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Cheryl Christiansen - Announces Retirement

Dear Family Promise Community,

With great enthusiasm and confidence, I would like to share exciting news about the future of our organization. I am announcing my retirement as Executive Director, and that the planned successor for the role will be Tyler Shade. Although I will be leaving my staff role with Family Promise, I won’t be going very far. I still have the same passion for Family Promise as I did 10 years ago, and will remain as Executive Advisor to Tyler and the Board of Directors. You will likely see me around, though not at the office!

Those of you who know Tyler, understand that he has great passion for Family Promise and the families we serve. He brings amazing energy, ideas and talent and I’ve watched him soar in the time he has been with us. I have complete confidence that Tyler is able to take on the challenge of his new role as Executive Director and he has the unanimous support of the Board of Directors. As soon as Tyler is able to hire and train a Development and Marketing Manager to replace him, he will step into the Executive Director role. He will continue to have my support, a talented staff team working with him and the guidance of a Board of Directors that brings a varied wealth of experience.

I consider my job the greatest honor, as I have the privilege of witnessing the work of an amazing organization and so many valuable partners, congregations and volunteers. All of the relationships I enjoy will be missed as I depart, but in my heart forever. Family Promise is in the capable hands of leadership that has the energy and ability to continue the path of intentional growth. Family Promise continues to create new ways to serve the most vulnerable families experiencing homelessness. How truly fortunate I have been to be part of such meaningful work!

My parting words bring you a short message of action. The song by Steve Angrisano, “Go Make a Difference, We Can Make a difference”, based on Matthew 5-13-16. To our families, every small gesture and anything you provide makes a world of difference to them, knowing someone cares about their family.

Please join me in my continued support of Family Promise and Tyler Shade in his role as Executive Director. Thank you for all of the inspiration you have shared with me over the years!

With Purpose,
Cheryl Christiansen, Executive Advisor

Mid Year Report

Despite the challenges we now face in the midst of an affordable housing crisis, we continue to serve families experiencing homelessness in Delaware. Family Promise served 64 families to date across our programs and partnerships. We're currently assisting 68 families secure permanent housing.

2021 has proved to be an extremely challenging year. Delaware faces a severe lack of affordable housing, rising rents, hesitant landlords and a multitude of other issues exacerbated or created by the COVID19 pandemic. In 2019, we housed families in an average of about 40 days - it now takes us around 90 days to assist a family secure permanent housing. While it has become substantially harder to serve families, we continue to put every effort forward in helping Delaware's families. As always, despite the challenges, we remain an effective organization that always puts Delaware's families first. 

Program Updates

Felicia our Network and Hope Center Case Manager has dedicated the majority of her time and Capacity towards assisting families experiencing homelessness sheltering at the Hope Center secure permanent housing. Felicia provides resources, case management services, and financial assistance to families at the Hope Center in an effort to assist them secure permanent housing as quickly as possible. Felicia recently assisted two families end their homelessness and secure housing!

Georgette, one of our Pathway to Housing Case Managers, is dedicating her entire case management capacity to rapidly re-housing as many families experiencing homelessness as possible. This includes families in any situation of homelessness, including families staying in motels, other shelters, their car, etc. Despite the challenges, Georgette has been steadily moving families into permanent housing!

Carmen, one of our Pathway to Housing Case Managers primarily serves families experiencing homelessness that are sheltering at local hotels. Carmen works closely with the State of Delaware to quickly assist families and address any needs or barriers they're currently facing. Like Georgette, Carmen assists families identify housing, pay for housing, and remain in housing long term. Carmen consistently helps families address and overcome their barriers, leading to many families ending their homelessness. 

Kawanda, our Hospitality Center Case Manager is moving on full steam ahead! The Hospitality Center has not missed a beat this past year, despite all of the challenges we've faced. Kawanda continues to provide wrap around Case Management for families sheltering at the Center in addition to assisting a small number of community families. Our static shelter remains a powerfully effective homelessness intervention. In 2020, 86% of all families served in the Center, secured permanent housing!

Pathway to Housing: A Hybrid Breakfast

Join us on September 28th, from 7:30 - 9:00am for our Pathway to Home Virtual Breakfast! Join us as we celebrate our success over the past year, our graduates, staff, and our future expansion! 

Due to an abundance of caution relating to the COVID19 pandemic, and the delta variant, we’re unfortunately unable to meet together in person this year, however, we’re not going to let that stop us from hosting our premiere event! As with last year, our event this year will be digital via zoom, but unlike last year, we're going to focus on watch parties! 

Watch parties will see groups of supporters join and have breakfast together in their homes, congregations, or wherever is most convenient for them. Each watch party will have their own dedicated zoom lobby in which they can converse, laugh, spend some time together, while enjoying our program. Think of the lobby as your own personal table.

We’ll be hosting our watch party breakfast via zoom. Attendees will eat breakfast in the comfort of their own home, while attending our online breakfast with many of our wonderful supporters.
  • This virtual event is open to all of our supporters! 
  • Two past graduates will be joining us and sharing their stories, homelessness experiences and what Family Promise means to them. 
  • We will premiere our signature Transforming Lives Video, featuring multiple successful graduates, their experiences, and where they are now. 
  • You’ll also hear directly from staff, board members and even have a chance to engage in a Q&A with our Executive Director.
  • .Finally, we'll discuss our path forward and future expansion plans to ensure we're able to serve even more of Delaware's families experiencing homelessness. 
Anyone interested in being a Watch Party Captain should reach out to or at 302-998-2222x105. Watch Party Captains will host watch parties on our behalf! Captains will reach out to friends, families, fellow congregants, etc. to fill their watch party.  . 

Congratulations Wendell!!

Wendell, our Director of Family Services recently took and passed the Licensed Clinical Social Worker Examination! This is a monumental achievement as to even qualify for this exam, Licenses Master Social Workers must log thousands of supervisory hours, in addition to a multitude of other requirements. Join us to celebrate Wendell and his monumental achievement!

Out of Reach Delaware

Each year we provide an update on the National Low Income Housing Coalition's Delaware Out of Reach report. This report highlights that affordable housing is out of reach for many in Delaware. Here's some key stats for 2021. 

Here are a few key findings:
  • Working at Delaware's minimum wage of $9.25, each week you would have to work 80 hours to afford a modest 1 bedroom rental. A 2 bedroom rental would require 97 hours. 
  • The Fair Market Rent for a modest 2 bedroom unit is $1,171 in Delaware. 
  • $481 - the Rent affordable at Delaware's minimum wage.
  • In order to afford a modest 2 bedroom unit, a renter must earn at least $22.52 per hour. 
  • Delaware's housing wage of $22.52 is the 18th highest in the country. 
  • In Delaware, you need to earn $45,669 annually to afford a modest 2 bedroom unit. 
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