Governor Carney Announces Delaware Has Housed More Than 500 Homeless Veterans

Delaware joined the national effort to house homeless veterans in 2015

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney announced on Thursday that Delaware has now housed more than 500 formerly homeless veterans since joining the national Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness in 2015.

“Our veterans served because of a heartfelt duty to country. We owe them a similar sacred duty, and Delaware has stepped up and achieved something truly remarkable,” said Governor Carney. “Good, safe, stable housing is vital to so much in our lives, and the work of our partners and supporters helping finding homes for more veterans has made a real difference.”

Governor Carney announces Delaware has housed more than 500 homeless veterans.

In 2015, Delaware joined the national Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, committing the state, leaders of all three counties, and the mayors of eight towns and cities to the initiative. So far, it is one of three states and 47 counties or cities to have achieved an effective end to veteran homelessness. The Delaware State Housing Authority has led those efforts through a statewide working group to coordinate resources on behalf of veterans.

The milestone announced on Thursday demonstrates that the state’s commitment to veterans remains strong even after Delaware effectively ended veteran homelessness last fall. The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs certified in October that Delaware has a sustainable and systematic response in place to ensure that homelessness among veterans is prevented whenever possible.

“This was a true partnership and involved real teamwork to help ensure that we care for all our veterans,” said DSHA Director Anas Ben Addi. “We understand that while the work will continue, today’s milestone is a huge accomplishment in that mission and toward that goal.”

Through those efforts, the state developed a process to share data; increased targeting of resources to homeless veterans with the greatest need; and improved connections between resource providers. DSHA and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services also set aside state-funded rental assistance vouchers for homeless veterans who did not qualify for federal assistance.

Partners in Delaware’s statewide initiative to end veteran homelessness included local and county governments; the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs; the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services; Housing Alliance Delaware; Delaware Continuum of Care; and Supportive Services for Veterans Families providers, including Connections Community Support Programs and the Veterans Multi-Service Center.

Governor Carney speaks with U.S. Marine Corps veteran Gregory Larry of Wilmington, who moved into an apartment at the Summit at Middleboro Crest in February after experiencing homelessness, working through the VA and Connections CSP.
Governor Carney speaks with U.S. Marine Corps veteran Gregory Larry of Wilmington, who moved into an apartment at the Summit at Middleboro Crest in February after experiencing homelessness, working through the VA and Connections CSP.

About 300 of the housed veterans were in New Castle County, with about 100 in Kent and Sussex counties each.

“It means a whole lot. Words can’t express it,” said U.S. Marine Corps veteran Gregory Larry of Wilmington, who moved into an apartment at the Summit at Middleboro Crest in February after experiencing homelessness, working through the VA and Connections CSP. “I was grateful that I had the chance to meet the people that I met, because it has really helped me a lot. Living in the streets isn’t a joke.”

“Every member of our community deserves a safe and affordable place to live,” said New Castle County Executive Matthew Meyer. “Stable and permanent housing provides the foundation on which to build a better life, and I am proud of our private-sector landlords, non-profit partners, and public housing agencies who together found a way to meet this milestone.  By doing so, and especially by continuing this work, we honor the service and sacrifice of our neighbors who have given so much for us.”

“Delawareans have joined forces to transform words into deeds to help establish a brighter future for our veterans,” said Bill Farley, chairman of the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs. “This milestone is a tremendous accomplishment, and highlights the many ways veterans’ lives are improved when they have stable and secure housing.”

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For photos from the announcement, click here.


Governor Carney Announces Family Services Cabinet Council Summer Initiative

The Summer Initiative will coordinate delivery of state services for families in Wilmington

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Thursday announced the Family Services Cabinet Council’s Summer Initiative, an interagency effort to improve the coordination of state services to better meet the needs of families in the city of Wilmington.

The FSCC Summer Initiative will bring together front-line staff from across Delaware’s state agencies to better coordinate state services for Wilmington families – including programs that offer job training, early childhood education, substance abuse treatment, and quality, affordable housing.

“Too many Wilmington children and families deal with the effects of poverty, the trauma of violence in their neighborhoods and the challenges associated with navigating an economy in transition,” said Governor Carney. “These issues permeate homes and classrooms every day, and it’s our duty to stand up for these families. The Family Services Cabinet Council’s Summer Initiative will make sure that government agencies are working together more efficiently and effectively on behalf of families in the city of Wilmington.”

Agency staff gathered for an orientation and training at the Department of Health and Social Services in Wilmington on Thursday. Training will ensure that state employees, especially those serving families in Wilmington, understand and are aware of the wide range of state services available to their clients. Wilmington representatives also attended Thursday’s training to improve coordination of city and state services.

“Sometimes, families in Wilmington who are in need of support have too many people knocking on their doors offering help. Through Governor Carney’s leadership of the Family Services Cabinet Council, we want to change that so those supports are better integrated and better coordinated,” said Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services. “Starting this summer, state outreach staff will call families, listen to their needs, and suggest services across state government that can help to meet those needs. Most importantly, they will coordinate with the state agencies so those services are delivered.”

“Children who grow up in positive and healthy environments with nurturing families and mentors are much more likely to develop into caring adults who value their communities,” said Josette Manning, Secretary of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families. “We recognize there are significant societal challenges in Wilmington and the well-being of our families is at stake.  We stand ready with our fellow state agencies and the City to share resources and expertise, develop more creative programming, and work with the community to help prepare our families for a bright future.”

“I am proud to serve on the Council with the other members. We look forward to the opportunity to improve the coordination and delivery of services to those who need it most,” said Robert Coupe, Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

“We must do our part to break this cycle,” said Dr. Patrice Gilliam-Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Labor. “Our team at the Delaware Department of Labor is pleased to be a part of this vital initiative and looks forward to coordinating the delivery of these valuable resources to deserving families.”

Governor Carney reestablished the Family Services Cabinet Council as one of his first official acts as Governor, signaling the importance of coordinating crucial public and private services for youth and families in Wilmington and across Delaware.

The Council includes eight members of Governor Carney’s Cabinet – the Secretary of the Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families; the Secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services; the Secretary of the Department of Education; the Secretary of the Department of Labor; the Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security; the Director of the Delaware State Housing Authority; the Director of the Office of Management and Budget; and the Commissioner of the Department of Correction.

Governor Carney tasked the Council with implementing innovative tools and strategies for addressing a series of specific issues, including: breaking the school-to-prison pipeline; improving access to early childhood education; increasing the availability of affordable housing; improving access to substance abuse treatment; reducing recidivism in Delaware’s correctional system; expanding job training opportunities; and reducing violence in Delaware’s neighborhoods.


Governor Carney Meets with Boys State, Girls State Governors

DOVER, Del.Governor John Carney released the following statement after speaking with young women of the Delaware American Legion Girls State Program. Governor Carney spoke with the American Legion Boys State Program on Tuesday, June 13.

“The Delaware American Legion’s Boys State and Girls State Programs give students across our state the opportunity to experience government and public service first hand. Students get a sense of what government is all about and how it operates. This experience is their first step along the way toward becoming future leaders of Delaware. Thank you to all of the students for stepping forward, for your participation in Girls State and Boys State, and for starting on this path to public service.”

Governor Carney addressed both programs and met individually with the Boys State Governor, Shreyas Parab of Archmere Academy, and the Girls State Governor, Natalie Nwanekwu of Newark Charter High School.

 

Governor Carney and Girls State Governor Natalie Nwanekwu of Newark Charter High School.

Governor Carney with Boys State Governor Shreyas Parab of Archmere Academy.
Governor Carney with Boys State Governor Shreyas Parab of Archmere Academy.


Governor Carney, COAD Announce Agreement to Raise Correctional Officer Pay

Agreement also establishes Labor-Management Committee to study additional changes

DOVER, Del. – Governor John Carney and the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware (COAD) on Tuesday announced an agreement to increase salaries for Delaware’s correctional officers and study additional changes to help recruit and retain officers, and decrease the use of mandatory overtime across Delaware’s correctional system.

The agreement was approved Monday by COAD’s membership.

“This agreement represents a significant step forward in addressing our staffing challenges at the Department of Correction,” said Governor Carney. “We will fairly raise starting salaries for Delaware’s correctional officers, and work closely with COAD to improve our ability to recruit officers. To be clear, making real improvements to our prison system won’t happen overnight. But we are committed to working, over the long-term, to improving conditions for officers and inmates inside Delaware’s correctional facilities.”

“This is a great first step in the right direction,” said Geoff Klopp, President of the Correctional Officers Association of Delaware. “We look forward to continuing to work with Governor Carney on the issues facing our prison system.”

“We’re committed to taking the necessary action to address the issues facing our prison system,” said Perry Phelps, Commissioner of the Delaware Department of Correction. “This agreement to increase salaries will help us recruit and retain officers. And we will continue to work hand-in-hand with COAD to consider additional changes that will improve the working environment inside our facilities.”

Governor Carney pledged to increase correctional officer pay – and take steps to decrease the use of mandatory overtime – in his response to the initial report of the Independent Review into the causes of the February 1 incident at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center.

The two-year agreement announced Tuesday will increase starting salaries for correctional officers to $40,000 in Fiscal Year 2018, and to $43,000 in Fiscal Year 2019 – a 22 percent increase over current salary levels. The agreement also increases salaries up the experience chain.

Salary negotiations were based, in part, on a study and comparison of correctional officer salaries in surrounding states.

The agreement also creates a new Labor-Management committee to study ways to help recruit and retain officers, and decrease the use of mandatory overtime in Delaware’s prisons.

Areas of study will include:

  • The establishment of a 12-hour shift;
  • The establishment of physical fitness testing;
  • The establishment of a career ladder; and
  • The establishment of a freeze policy.

For additional details on Governor Carney’s plan to invest in the Department of Correction, click here.

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Related news:
Governor Carney Announces Plan to Address Recommendations of DOC Independent Review
Governor Carney Releases Initial Report of Department of Correction Independent Review


Governor Carney Joins Attorney General Denn to Announce Summer and Afterschool Programs

Grants funded by settlements with national banks for alleged misconduct in the national financial markets

WILMINGTON, Del.The following is an excerpt from Governor Carney’s remarks on Monday at H. Fletcher Brown Boys and Girls Club for an announcement of more than $900,000 in funding for 16 organizations to provide summer and afterschool programs for teens and youth in economically disadvantaged areas of Delaware:

“Certainly, we know that collaboration and partnership is an important part of making our communities safer, strengthening our communities, and strengthening the economy across our state. And when I think about the problems and challenges that we have here in the state of Delaware, they’re all connected. And at the root of those connections are creating stronger families, stronger communities in which those families live, and better educating and supporting our young people so they can be our workforce of tomorrow. We have to commit ourselves to work together in partnership to deal with the real source of those problems. We aren’t going to be successful as a state– we’re not going to be successful as a city– unless we prepare these children to be successful.”

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Additional information about the grants can be found here.
Photos from the announcement can be found here.
Funds for the grants were allocated to the Neighborhood Building Blocks Fund by the Department of Justice, with the agreement of the General Assembly’s Joint Finance Committee, from settlements with national banks for alleged misconduct in the national financial markets. The NBBF, which gave priority to smaller dollar requests, awarded grants to:

  • Latin American Community Center – $5000 for a soccer league for 20 at-risk youth age 12-16 in Hilltop area of Wilmington
  • YWCA of Delaware – $17,589 for a Summer Internship Teen Empowerment program to provide exposure for youth with a number of major employers
  • Jewish Family Services of Delaware – $20,592 for Pre-Employment Training Services for at-risk youth in Wilmington
  • FAME Inc. – $25,000 for STEM education for students in grades 3-6 during out-of-school hours in Wilmington
  • Western Family YMCA – $30,470 for after school and community events for teens in Newark
  • New Horizons Community Center – $34,500 for martial arts and work readiness for juveniles and teens in Wilmington
  • Dover YMCA – $42,275 for its Young Men Mentoring Program for 30 boys age 10-15 on healthy lifestyles and employment skills training in Dover
  • Dover Police – $43,903 for basketball, flag football and hockey programs for Dover city youth
  • Central YMCA – $43,025 for a summer activity program for 75 teens in Wilmington
  • Bear YMCA – $45,080 for summer activities for 75 at-risk teens in Route 40 area
  • Walnut Street YMCA – $45,315 for teen engagement for 200 8th and 9th graders in Wilmington
  • Delaware Nature Society – $48,394 for an environmental after-school club for 30 students
  • Be Ready Community Development Corp. – $49,400 to provide stipends to 24 youth to engage in neighborhood beautification and construction projects in West Center City Wilmington
  • Pathways of Delaware – $81,986 for its Youth Health Ambassador Program to prevent youth delinquency
  • Dover Housing Authority – $136,500 to provide exercise equipment at Simon Circle community center staffed by military and police volunteers
  • Boys and Girls Club – $250,000 for summer and after-school activities for approximately 1000 teens in 5 locations: Wilmington (2 sites), Dover, Milford and Seaford