Code Purple shelters to open as bitter cold sets in

Charlie Megginson Government, Headlines

Code Purple shelters throughout Delaware will be open Monday and Tuesday nights as temperatures dip into the teens and wind chills creep into the single digits.

Code Purple shelters throughout Delaware will be open Monday and Tuesday nights as wind chills dip into the single digits across much of the state. 

Overnight lows are expected to range between the high teens and low 20s, presenting a risk for frostbite and hypothermia after even a short time outside. 

Code Purple shelters are operated by nonprofit and volunteer organizations and open when severe winter weather would otherwise jeopardize the safety of homeless Delawareans. 

Code Purple declarations, which vary by county and site, open up additional beds and warm shelter space beyond the shelter beds that are available year-round.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing, capacity within the shelters is limited.  

To be connected with Code Purple resources, those in need may call individual shelter locations or the Delaware Housing Alliances Centralized Intake Line at 1-833-FIND-BED (833-346-3233). 

Delawareans who observe an individual who appears to be homeless are advised to encourage them to seek emergency shelter or report the situation to a non-emergency police number.

Health Secretary Molly Magarik said in a press release that dropping temperatures, strong winds and wind chills arriving in Delaware throughout the early part of this week will result in dangerous conditions outside. 

“We encourage anyone without a place to go to find a spot at a Code Purple shelter,” Magarik said.

Gov. John Carney hailed the shelters as “the true meaning of neighbors helping neighbors,” and said he is especially thankful to the nonprofits and volunteers who operate Code Purple shelters, even in the midst of the pandemic.

New Castle County

  • Wilmington: The City of Wilmington, the Salvation Army and Friendship House have declared Code Purple for Monday and Tuesday nights. The Salvation Army building operates a shelter for women and children only at 400 N. Orange St. To register, call 302-652-8033 between 8 a.m. and 2 pm, and individuals also will need to register in person at 720 N. Orange St., Wilmington. Space for about 15 people. 
  • Newark: Friendship House has declared Code Purple for Monday and Tuesday nights. The Newark Empowerment Center connects people with overnight stays at a rotating group of churches when Code Purple is declared. Pre-registration, including a rapid COVID-19 test, is required. To register and get the location, visit the center at 62 E. Delaware Ave., between 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. daily. For more information, call 302-544-0165. Space for about 10 people.
  • Middletown: Code Purple has been declared for Monday and Tuesday nights. Pre-registration, including a rapid COVID-19 test, is required. Call 302-416-0982 between 9 and 11:30 a.m. daily, but also will need to register in person at 44 W. Main St., Middletown. Space for about 10 people.
Kent County

  • Code Purple Kent County has ongoing sanctuaries (hotline is 1-800-733-6816 or www.codepurplekentcounty.com), with check-in beginning at 5:30 p.m. and check-out at 8 a.m. The sites: 
    • Men: Peoples Church, 46 S. Bradford St. Dover. 
    • Women and children: Maranatha Life Changing Church, 1235 E. Division St., Dover.
Sussex County

  • Western Sussex: Code Purple shelters are housed in churches, with a central location for an evening meal. Fore more information call the hotline at302-519-0024 or visit codepurplesussexcounty.com
    • For men: Church of God, 425 Stein Highway, Seaford. Check-in is at 8 p.m. and check-out is at 7 a.m.
    • For women: Grace Seaford Church, 805 Atlanta Road, Seaford. Check-in is from 8:30-9 p.m. and check-out is at 7 a.m.
    • For men: Avenue United Methodist Church, 20 N. Church Ave., Milford. Check-in is from 8:30-9 p.m. and check-out is at 7 a.m. 
    • For women and children: Milford Nazarene, 11 NW Salevan Place, Milford. Check-in is from 8-9 p.m. and check-out is at 7 a.m. 
  • Eastern Sussex: This Code Purple location operates all winter at the former Troop 7 Building, 18006 Coastal Highway, Lewes. Shelter hours are 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. To reserve a spot, call: 
    • 8 a.m.-2 p.m.: 302-269-7050 
    • After 2 p.m.: 302-519-0024

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