Sussex County Resource Center Recognized with Award - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Sussex County Resource Center Recognized with Award

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 SEAFORD, Del. (WBOC) –  The homeless are people too. That's the focus of a Delaware organization known as “H.A.R.P.” Friday night, they recognized a Sussex County Resource Center at the third annual Heroes and Heroines banquet in Wilmington. 

The A.C.E. Peer Resource Center was awarded with the William “Hicks” Community Activist Award. 

Sharon Childress volunteers at the A.C.E. Center. The Center once helped her through tough times. 

”It has helped keep me sober and it has helped me grow by learning. I've been homeless but some people out there, they have it rough,” said Childress. 

Charles Johnson, the presenter of the award, writes “…in recognition of your tireless efforts in advocating for the homeless and ensuring that they are treated with dignity and respect, we are proud to present the William "Hicks" Anderson Community Activist Award to the ACE Center of Seaford."

“I think that the reason we were noticed is that it's a program where the peers are helping each other, which I think is probably the most effective way of helping people because you can say, I know what you've been through,” said Linda Williams, recovery worker and assistant director of the A.C.E Center. 

The center is run like an inverted pyramid, with a peer committee running the show.  Robin Robbins is co-chair of the committee. 

“I'm not homeless now, but I was homeless, so I have empathy for them. Especially when it's cold, it's scary,” said Robbins. 

As of January 2014, there were more than 900 documented homeless people living in Delaware. 

“Sometimes you don't know where your food is coming from. You don't know, you think well, I might have a warm blanket now, but what if it rains,” said Robbins. 

The A.C.E. Center says it's about one thing. 

“It's like a family here and I love that, because family is important,” said Childress.

“Someone said Wednesday ‘I don't even feel homeless today' and to me, that's what it's about, helping somebody feel like they belong.”

The center has also worked with Stein Highway Church of God to open the first “code purple” shelter in Western Sussex County. The shelter is open whenever the temperature drops below 32 degrees. The A.C.E. Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 p.m. to 4 p.m., but will open at 6 a.m. any morning after a code purple. 
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