Diakonia Receives Grant To Improve Transitional Housing

BERLIN – A Community Development Block Grant will allow Diakonia to improve its Old Bridge Road facility.

The Worcester County Commissioners unanimously approved a grant agreement last week that will allow Diakonia to receive $276,128 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding.

“We’re really excited about it,” said Claudia Nagle, executive director of Diakonia. “It really will help us to preserve a community resource that is essential.”

Because Worcester County was the eligible jurisdiction, the commissioners agreed in September to apply for a grant on Diakonia’s behalf.  With the news that the county had in fact received the grant for the nonprofit organization’s emergency repairs, the commissioners this week approved the necessary grant agreements with CDBG and Diakonia.

Nagel said she appreciated the county’s willingness to work with her organization to enable it to apply for the CDBG funding.

“We’re happy the county sees us as a trusted partner,” she said.

According to Diakonia, the grant funding will allow for improvements to both buildings at the Old Bridge Road location. There, the nonprofit provides emergency and transitional housing, emergency food services and counseling. While some upgrades have already been completed, additional repairs have been needed at the facility for some time.

“It allows us to do some capital improvements,” Nagle said, adding that those would include a new roof, new siding, new decking and parking lot enhancements.

She said the repairs wouldn’t have been possible without the CDBG award.

“It’s exciting to be able to do it,” Nagle said. “It could have taken a very long time to raise that kind of funding.”

The work is expected to start in early 2019, likely in February, Nagle said. She doesn’t expect construction to keep Diakonia from its daily operations.

“It’s not like it’s going to put the buildings out of commission,” she said. “Hopefully our patrons will be patient.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.