A “Code Purple” status is being declared by nonprofit and volunteer organizations across the state to keep homeless people safe during dangerous winter weather, according to the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.
With wind chills expected to be in the single digits to the low teens Monday and Tuesday — and overnight temperatures even colder — the risk for frostbite and/or hypothermia will increase, after even a short time outside, DHSS officials said.
With these conditions, the organizations that manage Code Purple sites are making additional beds and shelter space available statewide.
However, because of the pandemic and the need for social distancing, capacity is limited.
The openings are as follows:
- Wilmington — The city, The Salvation Army and Friendship House have declared a 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 p.m. Individuals also will need to register in person at 720 N. Orange St., Wilmington. There is space for about 15 people at this site.
- Newark — The Friendship House and the Newark Empowerment Center are connecting people with overnight stays at a rotating group of churches Monday and Tuesday nights. Registration, including a rapid COVID-19 test, is required. To register and learn the location, visit the center at 62 E. Delaware Ave., between 1-3:30 p.m. Tuesday. For more information, call 302-544-0165. There is space for about 10 people.
- Middletown — Code Purple has been declared for Monday and Tuesday nights. Registration, including a rapid COVID-19 test, is required. Call 302-416-0982 between 9-11:30 a.m. to learn of the location. Those interested need to register in person at 44 W. Main St. There is space for about 10 people.
- Dover — Code Purple Kent County has ongoing sanctuaries (call 800-733-6816 or visit here), with check-in beginning at 5:30 p.m. and checkout at 8 a.m. The site for men is The People’s Church of Dover, 46 S. Bradford St. Women and children are being directed to Maranatha Life Changing Church, 1235 E. Division St., Dover.
- Sussex County: Code Purple shelters are housed in area churches, with a central location for an evening meal. For more information, call 302-519-0024 or visit here. There will be two men’s shelters available: Stein Highway Church of God, 425 Stein Highway, Seaford (check-in is at 8 p.m., and checkout is at 7 a.m.) and Avenue United Methodist Church, 20 N. Church Ave., Milford (check-in is from 8:30-9 p.m., and checkout is at 7 a.m.). Women will be directed to Grace Seaford Church, 805 Atlanta Road (check-in is from 8:30-9 p.m., and checkout is at 7 a.m.). And women with or without children can visit Milford Church of the Nazarene, 11 N.W. Salevan Place (check-in is from 8-9 p.m., and checkout is at 7 a.m.). In eastern Sussex, a Code Purple shelter will be set up in the former Delaware State Police Troop 7 building, 18006 Coastal Highway, Lewes. That shelter’s hours are 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.