To help vulnerable people in Wilmington who may be hungry or homeless and unsure where they can find help, Christiana Care created a durable map showing where to access the services of more than 50 nonprofit organizations.
The Greater Wilmington Community Resources Map, created with the support of the Junior Board of Christiana Care Inc., under the leadership of Christiana Care’s Carelink CareNow Community program and in collaboration with community organizations, is proving to be a valuable resource for people in need and the organizations that strive to meet their needs.
“The map is a portable resource that I have handed out to people unfamiliar with where to go for assistance,” said Amy K. Pollock, vice president of Premiere Charities Inc. and From Our Kitchen. She works with volunteers to provide a full lunch to between 180 and 200 people on Sunday afternoons in downtown Wilmington on East Front Street.
“A community map is very important because it helps us see what resources are available,” said Donna Snyder-White, director of Delaware 2-1-1, a helpline and website that serves as a central hub for access to health and human service organizations.
More than 2,500 copies of the map have been produced so far. A framed copy is displayed in the Rocco A. Abessinio Family Wilmington Health Center, where patients can also get their own copy.
Printed on a lightweight, durable, weatherproof plastic, the map shows the location of nonprofits in the city of Wilmington, with inserts of Elsmere, Talleyville, Minquadale and Edgemoor-Bellefonte. It provides the name, hours, phone number, address and services provided by each agency, including shelter, food, counseling, job assistance, health care and more.
“The map is of agencies that invite walk-ins. We wanted to give people something they can use to get to the services they need,” said Linda Brittingham, ACM, BCD, CCM, LCSW, corporate director of Social Work at Christiana Care.
“The map would not have been possible without the generous support of The Junior Board of Christiana Care Inc., with additional support from the Christiana Care’s Office of Health Equity,” she said.
The map is the result of an outreach begun by Christiana Care to collaborate more closely with Wilmington-area social service providers. The four square miles of the 19801 zip code, where Wilmington Hospital is located, is home to some of the state’s poorest residents, and patients often have unmet needs that Christiana Care social workers seek to address.
Since 2011, the Greater Wilmington Community Partnership — started and led by Brittingham — has brought together local organizations to share their missions, programs and efforts to help the underserved, elderly, at-risk and homeless populations.
“We learn about each other and generate ideas for how to be better partners together,” said Snyder-White.
The result is stronger coordination of services along with personal enrichment. “It was through the Community Partnership meetings that I learned about the Delaware Community Legal Aid Society and was able to get a power of attorney for a family member who didn’t know where to turn for help,” said Pollock. “As nonprofit leaders, we are grateful that Christiana Care helped bring us together.”