Hotel to Hope: The Story of New Castle County's journey in creating the Hope Center

2022 NACo Achievement Award Winner

New Castle County, Del., DE

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About the Program

Category: Human Services (Best in Category)

Year: 2022

In December 2020, New Castle County Government purchased a 192-room former hotel using $19.5 million in Coronavirus Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF). It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to address two public health crises (homelessness and COVID-19). The project provides emergency non-congregate housing for people experiencing homelessness with the goal of reducing exposure to COVID-19 while providing support, including case management and health services. On December 15, 2020, the Hope Center opened and welcomed 73 street level homeless and within two weeks, the Hope Center accepted referrals from Delaware's Motel Voucher Program. Designed to reduce spread of COVID-19, residents are placed in individual rooms. Guests have access onsite to COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. Guests are provided transportation. There is a clinic for mental health and substance abuse, with services 7 days a week. The Presidential Suite is a medical office providing holistic medical services. An afterschool program operates onsite for Hope Center children. The Hope Center allows pets and partners with an animal shelter for pet care. Since opening, the Hope Center has served 1,100 people (465 households) and 50 pets. The Hope Center has transitioned 115 households (350 people) to permanent housing.

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