Catholic Charities receives grant to help prevent homelessness in Kent County

October 25, 2019 – Dover, DE – Catholic Charities recently received a $28,000 grant from the Potter Trust to help relieve homelessness for clients in Kent County, Delaware. The CenDel Foundation and the Delaware Community Foundation, which administer funds from the Potter Trust — a gift left by Col. Potter — announced Thursday they have distributed more than $230,000 in grants to nonprofits this year focused on emergency housing, homelessness, hunger and health care.

Even though Col. Benjamin Potter died almost 200 years ago, he continues to touch numerous lives in Delaware every day. Col. Potter (1769-1843), the former owner of the Parson Thorne Mansion and farm in Milford, was not only a generous person, he also had a keen foresight that continues to help the economically underprivileged in Kent County today.

The grant amounts ranged from $4,000 to $28,000.
Charlie Sterner, a former CenDel board member and current chair of the Potter Trust Grant Committee, said he is always taken aback by the legacy that was left by Col. Potter.

“Benjamin Potter, when he passed away, his will provided for a trust to be set up with the income from that trust to benefit underprivileged folks in Kent County,” Mr. Sterner said. “That’s where the funding comes from. The trust has several million dollars in it and the income from that trust that’s earned each year is distributed via these grants into the community to benefit underprivileged folks in our county. It’s been a huge benefit to those people that need it.”

Michael DiPaolo, vice president for the Delaware Community Foundation in southern Delaware, is new to the Potter Trust but he is still amazed by what it accomplishes.

“Once I found out about the Potter Trust and the great work that it does in Kent County I was really excited that this gets to be a part of my job — helping people in Kent County to better their lives and help them through tough times,” Mr. DiPaolo said. “To think that we’re a part of something that’s been going on for 176 years, and will be going on 176 years from now, is pretty remarkable.”