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REACH Riverside offers relief to Ida flood victims

Courtesy of Sidney Kellam's family

Residents of a portion of Wilmington’s East Side, their homes swamped last month by the rampaging waters of the overflowing Brandywine, will soon be receiving some unexpected relief, courtesy of the REACH Riverside redevelopment initiative.

Adapting the model it used to support residents of the Wilmington Housing Authority’s Riverside community during the first stages of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, REACH Riverside will be offering up to $2,500 in debit cards to 200 or more families, and some small businesses as well, that were victimized by flooding caused by Hurricane Ida.

“We know that more than 200 families and businesses were impacted, and some have not been able to stay in their homes,” says Logan Herring, CEO of the WRK Group, a partnership that includes REACH Riverside, Kingswood Community Center and The Warehouse, the teen-oriented center that became a focal point for many relief efforts following the storm.

The relief program will target the area known as the 11th Street Bridge Colony – primarily Vandever Avenue and East 12th Street, just north of the Brandywine, Herring said. The only qualification for receiving the debit cards is “showing proof of residence in the neighborhood,” he said.

Details for distribution are still being worked out, he said, but, as was the case in the summer of 2020 during the pandemic, TD Bank will be issuing the debit cards in $250 denominations. There are no restrictions on how recipients may use the cards.

REACH Riverside began raising funds for the relief effort soon after the storm hit and already has $700,000 set aside, Herring said early this week.

Last year REACH Riverside distributed $1,250 – $250 per month for five months – to nearly 300 WHA households during a period of peak unemployment caused by the pandemic. The funds were intended to support households that had suffered a loss of income so they could obtain essential items that could not be purchased through other subsidy programs, like EBT/SNAP and WIC.

To make a contribution to support the relief effort, or other REACH Riverside initiatives, visit

Correction:  REACH Riverside distributed $1,250 or $250 per month for five months to nearly 300 WHA households during the pandemic.  The piece previously stated it was $750 o $250 for 3 months.  Delaware Public Media apologizes for the error.

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