In response to a request from Circle of Light, the Milford City Council recently agreed that a Task Force should be established in Milford to address the issue of homelessness. According to Craig Warrington, the Homeless Liaison for the Milford School District, 164 students had been identified as homeless by March 11 of the current 2012-2013 student year. This is sharply higher than the 77 students identified during the entire 2010-2011 school year or the 127 during the 2011-2012 school year.
These numbers indicate that there is a large and growing homeless population in Milford. The increase appears to be due primarily to recent poor economic conditions including higher unemployment, lower incomes, cuts in public benefits, home foreclosures and other economic factors. While there are several public and private groups providing some services for the homeless in Milford, it was agreed that there needed to be a comprehensive assessment of the degree of homelessness in Milford, where there were gaps in the services provided and what could be done to improve the support provided to the homeless.
A Task Force on Homelessness in Milford has thus been established, with four Milford City Council members participating: Dirk Gleysteen, Steve Johnson, Allen “Skip” Pikus and Katrina Wilson. Also participating are representatives from Circle of Light, Home of the Brave, People’s Place, Delaware State Services, Connections, Milford School System, Catholic Charities, local churches and other groups, as well as individual members of the community. A Working Group has been formed that will undertake much of the work of compiling information and developing proposals that will then be presented to the full Task Force.
Other groups and individuals are welcome to join in this effort. All meetings of the Task Force and the Working Group will be open to the public and announcements of the time and place of such meetings can be found on the City of Milford website. It is planned that the Working Group will complete its work quickly and make recommendations to the Task Force within two months. If individuals would like to help with this work or have questions about it please contact Dan Bond at 302-228-6590 or via email to Daniel.L.Bond@gmail.com.