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+ Lessons Learned and the Path Forward Mayor Albert Kelly & Dr. Rob Weinstein CODE BLUE PROGRAM: A Community Partnership to Help the Homeless.

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Presentation on theme: "+ Lessons Learned and the Path Forward Mayor Albert Kelly & Dr. Rob Weinstein CODE BLUE PROGRAM: A Community Partnership to Help the Homeless."— Presentation transcript:

1 + Lessons Learned and the Path Forward Mayor Albert Kelly & Dr. Rob Weinstein CODE BLUE PROGRAM: A Community Partnership to Help the Homeless

2 + What is Code Blue? Bridgeton’s Code Blue program is a partnership initiated by Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly involving the City of Bridgeton, community volunteers, and several area churches provides temporary shelter in designated “warming centers” for homeless individuals when temperatures drop dangerously low or frozen precipitation is expected during the overnight hours.

3 + What Code Blue IS NOT… NOT A City-Run Taxpayer-Funded Project NOT A Religious Initiative no person will be required to participate in any religious activity or practice in order to receive services or shelter in a designated Code Blue Warming Center and no person shall be denied temporary shelter or discriminated against based on religious belief, refusal to hold a religious belief, or refusal to actively participate in a religious practice or activity

4 + What Code Blue is… CODE BLUE IS A COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP between government, churches, organizations, and private citizens Code Blue is open to all persons in need If an individual voluntarily asks about religious matters or beliefs of the church hosting the Code Blue Warming Center or freely chooses to participate in a religious activity or practice taking place at a church hosting a Code Blue Warming Center; these individuals will not be discouraged from such inquiry or participation, but nothing shall be required of them

5 + When Is Code Blue Activated? A Code Blue is in effect when temps are 25 degrees or below with no precipitation or 32 degrees or below with precipitation, according to Weather.com for our local zip code. The Mayor of the City of Bridgeton calls a Code Blue and communicates with Warming Center locations (Churches), volunteers, police, EMS, and public works.

6 + Code Blue Facilities Operating strictly on a volunteer basis, designated Code Blue Warming Centers were established at St. Andrews Church (186 E. Commerce Street), Bethany Grace Community Church (31 N. Pearl Street), and the Salvation Army (29 W. Commerce Street) in December of 2013 to serve the most basic need of the city’s homeless population for overnight shelter during the winter months.

7 + Who works at a Code Blue facility? Code Blue Warming Centers will be in one of the three churches mentioned above. Because of that, Warming centers are supervised and staffed by members of that church along with other community volunteers who donate their time to Code Blue. Volunteers can sign-up on the City website or at

8 + A Code Blue Evening… 6:00 PM- Site Opens 6 PM- 8 PM- A Light Dinner is Served 7 PM- 9 PM- Watch a Movie 10:30 PM- Lights Out & Suggested Curfew 5:30 AM- Wake Guests and Serve Breakfast 6:00 AM- Clean-Up & Shut-Down (Individual sites may elect to extend the hours of operation)

9 + Volunteering Volunteers work in shifts staffing the Warming Centers. The first shift is from 6:00pm to 10:00pm, the second shift is from 10:00pm to 2:00am, and the third shift is from 2:00am to 6:00am on the nights a Code Blue is in effect. Volunteers help to organize cots, distribute meals, perform general housekeeping in the area, and be available in case any small tasks need to be done. Volunteers are encouraged to bring a book or a magazine to read to help pass the time while the people sleep.

10 + Safety Concerns As a Community Partnership, Code Blue works cooperatively with the local police department. Any issues that arise, the Police will respond promptly. However, very few issues have arisen as most guests are thankful for a place to stay.

11 + Needs for Code Blue “Heater Meals”- More Cots and More Facilities- Ideally we need two locations for each Code Blue activation (for ) VOLUNTEERS!- Churches and Community Groups are invited to “Adopt-A-Night” by staffing the site for the evening. Organization Sponsors for Meals & Serving

12 + The Path Forward Atlantic City Rescue-Mission, faith-based community driven model shelter that moves people from homelessness to homes and employment. Collaborative Support Services Private, Non-Profit that is governed by interested Churches.

13 + Thank you… Pastor Ellen Rutherford & Captains James and Maria Stephenson, as well as the host Churches! Thank you to Kevin Rabago! Thank you to the City of Bridgeton Police Department! THANK YOU TO YOU & THE COUNTLESS VOLUNTEERS!!!


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