Family Help Inc., which operates a transitional housing project in Middletown, has started constructing two more apartments, but is trying to raise about $25,000 to finish the job.
All the apartments, ranging from one to three bedrooms, are transitional housing meant for the homeless seeking permanent housing somewhere else. The building is located on West Lake Street and is owned by Family Help Inc., a nonprofit company.
Residents are usually allowed to stay there for about a year and pay one third of the families’ income as rent while seeking permanent housing.
Family Help has been trying to add two more apartments, each having two bedrooms. Already about $120,000 has been spent on the project, including the actual construction, rezoning and building permit, said Irv Brockson, president of the organization’s Board of Directors.
The nonprofit is asking the public for about $25,000 more to finish the construction. Right now, the two new apartments are only skeletal. The building now has four apartments.
People can donate through a Go Fund Me page with the website address of https://www.gofundme.com/zpfbj-family-help?member=65138.
Also, donations are taken through the regular postage mail. Make checks payable to Family Help and send to Family Help, P.O. Box 302, Middletown, DE, 19709.
People also can call Brockson at (302) 378-1716.
“One hundred percent of the money is for building purposes,” said Dwight Murph, member of the group’s Board of Directors, which, according to the bylaws, receives no compensation.
Furniture and appliance donations also are accepted. The immediate need is for bedding, sofas, a refrigerator, and a stove, Brockson said.
“There’s always a need for good used furniture,” Murph said.
Churches are invited to join Family Help’s efforts to serve on any of Family Help’s advisory committees. Previously, churches have been helpful making the project a success.
When the two apartments are added to the four, “the good thing is we can help six families instead of four,” Brockson said.
Brockson is the founder of Family Help which took over the building in 2010 when it was privately owned and only consisted of one-bedroom apartments which had to be renovated into multi-bedroom apartments.
Funding to start the project in 2010 came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Big Ball Marathon and Rotary Clubs.
“A lot of naysayers said, “You can’t do that,” but when the Lord lays it on your heart, you either believe in Jesus not. That’s what He taught us to do [to help others],” Brockson said.
Jackie Johnson, a single mother, is a recent resident at Family Help. She moved there after she was about to become homeless.
At the time, she was living with her sister who moved out. Johnson couldn’t afford to live there and had to move. She called Delaware’s 211 helpline and found out about Family Help and moved into one of the apartments.
She has since moved out after graduating from Delaware Technical and Community College and has become a certified pharmacy technician.
She’s among many success stories Family Help can point to as the group tries to provide a hand up for more people in the Middletown area.