Code Blue Law Passes Senate Committee

Code Blue Law Will Require Counties to Establish Shelters During Severe Weather Events

On January 30, 2017, the Code Blue passed unanimously by Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee except for the vote of one legislator – Senator Steven V. Oroho – who abstained.

The bill is S1088 “Requiring county emergency management coordinators to establish Code Blue Program to shelter homeless during severe weather events.”

The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey and Monarch Housing thanks Senator Jeff Van Drew, and Senator Tom Kean, the prime sponsors, for supporting the bill.

  • The Network and Monarch urges Senator Steve Sweeney to put the bill up for a vote of the full New Jersey Senate on Monday, February 6, 2017.
  • New Jersey has only a partial statewide network of Code Blue shelters and warming centers throughout most counties.
  • Not all counties participate in this alert system. A Code Blue alert for counties that do is typically issued once temperatures drop to 32 degrees or below.
  • Each county/municipality has a different protocol about weather and temperature guidelines. Essex County will only issue a Code Blue alert if the temperature drops below 15 degrees.

With the arrival of the coldest weather this year we need Code Blue statewide in NJ now more than ever.

  • 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.

The Assembly version, A815, was co-sponsored by Assemblymen Bruce Land and Bob Andrzejczk passed the Assembly 63-9-5 on December 19, 2016.

S-1088

Code Blue Shelters and Warming Center

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