Activist Asks New Brunswick to Expand Winter Shelter Program for Homeless

Credits: Photo taken by Ed Yourdon via Flickr

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — Should the city offer shelter to homeless people when it’s warmer than 20 degrees?

New Brunswick operates its Code Blue program, which provides a place for the homeless to spend the night when the temperature drops below 20 degrees or at least 6 inches of snow fall on the ground.

But those guidelines might not be enough to protect homeless people, local activist Eric Nuber said during the Jan. 18 New Brunswick City Council meeting.

Sign Up for E-News

“The hard and fast 20-degree temperature cutoff does little to aid on many frigid nights and instances of inclement weather,” said Nuber, who spoke on behalf of concerned residents and activists. “We are here to ask the City Council to seriously look into allocating additional municipal resources to expanding and bolstering the current Code Blue program.”

For six years, the soup kitchen Elijah’s Promise was the primary Code Blue operator in the area. The city revised the program this winter, taking full control and operating shelters in the basement of City Hall, the Henry Guest House and the community room at the New Brunswick Authority building.

Keith Jones II, the city’s community organization specialist, said last night that the new program offers enough space to accommodate 60 to 80 people, an increase from last year.

What’s more, Jones said, some municipalities don’t kick Code Blue into gear until the temperature hits 15 degrees. Middlesex County, on the other hand, opens its doors at 25 degrees, he said.

“So 20 degrees is the best temperature that we can manage,” Jones told the activist.

Nuber and his peers run a food and clothing drive at the train stations each Sunday, he said. He said they’ve talked with homeless people there who consider the 20-degree benchmark insufficient.

If the city were to open shelters and warming stations when it’s 25 degrees and snowing, Nuber added, that might keep homeless people safer.

“They’re worried,” he said.

New Brunswick stocks the temporary shelters with cots, blankets, toiletries and first aid kits. The city also uses municipal vehicles to transport homeless people to the outposts.

Over six nights this winter, New Brunswick has taken in more than 14 guests from the city and elsewhere.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - March 16, 2018


ON THE RAILS - Another commuting mess this morning, as the antiquated Portal Bridge got stuck in the "up" position at 4:22 a.m.  That caused a bunch of rush hour trains to be cancelled between Newark and Manhattan for four hours or so.  Both NJTransit and Amtrak riders were completely screwed. You may recall the proposed Gateway ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 15, 2018


NEW BRUNSWICK - When you rent out apartments to Rutgers students, expect some surprises. But one landlord received a shocker beyond expectation: a $8,117.07 water bill for the last three months of 2017, TAPInto New Brunswick reports. The landlord went to the City Council meeting this week, pleading that the bill on his Comstock Street ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 14, 2018


TRENTON - Ever since we met Gov. Phil Murphy, he has been talking about the same stuff: higher taxes for the rich, saving NJ Transit, legalizing marijuana, giving more money to public schools and a higher minimum wage. So, when lawmakers went to Trenton yesterday to hear the rookie governor's first budget message, there weren't a lot of ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 13, 2018


TRENTON - As Gov. Phil Murphy prepares to deliver his first budget address at 2 p.m. today, at the State House, observers will be curious if his proposals jive with the state's pension mess. Look for the governor to talk about campaign topics like equal pay, health care, climate change, immigration and offshore drilling, as well as the proposed ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 12, 2018


NEW BRUNSWICK - If you want to succeed in New Jersey, you need to figure out, to some degree, what all these millennials are thinking.  New Jersey Future tried to get to the answer, during a recent day-long event in New Brunswick that NJ Spotlight covered.  Bottom line? Our millennials are fleeing and that is bad. We need them to buy ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 9, 2018


ON THE RAILS - Not only is President Trump against the Gateway Tunnel, it seems he is ready to shut down the entire federal government if any money is budgeted for the desperately-needed infrastructure project. The word from Washington is that Trump is ready to scorch the Earth if Gateway gets just one sawbuck from Uncle Sam. Of course, this dispels all ...

Rutgers Student on Front Lines of Orangutan Conservation, Research

March 15, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Deep in a tropical forest in Borneo 15 years ago, Rutgers student Didik Prasetyo first encountered a young male orangutan that he named “Jerry.”

The great ape was one of several orangutans that Prasetyo and other researchers followed at the Tuanan Orangutan Research Station in the Mawas Conservation Area in Indonesia. Prasetyo was skeptical when colleagues said ...

RU police investigate assault on Douglass campus

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University police are investigating an aggravated assault and attempted sexual assault  reported to March 14 at 3:55 a.m. in front of Hickman Hall on the Douglass campus.


The victim, not affiliated with Rutgers University, reported that she was walking with a male whom she did not know in the area of Commercial Avenue and George ...

Rutgers voices support for proposed state budget

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University officials have often been wary of the governor's annual budget message, wondering what type of budget cuts the university may sustain and how it would potentially impact tuition and the overall quality of education.

This budget message, delivered March 13, appears to be a sigh of relief.

Pete McDonough, Vice President of External Affairs at ...

Latino, Caribbean, Hip Hop, Jazz music, even Yoga and skating, celebrated in city

March 15, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK – Music, cultures and lifestyles will be celebrated in the city all year, with festivals and special events scheduled for weekends from April through October, including the city’s first day to highlight yoga.

City council members this week approved permits for nine events, starting with the traditional Rutgers Day Parade on April 28, which will start on Senior Place ...


This National Literacy Month, Let's Rein In Screen Time

March 13, 2018

Dear Editor: As speech-language pathologists across New Jersey prepare to mark “National March into Literacy Month,” let’s address the alarming number of young children who spend countless hours a day on a handheld screen.

According to a study from the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, the more time that children under two years spend on smartphones, tablets and ...

New Jersey Association of Health Underwriters Clinches Gold Certification

March 16, 2018

NEWARK - The National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) is proud to announce that the New Jersey Association of Health Underwriters has once again received Gold Certification – awarded to the strongest chapters in the nation.

NJAHU achieved Gold Certification from national headquarters underscoring how well the organization has operated and achieved its lofty goals in the ...