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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: December 13, 2013


NEW CASTLE (Dec. 13, 2013) - The Department of Health and Social Services' Office of Community Services handed out 780 blankets today to five agencies across the state to distribute to people who are homeless. This effort was led by the Division of State Service Centers, (DSSC) with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

With 1-2 inches of snow forecast for Saturday and temperatures expected to drop into the 20s by Monday, the distribution - in its second year - is well-timed. The effort was prompted by two state workers who joined forces and came up with the idea of distributing blankets. This year, five state partners will distribute the blankets to their clients who are homeless.

"What we are doing is providing a resource," said Robert Broesler, senior administrator in the Office of Community Services. "It is the agencies who work day to day with people who are homeless who will distribute these blankets. They are the real heroes."

The blankets being distributed are manufactured by Northwest Woolen Mills, , and are the same quality as those provided to our armed forces. The blankets - made specifically for disaster relief and homelessness - are 100 percent wool, flame-retardant, water-proof and perfect for all seasons and climates.

"When people think of blankets for the homeless, they assume someone is wrapping themselves up and sleeping in the park," said Joe Hickey, executive director of St. Patrick's Center, one of the organizations receiving blankets today. "These blankets will benefit those living in all types of homeless situations - be it a shelter or respite care. These blankets will be providing people with something that is their own - giving them a little dignity."

If you know someone who is in need of a blanket, please contact an agency in your area. Blankets were distributed at DHSS' Herman Holloway Campus warehouse to the following agencies: St. Patrick's Center, 107 E. 14th St., Wilmington
Connection Community Support Program, Statewide
First State Community Action, Dover Corporate Center 655 S. Old Bay Road, Suite 4J, Dover
Neighborhood House, Wilmington and Middletown
Catholic Charities, Wilmington, Dover and Milton

Download photos from the blanket distribution at DHSS' flickr page:

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.