ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Essex County’s Code Blue procedures are being activated through Tuesday, Jan. 22, due to extreme cold weather and cold in the forecast, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr. and Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura announced on Thursday.
When a Code Blue is declared, a network of warming stations operated by the county and its municipalities as well as shelters operated by community-based organizations will be opened. Some such locations include the Richard Codey Arena in West Orange and a variety of public libraries, senior centers, civic and community centers, school buildings, houses of worship, firehouses and first aid squad buildings.
“Providing our homeless residents with a warm place to stay during extreme weather conditions is important for their safety and well-being,” said DiVincenzo. “We thank our participating shelters and warming stations who are working with us to open their doors in these times of need.”
Warming stations are generally opened during the day and may not provide overnight accommodations, although some shelters do provide overnight accommodations. In addition, shelters that regularly require occupants to leave during the day will suspend that practice so people can stay indoors.
“Our homeless residents need a warm place to stay when winter weather gets this bad,” said Fontoura. “The organizations opening their doors are providing a great service and helping us protect the safety of these vulnerable residents.”
A list of available warming stations and shelters is available on www.NJ211.org and available by dialing 2-1-1.