Organization Profile

The Shepherd Place

The mission of The Shepherd Place, Inc. is to provide relief to families and individuals who are in distress of dire economic circumstances without regard to age, race, creed, national origin or sexual orientation. The Shepherd Place is intended to provide short-term emergency shelter and will endeavor to reduce the degree of homelessness in Kent County, Delaware. The Shepherd Place has been successfully serving the general homeless population in the Dover, Kent County area since January of 1990. The priorities for admission are homeless families and single female adults; we do not accept unaccompanied minors and adult males. Residents are accepted on a space available basis. Although we frequently accommodate victims of domestic violence, we are not a DV shelter and attempt to transfer families as quickly as possible for security reasons. All of our services are provided from our one location only at 1362 South Governors Avenue in Dover. The shelter is located in the unincorporated area of Kent County despite our apparent city street address. Residents have no expenses whatsoever during their stay and we provide case management services with a full time case manager at the shelter to assist in: eligibility for government benefits, financial/credit counseling, and the search for employment and, most importantly, the search for affordable housing. The majority of our residents are referrals from State Service Centers, particularly the Williams State Service Center in Dover. Self-referrals and referrals those from other agencies. Residents are responsible for various chores and tasks during their stay and are expected to comply with the case management program to seek employment, save money and other necessary steps to return to self-sufficiency and hopefully, permanent housing. Shelter rules, including a curfew, regulations and responsibilities are reviewed with residents at time of intake and are also posted in the buildings. Violations of shelter rules/regulations or failure to comply with the case management plan are grounds for issuing verbal or written notices of violations to the residents; after receiving 4 written violations, the resident would be dismissed from the shelter. Residents can discuss violations with the shelter manager and the director if they disagree with the violation or have extenuating or mitigating circumstances. We believe that the majority of the homeless population in the area is, in fact, economic homeless, i.e., and the inability to afford market rental rates. This is not to minimize the other reasons for homelessness such as drugs/alcohol, mental health issues, lack of education, etc; however, it does illuminate the chronic lack of affordable housing in the county as well as the state. The need for our shelter is consistent and continuing; our room occupancy rate is approximately 96%, an indication that there continues to be an insufficient number of beds to accommodate even the emergency situations that arise in Dover and Kent County. Our waiting list typically has approximately 100-130 people by the end of each month. Although we have assisted many hundreds of families and individuals in our 19 years of operation, we do not pretend that the homeless situation is improving. We are able to address a problem at a particular time; the root causes of the problem will take considerably more time and effort than shelters is able to provide. Approximately 92% of our residents come from Dover and Kent County; approximately 7% come from New Castle and Sussex Counties while only 1% are from out-of-state, primarily New Jersey and Maryland. We can and will continue to assist to the extent we are able. A lack of ESG funding will not end our shelter program but it will require us to raise additional funds from other sources, not yet identified, to continue our operation at the current level of

Civic & Community, Health & Wellness, Hunger & Homelessness, Schools, Family Services
Families, Low-income Communities
Dover, DE, 19904