Now, a South Jersey assemblyman, Bob Andrzejczak (D-Cape May, Atlantic, Cumberland) is seeking to establish a Code Blue program in every one of the state’s 21 counties, requiring by law that county emergency management coordinators adopt plans to provide shelter to the homeless and other at-risk residents during severe weather occurrences.
“Freezing and record-breaking heat temperatures can cause life-threatening conditions for residents without sufficient shelter,” Andrzejczak said. “A Code Blue program is essential to helping many residents to find shelter when extreme weather hits. When the resources are available, we should use them to protect those who are having a hard time in severe weather.”
This is the third winter for the Cumberland County Code Blue organization, which was founded after a man, apparently seeking warmth, was found dead inside a Bridgeton clothing donation box. Under the guidance of such dedicated leaders as the Rev. Rob Weinstein and Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly, volunteers are trained and mobilized to staff shelters and meal programs. Since its first year in Bridgeton, Code Blue has also established shelters in Millville and Vineland.
A Code Blue alert is declared whenever temperatures drop below the freezing point and weather conditions pose a danger to the homeless population.
The Code Blue Alert allows authorities to take homeless people to local shelters or other agencies, known as Warming Centers. These shelters make additional beds and space available until conditions improve and the alert is called off.
Legal Services New Jersey has compiled a list of Code Blue Shelters and Warming Centers across the state. Please note Code Blue shelters and Warming Centers are only able to help people in need when a Code Blue has been issued by the county.
To find out if a Code Blue Alert has been issued in a particular county, please contact either the local police municipalities or visit the county/town website.
Click here for a link of Code Blue Shelters and Warming Centers.
Click here for information about Code Blue Alerts for each county.