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The homeless not only face with the cold weather, but also the coronavirus. Delmarva Public Media's Don Rush talked with Bee Miller, executive director of Diakonia, about the impact of the virus on their efforts to provide assistance and shelter to this population.

HALO

With the cold weather now combined with the coronavirus homeless shelters are  seeking help from the local community as they face this winter's perils. Delmarva Public Media's Don Rush talked with Celeste Savage, executive director of HALO which provides assistance to the homeless, about the community response and the road ahead. (Part 2)

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The homeless this year must contend not only with the cold but with the coronavirus pandemic. As a result homeless shelters have cut back on the number they can take in and have beefed up the precautions they must take to keep clients, staff and volunteers safe. Delmarva Public Media's Don Rush talked with Celeste Savage, Executive Director of HALO, about the impact of Covid 19. (Part 1)

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While many of us will be sitting down with family for Thanksgiving, there are those without a home or family. Host Don Rush talks with Anthony Dickerson, executive director of the Christian Shelter in Salisbury, about his organization's plans and how the homeless cope with the holiday season -- especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

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As the nation prepares to enter the winter months with the coronavirus still raging, the nation will still be suffering from another -- the opioid crisis. Sandy Brown, executive director of Mid-Shore Pro Bono which privides free legal services, says these two have made the situation much worse. In addition, Brown tells Delmarva Public Media's Don Rush that she expects a homeless crisis to follow as the nation moves into months more of the virus pandemic. (Part 2)

Diakonia

Many homeless are now hunkered down inside shelters waiting out the coronavirus pandemic. In part two of our interview with Bee Miller, executive director of Diakonia, Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush talks with her about how they coping with the isolation from the outside world.

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The coronavirus pandemic has forced homeless shelters to take precautions as they dig in for the duration of the pandemic while attempting to service this population. Bee Miller, the executive director of Diakonia on the Eastern Shore, tells Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush about shelter's efforts to help the homeless while protecting against the virus.

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(AP) Virginia Beach officials are asking for the public's help in identifying locations around the city where homeless people live.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires cities that receive federal funding for homeless programs to conduct an unduplicated count of the homeless population known as the Point-in-Time Count.

The information submitted by the public will help guide teams of volunteers during the 2020 count.

Don Rush

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A Virginia woman and her family have gifted coats to homeless people by leaving the winter weather gear hung about the city for years but may soon have to change tactics.

Brenda Parker says she was told this year that the tradition is considered littering. The Virginian-Pilot reports Norfolk instead wants Parker to work with an outreach program. City spokeswoman Lori Crouch says that would ensure the coats are delivered in better condition than if left outside.

Don Rush

A number of overnight shelters have opened up in Sussex County as the temperatures begin to drop.

Nine shelters are expecged to be in the county open every night through March 15th.

WBOC reports but there may not be enough overnight volunteers to staff the shelters.

Code Purple County Executive Director Nikki Gonzalez told the television station that Milford may not open because of the staffing problem and that Georgetown is also in what has been called critical condition.  

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With the ban on camping within the town limits of Georgetown there is concern that this may adversely affect the homeless in Sussex County.

WBOC reports that some of the homeless population finds shelter in the woods.

Jim Martiin, director of Shepherd’s Office, told the television station that the new ordinance punishes those who cannot afford a place to stay.

But, Town Manager Gene Dvornick said the goal is not to ban the homeless from camping but to create guidelines.

He added the camping is allowed on private property with the owner’s permission.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state Supreme Court has upheld a judge's ruling that a local government board in southern Delaware erred in granting an exception to zoning laws to allow the establishment of a homeless shelter.

The court on Monday upheld a Superior Court ruling last year that overturned a decision by Sussex County's Board of Adjustment that had cleared the way for the proposed Immanuel Shelter home in Lewes.

Don Rush (File Photo)

Mayor Jake Day gave his third State of the City address last night telling his audience that Salisbury was a more diverse and better educated city than it was three years ago.

He touted events like the National Folk Festival and the first ever Salisbury Marathon.

Day also turned his attention to the homeless noting that the city had placed 30 chronically homeless in the city in stable housing over the last 11 months.

He also said that the city’s wastewater treatment plant had received a 100 percent compliance rating from state and federal authorities.

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There were more than 12-hundred homeless elementary and middle school students who took the educational assessment tests in Delaware.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that there were up to 150 homeless students who took the SAT's.

There were an estimated 1.3 million homeless children and youth who attended public schools in the 2014-2015 school term.

That’s the most recent figure available.

The News Journal reports that studies found students who are homeless face serious academic and social problems.

Ocean City

A gathering of homeless in Ocean City may move the resort to look at an ordinance that would prohibit sleeping in public places.

The issue began with complaints from residents and business owners about six homeless people who get together in the Caroline Street Stage area every day.

The resorts communications manager Jessica Waters told WBOC that there have been reports that they were bothering people ranging from bad language and drinking to general loitering and harassment of passersby.  

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has a plan to combat violent crimes in the city, and has named a new director to help her lead the fight.

Pugh appointed Drew Vetter, who had been chief of staff at the Baltimore Police Department, to direct the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice.

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Delaware officials have issued a Code Purple opening up shelters in Kent and Sussex Counties as the temperatures begin to drop.

They will remain open until Sunday.

In Sussex County the Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford, the Shepherd’s Office House in Georgetown and the Gateway Fellowship in Bridgeville will be serving as shelters.

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CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) - The executive director of a social service organization says the number of homeless people in Allegany County has more than doubled in a year.

Courtney Thomas is with the Human Resources Development Commission. She tells The Cumberland Times-News this week that the increase in homelessness is a symptom of the area's increasing substance abuse issues.

The official count of people living on the street in January indicated 35 people were without shelter in the county. Last year's count was 16.

Vitory Church website

A church in Dover is facing a dilemma.

It has allowed a 21-year old pregnant who is blind to live temporarily in a camper on the grounds of Victory Church until she can find permanent accommodations.

But Kent County is threatening Reverend Aaron Appling’s church with a fine of $100 a day if he continues to do so.

Appling told the Wilmington News Journal that Alexis sought help from the Dover city council two weeks ago and tried to find housing through a number of city and county resources.

Victory Church

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A church outside Dover wants to build a village of 15 tiny houses in an effort to help Dover's homeless population.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the houses would be rented for $200 to $300 a month to people who have jobs but can't afford a home. The project is being led by Victory Church and a nonprofit called Port Hope of Delaware.

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Led by the Reverend Aaron Appling around 75 to a hundred homeless advocates yesterday urged the Dover City Council to get them help.

Appling urged the council members to use their resources and power to assist them as the weather begins to turn cold this fall.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Sue Harris, co-founder of Port of Hope Delaware Incorporated, said the homeless populations is beginning to overwhelm the area.

She said that homeless organizations serving in Kent County were not able to cope with problem.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said was a sharp drop in homelessness in the Old Dominion in the last year.

McAuliffe said at a Capitol news conference Wednesday that overall homeless in Virginia had dropped 10.5 percent, from 7,001 to 6,268.

That's compared to virtually no decrease between 2014 and 2015.

The figures are based on a count done in a single night in January each year.

McAuliffe attributed the drop to work done by the state and nonprofit agencies to combat homelessness.

Newark Police Mugshot

NEWARK, Del. (AP) - Police in Newark have arrested a homeless man they say attempted to abduct two women over the Fourth of July weekend.

Newark Police Department spokesman Bill Hargrove tells local news outlets that police arrested 35-year-old Joseph Rudge on Sunday on charges of attempted kidnapping, attempted carjacking, attempted theft, failure to re-register as a sex offender and other related offenses.

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Just outside the Dover city limits the Victory Church has donate around 4 acres of land for a homeless village. However, while efforts are underway to get permits and support some have reservations about their new neighbors. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with Sue Harris with Delaware Port of Hope which is putting the project together.

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Plans for a tiny home community in Dover for the homeless has drawn sharp opposition from local residents.

The Victory Church has set aside four acres for local homeless community activists where 200-square foot homes will be built and the tenants will live rent free.

WBOC reports that the first phase will include 10 to 15 homes before this coming winter.

The land is located just outside Dover along Route 8.

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ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - A legal team is challenging a Virginia statute they say criminalizes homeless alcoholics.

The Legal Aid Justice Center announced Thursday that it has filed a lawsuit in Roanoke, claiming commonwealth's attorneys' offices have used the state's interdiction statute to repeatedly incarcerate homeless individuals and violate their constitutional rights.

Delaware Center for Homeless Veterans website

The Delaware Center for Homeless Veterans has agreed to buy the former Layton Home in Wilmington.

If the deal goes through it would make the facility the largest in the state.

The vacant nursing home has 48-thousand square feet.

David Mosley, who founded the non-profit, told the Wilmington News Journal that there was no problem in filling the facility.

He added there is already a waiting list.

Immanuel Shelter

Many people around this time of year find themselves homeless just as the holidays begin to come to a close and the onset of cold weather is around the corner. In Rehoboth Beach, the Immanuel Shelter takes in around 25 men and women, providing them with relief from the cold and a momentary place to stay and get back on their feet. Delmarva  Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with those whose lives are just a little bit better for having found shelter.

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner and many will be doing some last minute shopping for that big dinner next week. But, they may pass by those who are not so fortunate: the homeless. Delmarva Public Radio's Stephanie Chisley looks at what is being done for them in Salisbury.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware political leaders are taking time out to commemorate Veterans Day.

Gov. Jack Markell planned to join members of Delaware's congressional delegation and other officials Wednesday for the state's annual Veterans Day service.

Delaware National Guard Adjutant General Major General Francis Vavala also is participating in the event,  which will include local high school bands, leaders from religious organizations and community members,

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