Joint Finance Committee - Housing

Hope Street DE

Erin’s Comments

Hello my name is Erin Goldner and I am speaking to you on behalf of Hope Street DE as the President of the company.

Founded on Recovery, Our Mission is to give families a blueprint for hope from addiction, to advocate for holistic community-based treatment in Delaware, and to put a face to recovery while ensuring all lives are treated with respect and dignity.

I know Anas has explained to us the numbers of the housing stock in Delaware and he always explains to us the many opportunities available for the Delaware Housing Authority but I have concerns that not enough is being done in the City Of Wilmington or the Town of Newport .

We have the Housing Alliance of Delaware with 400  people on a daily basis that are needing housing assistance. Many of them also with substance abuse issues. These individuals also have children and husbands or wives that also need housing. We cannot: a) on a daily basis be having people in crisis worrying about where they are going to sleep every night. WE CAN: Utilize available space  WE DO: have the  means in place to make a better solution to the housing and homelessness problem in the Delaware.

Homelessness is a solvable problem if we continue to implement solutions that address more than a house.  Homelessness goes much deeper than not having a house. Many of us know mental health issues and the substance-abuse issues are a common illness among the homeless population.

On any given day, we have 400 people that need emergency housing.  We waste a lot of taxpayer money on short-term solutions for longer-term problems.  When we run out, people come to organizations like hope Street DE. What do I have to offer?  What does Hope Street have to offer?  We do not have the financial resources needed to get individuals in stabilized housing, so we can then help address the issues that the person is suffering from.  Constant crisis is no way to live.  And individuals like me get burnt out when we do not get support from the government.  To be an advocate in the community requires steadfast dedication, compassion and love. There are many people that I cross paths with that feel hopeless.  I do not want them to feel anymore hopeless then they already are. We have lost too many to suicide or the opioid crisis  Hope Street wants to help lift the burden of folks that may not see another way out.

Hope Street members have responded to people when no one else has.  Just this Thanksgiving season, we were able to help keep a pregnant mother and her children with a roof over their head, but places like the RedRoof Inn are not a home and spending double or triple what a rent for a month in a home would be, is not ideal and not sustainable for anybody. 

I would like to see better coordinated services between the community and Delaware Housing Authority.  More transparency with properties that are vacant and more opportunities for families working hard and trying to stay sober with a chance to live in a healthy community in the City of Wilmington or the Town of Newport.

Kindly and Respectfully,

Erin J Goldner