Assistance Programs, Local Agencies and Charities

Food  Housing  Cash Assistance  Bills  Health  Education  Employment



  • Delaware Food Supplement Program  – Monthly electronic food stamp benefits that can be used to buy most foods at many markets and food stores, Call: 800-372-2022
  • Delaware General Assistance  A Delaware State funded program designed to provide cash assistance to low-income people who do not qualify for federally funded programs, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Social Security benefits, Call: 800-372-2022
  • Delaware Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Cash assistance to Delaware residents in need to help them become self-sufficient and self-supporting, Call: 800-372-2022
  • Delaware Refugee Cash Assistance Program  – Provides cash assistance to refugees for a limited time period to help them in their resettlementCall: 800-372-2022
  • Delaware Child Care Services The Program provides support for families with children to enable the caretaker to hold a job, obtain training or meet special needs of the parent or childCall: 800-822-2236
  • Delaware Kinship Navigator Program Assists grandparents or other persons aged 55 or over who are raising another person’s childrenCall: 800-220-3092
  • Delaware Healthy Children Program (DHCP)  – Offers low cost health insurance for Delaware’s uninsured children, Call: 800-996-9969
  • Delaware Prescription Assistance Program (DPAP)  – Helps pay for prescription medications for elderly and/or disabled individuals who cannot afford the full cost of filling their doctor’s prescriptions, Call: 800-996-9969
  • Delaware Children’s Community Alternative Disability Program  – Provides Medicaid coverage to severely disabled children who do not qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or other Medicaid qualifying programs because of their parents’ income and/or resources, Call: 800-372-2022
  • Delaware Chronic Renal Disease Program  – Provide assistance to Delaware residents diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), Call: 800-464-4357
  • Delaware Money Follows the Person Program  – Assists eligible individuals that choose to participate in moving from an eligible Long Term Care (LTC) facility to an eligible residence in the community with available community services and supports, Call: 800-372-2022
  • Delaware Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)  – Healthy foods, breastfeeding support, nutrition education, health care referrals, Call: 302-744-4700
  • Delaware National School Lunch Program (NSLP)  Provides low-cost or free lunches to school children, Call: 302-857-3356
  • Delaware Special Milk Program  – Offers milk to children in schools, childcare institutions, and eligible camps, Call: 302-857-3356
  • Delaware School Breakfast Program (SBP)  Provides low-cost or free meals to school children, Call: 302-857-3356
  • Delaware Summer Food Service Program  – The Program helps school districts serve meals free of charge to children ages 18 and younger from low-income areas, Call: 302-857-3356
  • Delaware Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)  Provides healthy meals and snacks to children and adults receiving day careCall: 302-857-3356
  • Delaware Head Start and Early Head Start  – Comprehensive child development programs serving low-income children and their familiesCall: 302-735-4000
  • Delaware Energy Assistance Program (DEAP) – Provides assistance to income eligible families to help them meet their home energy needsCall: 302-255-9675
  • Delaware Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) – Assists households reduce energy bills by improving energy efficiency of their homes, Call: 302-735-3480 
  • Delaware Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) The program provides job-related counseling, job training, and job referral services for low-income seniors, Call: 302-651-3440
  • Delaware Housing Choice Voucher Program   Helps eligible low-income Delaware  families lease privately owned rental units from participating landlords, Call: Call local PHA
  • Delaware Public Housing   Provides safe, decent, and affordable rental units for low-income Delaware  residents, Call: Call local PHA


Homeowners Assistance and Housing Programs

Delaware Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program

Delaware Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (DEMAP) is statewide foreclosure preventing assistance designed to help Delaware homeowners when in financial hardship. In such situations even the most responsible homeowners can sometimes face the threat of foreclosure. DEMAP is a loan program and was created by Delaware State Housing Authority to help homeowners avoid foreclosure that may result from circumstances and financial hardship that is beyond mortgage borrower’s control. DEMAP is restricted to owner-occupied primary residences. The program helps eligible homeowners by reinstating the delinquent mortgage loan (principle, interest, taxes and insurance) and assisting with their monthly mortgage payments for up to 24 months.

General requirements to qualify for DEMAP are: 1) be resident of Delaware, 2) have 15% or greater reduction in income because of unemployment/underemployment due to the economy, or injury/illness of self or immediate family member for whom the wage earner is the primary caregiver, 3) be 90 days or more delinquent on the first mortgage payments and face foreclosure risk, 4) able to contribute 31% of their monthly income toward the mortgage payment during the assistance period 5) demonstrate ability to resume mortgage payments within the 24-month period.

To apply for Delaware Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program call one of the following DEMAP Counseling Agencies in your area.

CCCS of MD & DE Inc.
Wilmington, DE…………………….(866) 731-8486
Dover, DE ……………………………(866) 731-8486

Wilmington, DE…………………….(800) 989-2227

First State Community Action Agency
New Castle, DE …………………… (302) 498-0454
Dover, DE ………………………….. (302) 674-1355
Georgetown, DE ………………….. (302) 856-7761

Hockessin Community Center
Hockessin, DE ……………………..(302) 239-2363

Housing Opportunities of Northern Delaware, Inc.
Wilmington, DE …………………..(302) 429-0794

Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware, Inc.
Wilmington, DE ………………….. (302) 652-3991
Dover, DE ………………………….. (302) 741-0142

NCALL Research Inc.
Newark, DE ……………………….. (302) 283-7505
Dover, DE ………………………….. (302) 678-9400
Georgetown, DE ………………….. (302) 855-1370

Neighborhood House, Inc.
Wilmington, DE ………………….. (302) 652-3928
Middletown, DE ……………………(302) 378-7217

YWCA Centers for Homeownership Education
Newark, DE ……………………….. (302) 224-4060

Delaware – Making Home Affordable options

Making Home Affordable is a federal program designed to cover different homeowners’ hardships and financial situations. Under the program there are various options that can help Delaware homeowners in hardship stay in their homes. Depending on the situation Delaware homeowners in hardship can apply to lower their monthly payments, lower the interest rate on their home loan or even get principal reduction in some cases.

There are foreclosure alternatives and temporarily help for unemployed homeowners as well.

Here are some of the most used options under Making Home Affordable Program:

HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development) approved housing counselor can be reached at: 888-995-4673  (Hearing impaired: 877-304-9709 TTY) to help you understand your options, prepare your application, and work with your mortgage company.

Rental Help for Delaware Residents

Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers

Section 8 Housing Program is a federally funded housing assistance designed to help extremely low and very low-income individuals, families, senior citizens, and people with disabilities. The Section 8 Housing provides qualifying low income population with affordable, decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market where the program is available.

Section 8 Housing in Delaware is administered by the Delaware State Housing Authority and local Public Housing Agencies (PHA). The program helps Delaware eligible individuals and families broaden their housing options in the private rental market. Learn more about Section 8 Housing Programs and Housing Choice Vouchers.

Delaware Section 8 Housing includes Housing Choice Voucher which provide Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) for low and very low income residents in all Delaware counties. This program provides TBRA vouchers for more then 5 thousand housing units across Delaware State. HUD sets Fair Market rent limits for each housing unit based on its size and community market conditions. The local Public Housing Agency issues a Housing Choice Vouchers to qualified applicants based on their family size and needs. The voucher recipients are required to pay a portion (in Newark up to 40%) of their household income towards the rent and are responsible for the full security deposit. The Housing Choice Voucher pays the difference between tenants portion and the contract rent. The PHA sends the voucher payment of the rent directly to the landlord.

Normally, there is a waiting list and the applications for the Section 8 Vouchers are taken periodically at a time determined by the local Public Housing Authority. The open period for taking Section 8 applications is usually advertised in the local newspaper two weeks prior to starting acceptance of applications, and all related social service agencies are notified.

When the waiting list is open, completed applications are accepted from all applicants. The Housing Authority will then verify the information in each application relevant to the applicant’s eligibility, admission and benefits level.

Approved Section 8 applicants can select housing within a neighborhood of their choice from a property owner willing to participate in Section 8 program. Tenant Based Rental Assistance contracts must have a minimum lease of one year and cannot exceed two years – but they can be renewed. Choices of housing units may include family’s present residence if it qualifies. Rental units must meet minimum standards of health and safety, as determined by the local Housing Authority. Housing Choice Vouchers are portable – beneficiaries can take them if they move and use them for the payment of the new housing. Local Housing Authority has to approve the new housing and the time of moving. The rents in TBRA assisted units must be affordable to low-income families and remain affordable for a designated amount of time.

As per the federal requirements, the Section 8 Program allows families to pay a predetermined share of their income toward the rent while issued Housing Choice Vouchers make up the difference. The program does not pay for security deposits and moving expenses. The tenant is responsible for paying for any utilities not included in the rent according to the lease.

Income eligibility limits and benefit levels are based on local median income and local housing costs but are set largely at the federal level with limited local discretion. Income requirements are set generally as less than 50% of Area Median Income (AMI), but can be up to 80% in some cases. By law, seventy five percent of the newly issued vouchers must go to families with incomes below 30% of the Area Median Income.

Current recipients maintain vouchers until their income reaches a level at which the value of their housing subsidy is reduced to $0.00 – all housing subsidies are calculated based on family income, housing costs, and other factors.

For specifics on eligibility for each Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher please, check with your local Delaware Public Housing Authority.

Project-Based Rental Assistance

The Delaware State Housing Authority also promotes affordable housing opportunities through Project Based Rental Assistance (a.k.a. Site-Based Section 8). The State Housing Authority is allowed to use up to 20 percent of its budget authority to subsidize specific units in designated buildings. Project Based Rental Assistance involves over 3,500 units throughout the state of Delaware. The rental assistance pays part of the rent to qualified tenants for a specific building designated as Section 8 and subsidized by the Federal Government funding with the main purpose to provide affordable housing for low-income families. Participants in the program pay 30% of their income for rent and utilities. The Project Based Vouchers are not portable – the subsidy remains with the housing unit. Applications this kind of rental subsidy are accepted and waiting lists are maintained at each housing site. Usually the population served are households that are low income with income up to 50% of the Area Median Income. HUD establishes and publishes the income parameters annually.

Public Housing – Subsidized and Low-Rent Apartments

Public Housing provides safe, decent and affordable rental housing to eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides federal grants to local Public Housing Agencies (PHA) that manage the public housing developments for low-income residents at rents they can afford.

In general, housing developments owned, managed and maintained by the local PHA are referred to as Conventional Housing, or Low Rent Public Housing and units are offered to eligible low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities at rental rates established by the PHA authorities within the HUD income limits and guidelines. Local Delaware Public Housing Authorities manage more than 2,400 federally subsidized public housing units across the State.

Inquire about current availability of subsidized and low-rent apartments at you local Delaware Public Housing Authorities.

Search for affordable subsidized apartments in Delaware using the HUD database.

 Housing Counseling Services

Contact one of the HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies in Delaware State for the following education workshops or counseling services

  • Mortgage Delinquency and Default Resolution Counseling
  • Fair Housing Pre-Purchase Education Workshops
  • Financial Management/Budget Counseling
  • Financial, Budgeting and Credit Repair Workshops
  • Home Improvement and Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Non-Delinquency Post Purchase Workshops
  • Pre-purchase Counseling
  • Pre-purchase Homebuyer Education Workshops
  • Predatory Lending Education Workshops
  • Rental Housing Counseling
  • Services for Homeless Counseling
  • Home Improvement and Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Reverse Mortgage Counseling

Delaware Homeless Service Organizations

Delaware has regional homeless service organizations that coordinate local resources and can provide assistance to the homeless. Number of Delaware Homeless Service Organizations are funded through Continuum of Care (CoC). Continuum of Care is a federal program that consolidate the following Homeless Assistance programs: the Shelter Plus Care Program, the Supportive Housing Program, and the Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program. The CoC Program is designed to promote community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness by providing grants to nonprofit providers, State and local governments to quickly rehouse homeless individuals and families while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused to homeless individuals, families, and communities.

Delaware Homeless Service Organizations assist individuals (including unaccompanied youth) and families experiencing homelessness.  With main goal goal of long-term stability those Delaware homeless service organizations provide the services that are needed to help such individuals move into transitional and permanent housing.

Here is a short list of some of Delaware Homeless Service Organizations by county with services offered. Emergency shelters provide immediate housing for up to 30 days, unless otherwise specified. Transitional housing provides temporary housing and support services over an extended period of time. Contact the site directly for specific information.

If you are homeless in Delaware and need help – call the listed homeless service organization in your area.


American Red Cross
100 West 10th Street, Suite 501
Wilmington, DE 19801-1678
(302) 656-6620
Immediate emergency needs following natural or man-made disasters only

Andrew’s Place
8th and Orange Streets
Wilmington, DE 19801
(302) 652-8133
Elderly men over 55 years of age

Bayard House
300 Bayard Avenue
Wilmington, DE 19805
(302) 654-1184
Pregnant teens and women ages 13-35 in first trimester

Belle View House
516 N. Harrison Street
Wilmington, DE 19805
(302) 691-3301
Women in recovery pay rent and share expenses in group home

Bethany House
601 N. Jackson St.
Wilmington, DE 19805
(302) 594-9450
Women with special needs

Booth Social Services/Emergency Housing Residence
104 West 5th Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
(302) 472-0753
Homeless single women and women with children

Brandywine House
615 N. Harrison Street
Wilmington, DE 19805
(302) 256-0386
Men in recovery pay rent and share expenses in group home

Browntown House
611 N. Jackson Street
Wilmington, DE 19805-3241
(302) 984-1191
Men in recovery pay rent and share expenses in group home

Find more…


Food Assistance Programs, Services, and Organizations in Delaware

Delaware Food Supplement Program

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or the Food Stamps Program as it is known by the public, is a federal program that provides grants to the States for purpose of reducing the hunger and malnutrition in all eligible households across the nation. SNAP helps provide healthy food to qualifying low-income families with children, elderly or disabled in each State of the USA, including Delaware. Learn more about SNAP.

It is important to know that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal entitlement program funded by U.S. Government grants. Any U.S. Citizen, even some legal alien residents, will get free food assistance as long as they meet the SNAP eligibility guidelines. In other words, there is enough Supplemental Nutrition Assistance for every American that qualifies.

In Delaware the SNAP is administered by Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS) and its Division of Social Services (DSS) – 800-372-2022. The United States Department of Agriculture, Food & Nutrition Service (FNS), is the federal agency responsible for overseeing the Food Supplement Program, which provides the Food Benefits (а.к.а. Food Stamps) to Delaware qualified residents. According to Delaware Division of Social Services, the Food Supplement Program enables low-income families to add to their budget and buy a variety of food that is the basis for better nutrition.


Who is Eligible for Food Supplement Benefits in Delaware?

The eligibility rules and benefit amounts in Delaware, like in other States, are based on the household resources, income, household size, and are largely determined by regulations issued by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service.

The federal law allows States some flexibility when implementing SNAP on a State level. For example, Delaware can adapt some of the food assistance program rules in order to meet the needs of eligible, low‐income local population.

Food Supplement Program is a food assistance program, primarily designed for individuals and families in need of help, with limited income resources, who compose a household, and purchase and prepare their meals together for home consumption.

In general, to qualify for Food Supplement Benefits you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Delaware Resident – must be U.S. Citizen or qualified non-citizen status;
  • Income Limits –  Income limits eligibility depends on the household size and composition. Households with no elderly or disabled individuals must meet both gross and net income limits. Households with elderly or disabled individuals must meet only the net income limits. Gross income includes wages, salaries, commissions, dividends, child support, self-employment income, unemployment compensation, social security benefits etc. Household net income is computed by deducting certain allowed expenses from gross income. Some of allowed deductions are utility and telephone expenses, cost of dependent care, portion of medical expenses and a standard deduction from earned income. Local DSS Office can help with the current list of all allowable deductions. Check the table with Food Supplement Program income limits per household size below.
Oct. 1, 2015 through Sept. 30, 2016 USDA FNS SNAP Max Income
Household SizeGross Monthly Income Limits
(130% of poverty)
Net Monthly Income Limits
(100% of poverty)
Each additional member+$451+$347

Source: USDA, SNAP Income Eligibility Standards

Some Delaware residents may be automatically or so called broad-based categorically eligible for Food Assistance if they already participate in other means tested assistance programs. Getting any benefits including pamphlets from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), funded by federal grants, or receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can make the applicant for Food Supplement benefits categorically eligible, thus bypassing the income eligibility and any asset eligibility rules. Under the federal SNAP regulations, States can assign a gross income limit of 200% of the federal poverty line (FPL) or less in order to use any TANF-funded benefit that can make food stamps applicants eligible.

In Delaware, to qualify automatically under Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility, the household for example must have been referred to a pregnancy prevention hotline and meet all other conditions of eligibility for Food Supplement Benefits. No asset test is required, and gross income limit for households without an elderly or disabled member is 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. Call 1-800-372-2022 to learn more about Delaware Food Supplement Program eligibility rules.


Food Supplement Quick Eligibility Check

Use this Pre-Screening Tool to find out if you might be eligible to get Food Supplement Program Benefits (Food Stamps). The screening allows interested in getting Delaware food stamps to provide some basic information and determine if they are potentially eligible for benefits.

Although you will be notified immediately if you qualify after completing the questionnaire you still have to make an application at your Delaware local DSS Office. Even if you are unsure whether you qualify you still may be eligible for food stamp benefits and you should still apply.


What are the Dollar Amounts for Delaware Food Supplement Benefits?

If approved, the Food Supplement (Food Stamp) Benefit amounts depend on the household size and the amount of the their net income. USDA has maximum food stamp benefit limits per month per household. Check below what are the maximum allowed food stamp monetary amounts. The food assistance dollar amounts are called allotments.

Oct. 1, 2015 - Sept. 30, 2016 USDA Max SNAP Allotments
Household SizeMaximum Food Assistance Monthly Allotment
Each additional member$146

Source: USDA, SNAP Maximum Allotments


How to Apply for Food Supplement Benefits (Food Stamps) in Delaware?

Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS) uses one application for Food Benefits, Cash, Medical, and Child Care Assistance. More than one assistance program in an application is common practice by a lot of the States, since most of the people in need of food stamps are likely to be in need of cash, medical assistance, or in need of child care assistance. Applicants can get the application online or from the local County Division of Social Services. The applicant needs to fill out all required information on the application and return it to the office.

The DHSS Office must accept all applications on the date of delivery as long as they have name, address and signature. All required information can be provided later at the interview.

Before decision is made a DHSS worker has to interview the applicant and verify all the paperwork. If the applicant is eligible, they will receive a notice stating how much food assistance benefit and for how long is the applicant eligible for.

Food Supplement Program applicants also have the option to apply for benefits online using Delaware ASSIST.


Food Supplement Benefits (Food Stamps) Verification of Information, Rules, Approval

If you submitted application for Food Supplement Benefits and have scheduled an interview you must bring application supporting documents and proofs. Basic requirements are proofs of who you are, where you live and how much is the gross and net income of the household per month.

  • Identification (Driver’s License, State ID card, passport);
  • Where you live (a rental agreement, current bill with your address listed);
  • Social Security Numbers (see note below about certain non-citizens);
  • Earned income of everyone in your household for the past 30 days (recent pay stubs, a work statement from an employer). NOTE: If self employed, income and expense or tax records;
  • Unearned income (Unemployment benefits, SSI, Social Security, Veteran’s benefits, child support, worker’s compensation, school grants or loans, rental income, etc.);
  • Housing costs (rent receipts, mortgage bills, property tax bill, insurance documents);
  • Phone and utility bills;
  • Medical expenses for anyone in your household who is elderly (60 and older) or disabled;
  • Child and adult care costs due to someone working, looking for work, attending training or school, or participating in a required work activity;
  • Child support paid by a person in your household;
  • Proof of lawful immigration status ONLY for non-citizens applying for benefits (an Alien Registration Card, visa).

The Food Assistance program has special rules for elderly or disabled applicants and beneficiaries. The federal rules state that food stamp beneficiaries between 18 and 59 who do not have any dependent children can get SNAP benefits only for 3 months in a 36-month period if they do not work or participate in a workfare or employment and training program other than job search.

In Delaware, this is the Food Supplement Employment and Training Program. It is a voluntary employment and training program for all able-bodied adults in households getting Food Supplement Benefits. It is a federal requirement that participants 18 to 50 years of age and who are identified as “able-bodied adults without dependents” must participate in a work program at least 20 hours per week in order to receive more than three months of food assistance in a 36-month period. Some Food Supplement Program recipients are required to register with the Division of Employment and Training (DET), conduct monthly job search and report their job search to their Division of Social Services (DSS) case manager.

Applicants waiting for Food Supplement Benefits approval in Delaware should get a response within 30 days from the date they submitted their application to the local DSS Office. Households cannot receive food stamps assistance from more than one Delaware county in a month. Households getting food stamps benefits must report any changes of their household situation in a period of time determined by the local office in order to assure their participation in the Food Supplement Program.


Approved! When and How Do I Get the Food Supplement Benefits?

Delaware Food Supplement Program provides the Food Supplement Benefits via the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system. The monetary benefits of the Delaware SNAP are transferred to the accounts of qualified beneficiaries and are accessible through Delaware Food First EBT Card. The Food Supplement Benefits are deposited into the recipients accounts between the 2nd and 16th day of the month based on the first letter of the client’s last name.

First Letter of the Last Name is: A = benefits available on the 2nd
First Letter of the Last Name is: B = benefits available on the 3rd
First Letter of the Last Name is: C = benefits available on the 4th
First Letter of the Last Name is: D = benefits available on the 5th
First Letter of the Last Name is: E and F = benefits available on the 6th
First Letter of the Last Name is: G = benefits available on the 7th
First Letter of the Last Name is: H = benefits available on the 8th
First Letter of the Last Name is: I and J = benefits available on the 9th
First Letter of the Last Name is: K and L = benefits available on the 10th
First Letter of the Last Name is: M = benefits available on the 11th
First Letter of the Last Name is: N,O,P = benefits available on the 12th
First Letter of the Last Name is: Q and R = benefits available on the 13th
First Letter of the Last Name is: S = benefits available on the 14th
First Letter of the Last Name is: T, U, or V = benefits available on the 15th
First Letter of the Last Name is: W = benefits available on the 16th
First Letter of the Last Name is: X, Y or Z = benefits available on the 17th

If you have any question regarding your EBT Account or Card call Delaware EBT Customer Service: 1-800-526-9099


How and Where to Use the Food Supplement (Food Stamp) Benefits?

With their Delaware Food First EBT Card the food stamp recipients can buy almost any food for human consumption from approved markets and groceries. Notable exception are: tobacco, alcohol, food supplements, meals from restaurants, and hot food for immediate consumption. SNAP benefits can only be used to purchase eligible food items at Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) authorized stores.


I Need Food Stamps Now. It is an Emergency!

Some households may get Expedited Services, as per federal rules – that is food assistance benefits within 7 calendar days if your household has less than $150 in monthly gross income and liquid resources (cash, checking or savings accounts) of $100 or less; or your rent/mortgage and utilities are more than your household’s combined monthly income and liquid resources; or a member of your household is a migrant or seasonal farm worker. In order to get expedite assistance, if you qualify, provide all required information and proof as soon as possible.