Congressional delegation Announces Funds to Improve Quality of Life Across Delaware
(Released by the offices of Senators Carper and Coons, and Representative Blunt Rochester)
Pictured L to R: Senator Chris Coons, Wendell Covell (JFS Director of Program Operations & Training), Sophie Marie Namugenyi (JFS Chief Program Officer), Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, Clint Walker (JFS Board Chair), and Senator Tom Carper.
Monday, May 9, 2022
U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, as well as Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) visited the Salvation Army in Wilmington to announce over $5 million in federal funding for projects that will help improve the quality of life for Delawareans throughout the state. Funding will be administered to Jewish Family Services, the Salvation Army, and Westside Family Healthcare.
This funding is part of nearly $100 million for community projects up and down the state secured by Delaware’s congressional delegation. These investments were included in the 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Bill signed into law by President Biden on March 15, 2022.
“I am so proud our congressional delegation could work to deliver nearly $100 million in funding that will help Delawareans up and down the state,” said Senator Carper. “Today’s announcement of investments will go to reputable organizations that are working on the front lines to meet health care needs in the state to the people who need it the most. I am so grateful for their continued work.”
“Organizations like Jewish Family Services, the Salvation Army, and Westside Health have been instrumental in helping support Delawareans through difficult and unprecedented times,” Senator Coons said. “I’m grateful to have helped deliver millions of dollars in critical funding to groups doing the work on the ground to meet the needs of our communities in Wilmington and across the state.”
“Today’s announcement of federal funding to some of our state’s best nonprofits will help create a better quality of life for Delawareans throughout the First State,” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester. “I’m proud of the work of the Congressional Delegation to secure this critical funding, signed into law by President Biden, and am proud of the work of organizations like Jewish Family Services, the Salvation Army, and Westside who work tirelessly to make our state a better place.
“We are grateful to the Congressional Delegation for securing federal funding in these critical service areas,” said Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Molly Magarik. “At DHSS, we value the partnership of Jewish Family Services, the Salvation Army and Westside Family Healthcare, as well as the services and care they bring to the community. These additional funds will provide important support to Delawareans suffering from substance use disorder and survivors of human trafficking, and help to expand health care services to our neighbors in need.
“The past two years have required agility, creativity, and flexibility, and I am very proud of the work Jewish Family Services has done to meet the challenges of providing services throughout the pandemic. JFS is grateful for this opportunity to address Delaware’s shortage of licensed mental health professionals through our Mental Health Fellowship Program, which will accelerate the number of experienced—ultimately licensed—therapists to serve Delawareans and the growing demand for services,” said JFS Delaware Interim CEO, Regina Kerr Alonzo. “The funding for this Fellowship Program is an investment in Delaware’s long-term health and well-being. JFS is grateful for this opportunity to play such a vital role in ensuring a healthier future for Delaware.”
“Trafficking victims housed at the Emergency Housing Residence Shelter come from difficult situations and are struggling to exit lives of crime that were not of their choosing. Unfortunately, criminal elements often follow these victims, which is why we are making physical changes to the facility that will better protect these survivors as well as everyone who seeks or delivers services through our organization. We are extremely grateful for the award of this funding, which will help us continue to further build upon the significant community impact of the Restoration Now program”, said Major Timothy Sheehan, Delaware State Coordinator for the Salvation Army.
“Westside Family Healthcare is grateful to Delaware’s Congressional Delegation for securing critical funding that will complete our multi-year capital campaign to renovate our largest, oldest health center located on the West side of Wilmington,” said Chris Fraser, Chief Operating Officer at Westside Family Healthcare. “The redesigned family medical and prenatal care suite will transform our patient and care team experience, and meet the growing need for primary care in the community.”
The three funded programs include:
- $3.5M for Mental Health Fellowship and Training for License-Eligible Social Workers
to Jewish Family Services of Delaware
The purpose of this project is for Jewish Family Services to create ten paid fellowship positions for mental health counselors with Master’s degrees to prepare them for their licensing exam. This project will support the creation of ten paid fellowship positions for Master’s degree prepared and license-eligible counselors, while providing the intensive clinical supervision necessary to prepare them for their licensing exam. Two of the fellows will be bilingual, and at least two will be people of color. Together, these fellows will address unmet mental health needs in Delaware by providing upwards of 7,000 individual mental health sessions to nearly 1,000 Delawareans in need of support. Delaware has seen the number of mental health professionals decline in the past five years. At the same time, the demand for mental health services has increased, particularly for the growing Hispanic population in Kent and Sussex Counties. This project will address the growing mental health crisis, rising demand for counseling, and lack of licensed mental health practitioners in Delaware.
- $485,000 for the Restoration Now Security Project to Combat Human Trafficking
to the Salvation Army
The funding will support the Salvation Army’s plans to reconfigure its existing Wilmington facility to improve the safety of clients living in Restoration Now, the only anti-human trafficking shelter recognized by all government agencies in Delaware. This project will create a safe and secure space for survivors of human trafficking on the facility’s fourth floor by installing key card access controls and kitchenettes, enabling survivors of human trafficking to remain separate from residents under other shelter programs within the facility, like emergency homelessness housing. This project has the support of local elected officials and the Delaware Department of Justice.
- $2M for Wilmington Health Center Facility Renovations
to Westside Family Healthcare
The purpose of this project is to complete phase 3 of a multi-year capital improvement campaign, which will include renovations and a re-design of the center to expand resident capacity and facilitate patient-centered care.