The Edgemoor Revitalization Cooperative Resource House is tucked away in the Edgemoor Gardens neighborhood just north of the city of Wilmington. With a neighborhood of close to 2,000 residents, the ERC Resource House provides empowerment opportunities for residents.
Under the leadership of Cheri Whitney, Edgemoor Gardens became one of ten Blueprint Communities in Delaware focused on improved sustainability and quality of life for families. The Blueprint program in Delaware is a partnership between the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh and the University of Delaware Center for Community Research. The program provides intensive training, technical assistance, coaching as well as initial seed funding to competitively selected neighborhoods throughout the state to help them formulate plans to revitalize their communities.
Through the Resource House, families have access a number of resources to help lift them out of poverty. Whitney says the goal of the Resource House is to create a family environment.
“We have a core group of 40-50 residents who are ready to take the community to the next level of comfort,” she says. “We want to make this a community of choice where people want to live here.”
Over the summer, the Food Bank of Delaware provided free meals to children in Edgemoor Gardens through the Summer Food Service Program and weekend meals through the Summer Backpack Program. Each day 50 children visited the Resource House for a nutritious lunch.
“If it wasn’t for Cheri, half the kids in the neighborhood would not have meals,” said one parent during lunchtime.
In addition to distributing free meals all summer long, ERC also distributed backpacks just before the start of school thanks to the generosity of the Wilmington Flower Market.
Programming at the ERC Resource House is yearlong. Whitney and her team are proud to host an after-school teen program, funded by the Delaware Department of Education. Participants attend the program Monday-Thursday and take field trips to colleges and hold career days and more.
Gardens also play an important role in creating a healthier, happier and greener community. Gardens are spread throughout the community educating community members about healthy eating and beautifying the community.
Check out some more pictures from our visit to ERC!