The Springboard Collaborative homeless village in Georgetown should be open and operational before the start of the New Year.
Judson Malone, executive director, said a shortage of electrical boxes had delayed the opening, but they have arrived and will be installed soon. He said the only outstanding electric component is a transformer for the property.
He said it could be possible to open the village sooner. “If we get the transformer soon, then we may be able to open before Christmas,” he said.
In a partnership between Town of Georgetown officials and nonprofits Springboard Collaborative and First State Community Action Agency, construction began on the Pallet village off North Railroad Avenue Oct. 17, when trucks from the Pallet Co. in Washington state rolled onto the vacant lot. It's the first Pallet shelter village in Delaware.
The 40 cabin-like, 64-square-foot units were fabricated by a team of volunteers from several county companies on First State property.
The original opening date had tentatively been set for Thanksgiving.
Malone said he's aware of a drainage issue on the Kimmey Street right-of-way near the property.
“As soon as site grading is finished, that will be minimized,” he said. “Kimmey is an unimproved street and the town is aware that there is not a good outlet for the water, but they are working on plans to improve the street next year.”
Malone said a temporary, heated 20-by-32-foot tent will be erected for meal service. A 2,000-square-foot community building is planned to be constructed in spring 2023.
In place are two renovated mobile offices for staff and storage, and a bathroom/shower unit.
The village, with a waiting list of 60 even before it opens, is just a few hundred yards away from a homeless tent village in the woods. A Code Purple Sussex County shelter for men only is available nightly at Georgetown Presbyterian Church.
Other Code Purple shelters are available at St. Jude the Apostle Church, Lewes, men; Milford Nazarene, women with or without children; Avenue United Methodist, Milford, men; St. Luke's Parish Hall, Seaford, men; and Grace Seaford Church, women.
About the village
Each unit will contain one or two beds with bedding, heat and air conditioning, and storage space.
Included in the plan is a community building for meals, services, meetings and recreation. Since the units do not contain plumbing, two bathroom/shower units are part of the village.
Malone said meals will be provided by the First State culinary arts program.
All residents will be able to avail themselves of a multitude of services from various organizations.
A staff of case workers, security personnel and operations personnel has been hired.
The property will be fence-enclosed with a main entrance, which will be monitored by staff during the day and by professional security overnight, and include an emergency entrance for fire trucks and EMS vehicles.
Transportation is planned to help participants access off-site programs and services, and seek employment. A DART bus hub is within walking distance on Railroad Avenue.
Springboard is a nonprofit shelter and housing developer for people experiencing homelessness and those who are housing insecure. Springboard will provide administration and fundraising for the village.
For more information, go to the-springboard.org.