By: Lauren T. Agnew
On Friday, December 16th, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. and Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura announced that Essex County’s Code Blue procedures are being activated because of extreme cold weather in the forecast.
The Code Blue will only be effective from Sunday, December 18th, at 8 p.m. through Wednesday, December 21st, at 8 a.m., nights.
“Providing our homeless residents with a warm place to stay during extreme weather conditions is important for their safety and well-being. We thank our participating shelters and warming stations who are working with us to open their doors in these times of need,” DiVincenzo said.
“Our homeless residents need a warm place to stay when winter weather gets this bad. The organizations opening their doors are providing a great service and helping us protect the safety of these vulnerable residents,” Fontoura said.
When a Code Blue is declared, a network of warming stations operated by the County and its municipalities and shelters operated by community-based organizations will be opened.
The warming stations identified include a variety of public libraries, senior centers, civic and community centers, school buildings, houses of worship, firehouses and first aid squad buildings.
Warming stations are generally open during the day and may not provide overnight accommodations.
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.
A list of participating shelters is copied below or can be viewed by visiting www.NJ211.org or dialing 2-1-1.