Ocean City Today

Federal grant for Diakonia earns county endorsement

By Brian Gilliland | Jan 04, 2018

(Jan. 5, 2018) For the sixth year running, the Worcester County Commissioners voted to support local shelter/food bank Diakonia’s bid for federal Supportive Services for Veterans funding on Tuesday.

“With the support from our local officials, it makes the case for the renewal, and we appreciate the confidence in our services,” Diakonia Director Claudia Nagle said.

The grant amount doesn’t change from year to year, Nagle said, and the organization is pursuing the same $250,000 it has in the past.

This year, according to Faith Tarpley, communications coordinator at Diakonia, the nonprofit helped more than 65 local veteran households. Diakonia has provided emergency housing for 25 veterans and helped 142 veterans via its food pantry.

“There are income eligibility requirements,” Nagle said. “Things like rental assistance and case management in the tri-county area. Those services are still in demand and we’re really proud of them.”

Nagle said the program supports not only those veterans who were honorably discharged, but is one of the few Department of Veteran’s Affairs programs that assists those who have something other than an honorable discharge from the armed forces.

“It fills a gap and gets them permanently housed,” she said.

Three strategies employed by Diakonia, as outlined in the letter of support signed by Commissioner President Diana Purnell, include outreach to veterans in need through existing county agencies and veterans’ associations, assistance in finding and securing housing, and linking veterans and their families with existing support in the community.

The vote to endorse Diakonia’s application for the grant was unanimous.


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