Code Purple called, as snowy weather moves into Asheville

The National Weather Service has placed Asheville and Buncombe County under a Winter Weather Advisory from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday. Jan. 29. According to the Weather Service, there is an 80% chance of snow on Tuesday, with a small accumulation possible, in the 1 to 3 inch range.

This will be accompanied by temperatures in the teens overnight, prompting, the Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Coalition to call for a Code Purple Jan. 28-Feb. 1.

The purpose of the CODE PURPLE procedure is to provide a coordinated effort among Asheville and Buncombe County, North Carolina shelters and other organizations to provide emergency overflow shelter to people experiencing homelessness in the event of severe weather conditions.

In extremely cold conditions, the CODE PURPLE sites will provide shelter beyond their normal program capacity.  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.

Children ages 0-6 with a sibling up to age 10 can be placed in an Angels Watch home free of charge. Referrals from shelters or parents can be made to or by calling placement coordinator George Gillette at 828-775-4343 for immediate child placement.

For additional information, contact Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Coalition Co-Chairs Tracey Childers at 828-275-7008 or Katie Beth Caswell at 828-398-6627.