The Foundation for Delaware County announces the Housing Opportunities Program for Equity (HOPE) received a $100,000 grant from Boeing Philadelphia.
“Housing stability is the first rung on the ladder of economic opportunity,” said Michele Hengey, Boeing Community Investor for Delaware County, “and Boeing recognizes the need for safe, stable, and affordable housing for families throughout the underserved areas across Delaware County.
“Our partnership with The Foundation for Delaware County’s HOPE program addresses that need and provides direct assistance to women and families in our community.”
The HOPE program addresses both immediate and systemic barriers to healthy housing in Delaware County. Housing is a key social determinant of health, and critically important to building a healthy, equitable county.
HOPE provides direct financial assistance, financial literacy education, and support to participants to enable them to maintain stable housing, achieve financial security, and build wealth.
Staff is also engaging in advocacy to address the systemic barriers to healthy permanent housing by serving as a catalyst and convener to collectively build a more equitable housing system in Delaware County.
“Boeing recognized that the HOPE program had tremendous potential to have a real impact on our local community. We need kids to grow up in safe, stable, and affordable housing, and that’s a real gap here in Delaware County, where Boeing Philadelphia is located.
“We’re very grateful Boeing selected HOPE for their investment,” said Frances Sheehan, president of The Foundation for Delaware County.
Why is The HOPE Program needed?
Having a home that is safe and devoid of physical hazards is essential for good health. When families are dealing with a leaky roof, mold in their home or rent insecurity, it can be impossible to focus on a healthy pregnancy and other family demands.
Delaware County has the second-highest Black/White residential segregation among all ranked counties in the Commonwealth.
It also has the second-highest non-White/White segregation. This inequity significantly impacts communities of color by reducing housing opportunities, widening the healthful housing gap, and impacting the housing stability and educational opportunities of Delaware County’s children.
According to County Health Rankings, Delaware County has the sixth-highest rate of severe housing problems among counties in Pennsylvania and the fifth-highest rate of severe housing costs:
• 16% of Delaware County households experience at least one of these housing problems: overcrowding, high housing costs, lack of kitchen facilities, or lack of plumbing facilities.
• 15% of households spend 50% or more of their household income on housing.
While housing insecurity and conditions were exacerbated and worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, the inequities associated with healthful affordable housing are not new and will certainly persist if systemic improvements are not made now.
About The Foundation for Delaware County
A public charity founded in 2016, The Foundation for Delaware County is the largest philanthropy serving Delaware County.
One of 780 community foundations across the U.S., the foundation encourages philanthropy by providing efficient giving vehicles like donor-advised funds, gift annuities, and estate planning advice to generous individuals who want to have an impact in Delaware County and beyond, and serves as a convener across sectors to address challenging community issues such as the need for a county health department.
The foundation operates the new Center for Nonprofit Excellence and makes grants to strengthen Delaware County’s nonprofit community. The foundation distributed more than $2.1M in Impact Grants in May and $1M from its Delaware County COVID-19 Response Fund.
With headquarters in Media and service sites in Eddystone, Upper Darby and Springfield, The Foundation for Delaware County also operates the prestigious evidence-based programs Healthy Start, the WIC nutrition program, and Nurse-Family Partnership.
Other programs include El Centro (a Hispanic resource center) and a health resource center for students in the Chester Upland School District.
You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @DelcoFdn.