Code Purple refuge in the Cape region no longer accepts men

Over the past decade, Sussex County’s first Code Purple shelter, Immanuel Shelter, has provided winter shelter for homeless men and women in the Cape region. However, following a change in the management structure, as of this year, the refuge on Oyster House Road outside of Rehoboth Beach will no longer provide services to men.

In a statement prepared Dec. 5, Immanuel Shelter President Janet Idema said the shelter has focused this season on renovating its Belltown church property into a permanent emergency shelter. The Oyster House Road Shelter will open to women and children on Sunday, December 15, under the supervision of Code Purple Sussex County of Love INC.

“Emmanuel will continue to work to secure and provide financial support to the shelter and will continue to fundraise and plan for the development of the Belltown church property,” Idema said, adding that the shelter is developing a strategy to transport the men to other designated places. Purple code sites.

Immanuel Shelter was founded in 2010. In 2018, the shelter purchased the former John Wesley United Methodist Church building in Belltown. In February, Delaware Supreme Court Justice Gary Traynor upheld a Superior Court ruling denying the operation of a homeless shelter at the site.

At the shelter’s annual luncheon in May, Idema said the shelter has helped more than 1,200 people and provided more than 35,000 meals over the past decade. At a luncheon in May, Idema estimated the annual budget to be nearly $ 175,000.

Cherry Barranco, a former shelter volunteer, said she was concerned about the change. She said she worried about how a homeless person is supposed to get to Georgetown or Bethany without transportation.

“Last year we had a client traveling to Rehoboth from Georgetown,” Barranco said. “I’m sure the many other volunteers who helped with meals, made soup (we had a wonderful soup lady) also question this situation. Where is our compassion, the inmates of the penitentiary institutes receive three squares a day, the animals of the SPCA are fed and cared for. Why not our homeless?

The Lewes-Rehoboth Association of Churches has 18 churches as partners and provides financial support to six aid agencies, including Immanuel Shelter.

LRAC President Mary Makowski said on December 5 that the association is well aware of the change at Immanuel Shelter. She said LRAC worked closely with Immanuel Shelter during this transition period.

“It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s the best we can do at the moment,” said Makowski. “We’re going to take the men to a shelter that can take them. “

In an April homelessness forum, Rachel Stucker, deputy director of Housing Alliance Delaware, said that every night in Delaware around 1,000 people are homeless, which means they are sleeping rough. or in tents, cars, sheds or shelters. About 130 people in Sussex County are homeless every night.

In total, Stucker said, up to 3,500 people are homeless each year in Delaware.

Same said There is more information about the Cold Purple Sussex County Operating Organization at She said Immanuel Shelter can be contacted at 1-888-634-9992.

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