Newark’s Hidden Homeless: Team Amigas

Homelessness is a condition that affects nearly 600,000 individuals in America today. You are probably aware that homelessness is a very serious issue in our nation. But did you also know how prevalent homelessness is in our city of Newark, Delaware? Imagine the men, women and children sitting and standing on the sidewalks of Main St. looking for some spare change to help them get by. Is this a familiar image? It is for me. Almost every time I walk on Main St. I see an individual experiencing homelessness and seeking help. In Newark, there are an estimated 50 homeless individuals, and the number is thought to be on the rise.

So why should we care? Homelessness deprives individuals of the basic right to have security and a permanent roof over their heads. It takes the control that individuals have over their surroundings away from them — whether that means living in the street, in transitional housing, shelters, etc. Once individuals are homeless, it’s very difficult to get out of the situation without a proper support network. A common misconception about homeless people is that they are lazy, addicts, substance abusers, etc. However, the real truth behind people experiencing homelessness is that they are normal people who experienced a major setback in their lives, but didn’t have the proper support system to protect them from losing everything — including their homes.

Newark has a couple of institutions that aid the homeless, but I would like to see greater awareness and compassion for the homeless of Newark, specifically on Main St. Currently, the Newark Empowerment Center (Newark) and the Friendship House (Wilmington) provide aid to the homeless individuals in Newark and the greater area. However, these places do not yet provide overnight housing or food distribution. But they do provide access to clothing, restrooms, phones and mail. It also provides a job readiness program where individuals can work on resumes and job applications.


This is Harry Warner. He has been homeless for 15 years. You may recognize the Mizu Sushi Bar behind him on Main Street. This is an example of an individual affected by homelessness, and unable to escape the condition for 15 years. There are many others like him in Newark, and I believe we should be caring for them. I want to bring Newark’s hidden homeless population into the light for everyone to see and take action.


7 thoughts on “Newark’s Hidden Homeless: Team Amigas

  1. The homelessness issue is definitely a sever issue that needs to be looked at. I knew that there was a good amount of people experiencing this, but I did not realize it is to the extent it is which you point out in your pitch. A big problem with this issue is like you said, once an individual gets put in to the situation of being homeless; it is almost impossible to get out of without a little help. That is why we should be coming up with a solution to help homeless people get out of their situation, so they can live a normal life day to day. The magnitude of this issue is huge and it is a great pitch as to why this should be the movement your group chooses to focus on.


  2. Homelessness is a pervasive issue in many large metropolitan areas, but it is far too often overlooked in smaller towns like Newark, Delaware. There have been many times when I was hanging out in the Main Street Starbucks, studying, and saw the same two or three homeless men meander in and ask for money or food. However, I have not once passed a food bank or soup kitchen within walking distance of campus. This is something I think about whenever it is so painfully cold that I can hardly walk to class. What about the homeless who don’t have a comfortable bed to return to at the end of the day?
    Because this issue is so local and relevant to our campus specifically, I think it is an excellent topic for your group to focus in on. I, too, would love to see more support for the homeless in our area, especially since UD is full of a plethora of philanthropic students who would love to help.
    Good luck, Team Amigas!
    -Katie Kornienko


  3. I am so glad you mentioned this issue because it is one that didn’t immediately come to mind for me but it is a huge problem. No one deserves to live without any shelter or food and water and it is devastating to see people who do not have these basic necessities. It breaks my heart to see homeless people around campus and realize how much we have in comparison. We should work to raise awareness for this issue and work to establish more shelters and food banks that are easily accessible to these people. I have seen a homeless guy that always goes and sits in Starbucks and it is just sad to realize that he has nowhere else to go for warmth. We need to work to help these people that are in dire need of basic human rights.


  4. Recently, a large debate about how the rich are getting richer has been going on. The fact of the matter is that homelessness is relevant everywhere. There is little to no support for those who are homeless. Cities both major and minor have some sort of homeless issue in some concentration. I like that you chose this topic because it is just so important. As you mentioned in your post, some homeless people are not bad people. They were just dealt a bad hand and now they want to get back on their feet. It should be human nature to help other people who are less fortunate, yet the amount of homeless people is enormous. The point that pulled me the most was that these people are still human. They deserve their basic human rights of food, water, shelter, and safety. It’s unfair that people have to deal with a situation as unfortunate as it is, so I feel this would be a great topic for your group to discuss.


  5. Homelessness is a prominent issue throughout the nation and the world today. As you mentioned, the main issue on the topic of homelessness is that not only is it hard to overcome such a dire situation, but homelessness often stems from unfavorable circumstances from birth. That is, many people find themselves born into and/or raised in poor conditions that further hinder one’s future success. No one should have to endure the unrelenting task of living without a roof over their head, a lack of food and water, etc. I feel that a college campus is a great place to advocate change for this prominent issue as many students may often overlook how privileged they are to have a roof to live under, and that they do not fully comprehend the severe circumstances those without a home must endure on an everyday basis.


  6. Although I’ve never seen the homeless individuals on Main Street that you mentioned, I have seen it in New Jersey and New York in numerous places; it might just be because I assumed it wouldn’t exist in a place like Newark, but that’s probably part of the problem. Many people assume homelessness isn’t a problem in their area, and considering you mentioned there are 600,000 homeless individuals in America, it’s a problem that people forget it exists where they live, too. I like how you focused your cause to helping the homeless in Newark specifically because it’s one of those areas that is often overlooked when thinking about the issue in general. I also like how you mentioned how difficult it is to get yourself out of the situation once you become homeless. A lot of people think it’s that individual’s fault that they’re still homeless, but often they just need help getting back on their feet. I think this is a great pitch because it takes a huge, nationwide issue and focuses it to where all of us currently live and can highlight the problems and possible solutions in our area.


  7. I think this is a very under recognized issue in today’s world. I think most people look at homeless people and just think about how they would never want to be in that position, or they think it’s the individual’s fault. Most people are unaware of possible circumstances that may be out of that person’s control. Like you mentioned, most of these people are not lazy, they simply had a major setback in their lives. I am a big believer that everyone deserves a second chance. I think this is a great movement to explore, specifically because it puts these homeless people in the best possible situations to get help from people who are properly equipped to handle these scenarios. I am constantly torn between “I want to help that guy on the side of the street” and “I could help him, but I can’t help everyone I see”. I think this is very common amongst a lot of people and solving this issue would tremendously help Newark specifically.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s