Below is a letter to John Carney from a coalition of social justice organizations advocating for more protections of Delaware’s homeless population:

The Honorable John Carney
Governor of the State of Delaware
Carvel State Office Building
820 N. French Street
12th Floor
Wilmington, DE 19801

The Honorable Kara Odom-Walker
Secretary of Department of Health and Social Services
Lewis Building, DHSS Campus
Herman Holloway Sr. Campus
1901 N. DuPont Highway
New Castle, Delaware 19720

Dear Governor Carney, Secretary Walker, and Deputy Secretary Magarik,

Thank you for quickly mobilizing resources and people to ensure that the most vulnerable are
included in the state’s efforts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The efforts that you and
your leadership teams have been making to identify homeless people who are most at-risk and
providing them with immediate access to housing, food, and medical services will save lives.
Now, we urge you to continue and expand your efforts to ensure that every homeless person
in the state has access to temporary emergency housing, along with access to food and
medical care, until the coronavirus crisis is over.

We urge you, by Monday, April 13, 2020, to put forward a comprehensive plan for
addressing the needs of the state’s homeless population for the duration of this public health
emergency that can be broadly publicized among providers and the public so that everyone has
a clear understanding of what help is available and where to go to access it.
We also formally request that you take immediate action to put in place the financial
resources necessary to reduce the threat of rapid community spread through the state’s
homeless population, including:
● Provide state-funded hotel/motel vouchers to every homeless Delawarean until the
coronavirus emergency is over.
● Create local housing alternatives and/or provide transportation for those who cannot
relocate due to employment obligations.
● Expand opportunities for homeless people to access food without being forced into a
group setting, to decrease the risk of COVID-19 exposure and its spread.
● Provide access to testing and healthcare, because many of Delaware’s homeless are
currently living in cramped shelters and suffer from limited access to medical
care—putting them at high risk for the transmission of COVID-19 as well as other
● Provide additional resources for shelter and day programs to access the supplies and
staffing they need to address the need to clean and sanitize facilities.
● Expand resources for case management and peer support funded by the Division of
Substance Abuse and Mental Health to connect homeless Delawareans to resources so
they can address the problems they face and achieve long-term stability.
● Expand access to permanent housing as a long-term priority.

Enacting these measures will not only decrease the risk of spreading COVID-19 among our
unhoused residents but for all Delawareans.

Coalition to Dismantle the New Jim Crow
Delaware United
H.O.M.E.S. Campaign
Youth Caucus of America
Community Legal Aid Society Inc
Delaware Women for Inclusion
Newark NAACP
HerStory Ensemble
Delaware Center for Justice
Creative Vision Factory
Building People Power Campaign
Network Delaware