In June 2023 the Delaware Journal of Public Health published a paper authored by UD professors Stephen Metraux and Steven Peuquet assessing the unhoused population of Delaware.
The paper tracks the number of homeless people in Delaware over time and also examines the current levels of resources and services available in the state to address the issue.
Earlier this month Professor Metraux and Wilmington housing activist Shyanne Miller sat down for a long-form interview to review the assessment and discuss how the numbers are estimated. The interview also covers the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and recounts a recent rally held in Wilmington that featured many individual speakers who provided their accounts of current personal homelessness.
The interview also discusses the recent story of a homeless woman in Wilmington, who needs significant mental health treatment, who wound up in prison for 12 months for lack of service options.
How can we demand that our political leaders make addressing homelessness a top priority? What types of services are actually needed to fill the plethora of gaps in what is, as Prof. Metraux describes it, a complex web of multiple state systems? Is the state bureaucracy even situated to provide dynamic help, or are state case managers simply tracking people’s personal behaviors?