Del. Code Purple Shelters Open After Warm Few Weeks - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Code Purple Shelters Open After Warm Few Weeks

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Code Purple shelters are now open in Delaware. (Photo: WBOC file) Code Purple shelters are now open in Delaware. (Photo: WBOC file)

SEAFORD, Del. - After an unusually warm start to the winter, Delaware's Cold Purple shelters are now open for the area's homeless to stay overnight.

These emergency shelters open when temperatures drop below freezing and are open from around sunset to sunrise.

Nikki Gonzalez, the director of Code Purple, said it's an important mission to provide a warm place to stay this time of year.

"Based on our temperatures last night many people would have frozen," she explained. "And we are actually saving lives because it's too cold to be outside."

Dwayne Heyward stayed at the Code Purple shelter at the Lighted Pathway building in Seaford on Monday night. He is homeless.

"We are people," he said. "Just because we don't have a house, just because we don't have a car, just because we don't have a job, doesn't mean we are any less than anyone else."

Heyward added that the quick switch from warm to cold was particularly alarming.

"You're just like in an abyss, it's crazy man," he said. "The temperatures just boom and then you find yourself with nowhere to go. It's cold."

And these shelters are not just a place to stay warm; they also provide cots, blankets, food, toiletries and more. They even try to provide transportation when possible.

The shelters are open to men, women and children.

Code Purple is funded entirely through donations, specifically through the umbrella organization Love INC, a non-profit run by local churches.

"As the weather gets colder, and it's a hard cold for multiple days, all of a sudden the tent becomes not a safe place anymore," Susan Kent, the executive director of Love INC said. "So people are very grateful that there is an option that is warm and will keep them alive."

Organizers said they are not only looking for donations, but also volunteers to help at the shelters.

For locations and hours, you can check out Sussex County Code Purple's website here, and the Facebook page for Kent County Code Purple.

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