Along with a forecast of snow, Asheville will experience below normal temperatures the next few days, with lows tonight in the 20s and Friday night in the teens. By Sunday lows are forecast to fall to single digits, prompting the Homeless Coalition to issue a Code Purple alert through Jan. 9.
The CODE PURPLE effort stems from the collaborative work of the Homeless Coalition, which is a collective of agencies, faith groups, and individuals experiencing homelessness that works on an ongoing basis to address the needs of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Asheville area shelters are offering emergency cold weather services to people who are currently experiencing homelessness and would not otherwise have a safe, warm place to stay.
To minimize risk to people in Asheville and Buncombe County, when the temperature falls below 32 degrees (or the equivalent with the wind chill factor) area shelters will designate a CODE PURPLE. Persons experiencing homelessness will have the opportunity to come inside and warm up during the day, even if a shelter would typically be closed. Extra floor, cot, and bed space will be available at overnight shelters to ensure that no one has to stay outside. Shelters are encouraging emergency workers and police to urge people outside at night to come inside.
For any children ages 0-6 with a sibling up to age 10 can be placed in an Angels Watch home free of charge. Parents or shelters can contact 828-775-0837 for immediate child placement.
To avoid confusion at the shelter door, law enforcement officers and those making shelter referrals should check the client’s sex offender status and call the shelter to make sure an individual is not banned from their facility and that overflow space remains available. Shelters hosting children are not able to host registered sex offenders.
Shelters offering CODE PURPLE services include:
A-Hope Day Center, 19 North Ann Street, Asheville, NC 28801.
Open Monday through Friday 7 am-noon, and Saturday through Sunday 8 am-noon.
ABCCM Veteran’s Quarters, 1329 Tunnel Road Asheville, NC 28805
Men only seeking shelter can access the Veteran’s Quarters emergency shelter starting at 4 p.m. The shelter will accommodate additional homeless individuals in a separate classroom building.
Salvation Army, 204 Haywood Street, Asheville NC, 28801
People can come to the agency for overnight emergency shelter services starting at 8 p.m. The Salvation Army will offer overflow spaces through the use of cots, mats, and blankets.
Western Carolina Rescue Ministries, 225 Patton Avenue, Asheville, NC 28801
The agency will post a CODE PURPLE on the top right-hand corner of their website and post a CODE PURPLE indicator on the front door of the shelter each night that CODE PURPLE is in effect. During CODE PURPLE, regular services are enhanced by extending the number of evening overflow spaces through the use of cots, mats and blankets, allowing clients to remain indoors throughout the day in our chapel, encouraging police, paramedics, and other agencies who may encounter people outside to bring people needing shelter after the normal “closed door” time of 6 p.m.
The above organizations and others in the community will be offering other services to assist persons experiencing homelessness throughout the cold winter months.
The Homeless Coalition meets at 12:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month. To learn more, contact co-chair Tracey Childers at email@example.com.