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HUD   >   State Information   >   Delaware   >   Stories   >   2013-01-16
A New Kitchen for the New Year!

Three residents of a Dover group home got a kitchen makeover just in time to prepare holiday dinners and start the New Year off with a renewed enthusiasm for cooking. The home is owned by the National Alliance on Mental Illness Delaware (NAMI Delaware), and the new kitchen is the result of a grant the Borkee-Hagley Foundation provided. The remodeled kitchen has new cabinets, countertops, flooring, carpeting, refrigerator and stove. To the delight of all involved, Yo Cuz, a foundation which supports people living with mental illness in the Mid-Atlantic States, donated brand new cookware.

A before and after view of the residents' new kitchen makeover.

Three ladies live in the Dover home and are so very grateful for the new and improved kitchen and the cookware. The Director of Housing for NAMI Delaware, Merton Briggs, said he and his co-workers volunteered to do some of the work to help keep costs down for the $11,000 project.

"Projects like this are stimulating for all parties involved," said Briggs. "The funder's have the financial flexibility to invest in change, we as management make the changes come to fruition and the residents feel the changes through and through. At the end of the day it really is all about the residents."

Once the kitchen was completed, it became evident that upgrading the furniture in the common areas of the house would spruce up the rest of the home. NAMI Delaware turned to the American Furniture Clearance Center which generously discounted the furniture including a sofa, loveseat, chair, coffee table, two end tables, TV stand, dining room table and 4 chairs.

The Dover home is one of 60 homes NAMI Delaware owns statewide. They are home to 243 mentally ill residents. Eight of the homes are staffed and the rest provide independent living with regular visitations and access to mental-health-care providers. Through HUD funding and other sources, the rent for the homes are subsidized so residents only pay a third of their gross income to live in the homes.

Upgraded furniture in the common areas of the house spruce up the rest of the home.

Residents Carolyn Donophan (far left) and Diane Etough (far right) are all smiles when Yo Cuz founder Debra Michaels (wearing Santa hat) and her helpers deliver food stuffs, cleaning supplies and cookware in Christmas wrapping to stock their new kitchen.

"NAMI Delaware is pleased to be able to address the need for safe and affordable housing by partnering with HUD," said NAMI Delaware Executive Director Dr. Joshua Thomas. "We are delighted that grant funding was available to provide a wonderful upgrade so that the residents could have more enjoyable use of their home."

NAMI Delaware's mission is to support, educate and advocate until there is a cure for severe and persistent mental illness. The organization provides statewide educational programs and support services for those with mental illness and their families, a statewide housing program for low-income individuals living with mental illness, and a telephone HelpLine at (888) 427-2643.