VIDEO: Cumberland County Code Blue Officially ActivatedPosted:
CUMBERLAND COUNTY - As the temperature continues to go down, the amount of beds for the homeless go up. Tonight’s temperature is expected to hit below 25 degrees, which calls for a Code Blue in Cumberland County.
“Cots were purchased by donated funds," said Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly. "And the blankets and the pillows were all donated over the season. All year-round people are giving things, items to us, so that we can make it a comfortable warming center.”
From 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. tonight and tomorrow, various warming centers in Bridgeton, Millville, and Vineland will be opening for the homeless. They will be served a dinner, provided a place to sleep, and get a light breakfast in the morning.
“You can come in just for a meal, or if you need to stay, you are assigned a bed," said Nina Young, Bridgeton coordinator of Code Blue. "The guests are made as comfortable as they can be for their night stay.”
Code Blue volunteers have been busy all day preparing beds and getting ready for tonight’s visitors. At the Church of the Resurrection St. Andrew’s, they’re expecting about 30 visitors tonight, with the county’s first Code Blue of the season.
“I have the advantage of going home every night, and they don’t," said Young. "So just being able to help them out is very wonderful.”
“I enjoy it all because you’re helping a need," said Mayor Kelly. "You’re helping somebody stay warm and you’re helping somebody to make it through the day."
Mayor Kelly helped launch Code Blue, and now different areas across the state are looking to start a similar program. First-District Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak has put together a bill that would require all New Jersey counties to declare a Code Blue 24 hours before severe weather is expected to begin.
“People like success; people love to help," said Mayor Kelly. "And so once you get started, people will gravitate to it.”
If you're interested in donating or volunteering, visit the code blue website at www.m25initiative.org/cumberlandcountycodeblue.
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