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Diane Lello (right), Delaware liaison for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Nadab Bynum (left), regional office director of Community Planning and Development for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, presents a $5 million check from the federal government for homelessness programs in Delaware to Delaware Lt. Gov. John C. Carney Jr. and Sandy Johnson, director of the Delaware State Housing Authority and chairperson of the Delaware Interagency Council on Homelessness.
UD photo by Stacy Kleber

A $5,049,734 check to aid homelessness programs in Delaware was presented Feb. 23, at the University of Delaware's Clayton Hall Conference Center, in Newark, at the Ending Homelessness in Delaware conference.

Approximately 7 percent of Delaware families live in poverty, according to a report written by Steven W. Peuquet, acting director of UD's Center for Community Research and Service and assistant professor in UD's School of Urban Affairs; Cara Beth Robinson, executive director of the Homeless Planning Council of Delaware; and Rosalind Kotz, a UD doctoral candidate in the College of Human Services, Education and Public Policy.

In attendance to receive the check, which was presented by Diane Lello, Delaware liaison for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, were Delaware Lt. Gov. John C. Carney Jr.,; James M. Baker, mayor of Wilmington; Sandy Johnson, director of the Delaware State Housing Authority and chairperson of the Delaware Interagency Council on Homelessness; Catherine Devaney McKay, president and CEO of Connections CSP Inc., and co-chairperson of the Delaware Interagency Council on Homelessness; Nadab Bynum, regional office director of Community Planning and Development for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; and Chris Coons, county executive of New Castle County.

Coons concurred that the problem of homelessness can only be solved through cooperation and action on all policymaking fronts. “If we're going to be concerned about public health, we need to fix homelessness,” he said. “If we're going to be concerned about communities, we need to fix homelessness. If we're going to be concerned about education and the competitive future of the United States in a world economy, we need to fix homelessness. If we're going to be concerned about crime, we need to fix homelessness.”

According to Lello, there are about 19 federal agencies that have something to do with the problem of homelessness, which is a problem that is growing every year.

Baker spoke briefly about the problem of homelessness in Wilmington, but emphasized that homelessness is as much a symptom of other problems that need to be addressed, as it is a problem itself.

The daylong conference, which drew more than 150 participants, was presented by the Homeless Planning Council of Delaware and the University of Delaware Center for Community Research and Service.

Media contact: Becca Hutchinson, (302) 831-1418, [playfair@udel.edu]
March 5, 2007