Immanuel Shelter offers refuge from cold

Two dozen people seek help nightly as temperatures drop
January 6, 2018

As the temperature continues to dip, Code Purple alerts have been issued across Delaware to help people experiencing homelessness find shelter. 

Janet Idema, president of the board of directors of Immanuel Shelter, said the co-ed shelter in Rehoboth has been open nightly since early December, and numbers continue to increase as temperatures fall.

Idema said people are filling the beds, with staff and volunteers reporting more women are seeking shelter. Already, occupancy reached a total of 22 men and women in the days following Christmas.

“We max out housing between 22 and 25 visitors nightly,” she said. “We attempt to place groups in motels if we can get funding, and we are currently housing three people in motels who have medical issues or are recovering from surgery.”

Immanuel Shelter is the only Code Purple shelter in eastern Sussex County open for people experiencing homelessness. Shelters are also available in Seaford, Laurel, Georgetown, Bridgeville and Milford.

People experiencing a housing crisis are urged to call 211, which connects individuals and families to housing resources statewide. Immanuel Shelter is open from 4 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. daily.

To find out more information about Immanuel Shelter, 37439 Oyster House Road, and to volunteer or donate, go to or call 888-634-9992.