NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The city is revising its program to shelter the homeless during the winter months, officials said Thursday.
City Spokesman Jennifer Bradshaw said that the “Code Blue” program, designed to keep homeless people sheltered and warm during extreme cold periods, is being revised to better fill the need of the community.
The program goes into effect when the temperature falls below 20 degrees or if six or more inches of accumulating snow takes place, the release said.
In that circumstance, designated spaces are opened to homeless residents for warmth and shelter overnight, according to the release.
This winter, the city will have three designated shelter locations at the Henry Guest House, 60 Livingston Avenue, the lower floor of City Hall at 78 Bayard St. and the community room of the New Brunswick Housing Authority Building at 7 Van Dyke Avenue, according to the city.
Transportation to the shelters would be provided by vehicles from the city’s fleet as well as Recreation Department and Senior Center vans, the release said.
Cots, blankets, toiletries and first aid kits will be available to meet the basic needs of those using the shelters, the release said.
Elijah’s Promise, FEMA, the United Way and the Middlesex County Board of Social Services will provide additional assistance, according to the release.
“Our revised Code Blue plan will allow us to better link the City’s network of staff, vehicles and public locations with our social service agencies that address homelessness, allowing us all to better serve those that are in need of shelter during harsh weather,” Mayor Jim Cahill said in the release. “Working in partnership with these agencies, we’ve been able to establish protocol that better serves the needs of our residents and we are optimistic that this plan will take the work we’re doing to the next level of progress.”
According to the city, Elijah’s promise was used as one of two shelter locations last year, but will change this year to focus on being opened for extended hours during the day for people to stay out of the cold and provide other services to those in need such as, transportation to the three shelters, reach out to homeless individuals, deliver refreshments, provide hygiene kits and blankets, according to the release.
“Elijah’s Promise has been truly privileged to serve as the primary Code Blue warming location in Middlesex County for the past six years and we are so grateful to the many supporters, collaborating agencies, and the City of New Brunswick for assisting us with the resources to address this critical need,” Elijah’s Promise Executive Director Jim Zullo said. “More importantly, we are extremely enthusiastic about the City’s new and expanded Code Blue program which will provide a higher level of service to homeless individuals seeking refuge from frigid and dangerous weather conditions and we look forward to working with the City to support the new program.”
Code Blue notifications will be made via the City of New Brunswick’s website, Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as the New Brunswick Police Department’s Nixle account.
For more information or for volunteer opportunities with Code Blue, please contact Keith Jones, Community Organization Specialist for the City of New Brunswick at (732) 246-5353 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.