receive food and free hot meals. The maximum stay is 30 days. In addition to the housing, a case manager works with each resident to help them find a job, increase income and locate affordable long term housing in the region. Catholic Charities also helps with prescription medications, laundry, clothing, and transportation for those in the shelter.

The Delaware Basic Needs Program supports individuals and families who need assistance and guidance in becoming self-supporting. The program can arrange budget and housing counseling, assistance to help prevent future crises, information about and referral to other services, and may have funds for utility bills or paying rent. The program can help families avoid homelessness and it can empower people to become self-sufficient over the long term. The assistance programs remain flexible to the clients needs and requests. Catholic Charities coordinates closely with other non-profits and will also offer a fully comprehensive approach to solving financial emergencies.

The organization runs many programs that support those low income families in need of help, including mental health, pregnancy counseling, resources for victims of domestic violence and more. In a crisis, look into heating assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Program (LIHEAP), emergency pantries and food cooperatives.

If a case manager can't assist you then they may be able to refer you to one or more of their other programs, the government, or another non-profit agency in Delaware. This assistance will hopefully allow you to get through the crisis and give you some additional time to find a job, polish your skills, or pick up extra work hours at your current job.





Bayard House is a residential program serving transitional pregnant minors or homeless in Delaware. It provides educational and referral services to young families and at-risk pregnant teens/women in need. It can help satisfy immediate needs of homeless pregnant women (food and shelter) and it also provides educational and employment assistance, independent living & home management skills, access to affordable health care in Delaware, free pregnancy counseling and referral services.

The Hope Program Food Cooperative will supplement food budgets by providing additional bags of groceries every month to the needy. Catholic Charities works with the Food Bank of Delaware, churches and other organizations in an effort to provide nutritious, meal-ready products and groceries for a fraction of retail value. The food distribution sites and pantries are located in Bridgeville, Milton, Georgetown, Lewes, Wilmington, Long Neck, Bethany Beach, and Slaughter Neck Delaware.

Additional emergency food pantries are stocked with donated perishable items, food, groceries and USDA commodities. The Catholic Charity pantry provides 3-4 days of food and groceries for persons who are in crisis and cannot buy food on their own. Centers are located in towns including Casa San Francisco as well as Seton Center. Another government funded program is the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and this is offered for students and children who are in day care centers.

The Delaware Catholic Charities’ Immigration Program lends a welcoming hand to individuals and families with citizenship and immigration matters. The highly trained specialists and counselors are accredited by the federal government Board of Immigration Appeals. Services will help people resolve issues related to a person’s legal status in the United States and state of Delaware that are causing problems in personal, social and economic adjustment and/or family separation. The Diocese of Wilmington is the lead center but it operates across the state.

A similar resource is the Refugee Resettlement Program. It offers reception, job placement and monitoring services for local cases. Clients need to be assigned through a contract with United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB).





Catholic Charities is one of the Delaware non-profits that administers the federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. This particular service helps low income households that need assistance to pay the cost of home energy and heating bills.

LIHEAP has been available for over 20 years. Assistance is available for both renters and homeowners who meet certain poverty guidelines. All different types of utility bills, including heating and cooling sources, electricity, gas, oil, kerosene, wood, propane, natural gas, and even coal expenses are eligible for assistance. It will pay a portion of your bill and not your entire energy cost. Summer air conditioning and cooling bill assistance is more rare.

The Wilmington Delaware Thrift Center is open to the general public. It provides the working poor and low income with appliances, gently used clothing, furniture, household goods, Christmas items, mattresses, and much more. The items are sold at deeply discounted prices to the public, regardless of their income. The thrift store also links residents in need of emergency assistance to information about and referrals to other local community programs.

The primary Catholic Charities' centers are below.

New Castle County Office, 2601 W Fourth Street, Wilmington, Delaware 19805, dial 302-655-9624
Kent County Office, 2099 S DuPont Highway, Dover, Delaware 19901, call 302-674-1600 for intake
Sussex County Office, 406 S Bedford Street, Suite 9, Georgetown, Delaware 19947, main number is 302-856-9578




By Jon McNamara

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