Code Purple Keeps Del. Homeless Warm During Surprising Snowfall - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Code Purple Keeps Del. Homeless Warm During Surprising Snowfall

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Shelter covered in snow in Seaford, Del. (Photo: WBOC) Shelter covered in snow in Seaford, Del. (Photo: WBOC)

SEAFORD, Del. - Monday morning's cold weather and heavy snowfall made Sussex County's Code Purple shelters all the more necessary.

As soon as the sun rose, Frances Bivens of Biven's Landscaping and Construction took to the streets with his shovel.

"Well, we heard it was going to be some rain and some snow but we didn't expect this much snow," he said. "We thought maybe it was gonna be a dusting, but I try to keep an eye on it. So this morning I woke up at 3 a.m. and I looked out the window, wow, I said, 'I better get out on my job.'"

And within hours, snowfall coated homes and streets.

Since it snowed so much, and it has been a particularly cold couple of days, it isn't a day you would want to spend more than a few hours outdoors, let alone try to sleep in. That was something Doug Gibbs was worried about. After getting divorced and losing his job, he found himself with nowhere to go.

"You know people look at us like they think we drug addicts, alcoholics. You know we're not, we're just like you and him," he explained. "We just need a chance, we just need somewhere to go."

Delaware's Code Purple shelters have been open most nights since New Years, and while they typically are for overnight guests, this weekend and today, some open all day to keep people warm.

Rich Boyd, who is an overnight volunteer at St. Luke's Parish House in Seaford, said these emergency shelters are a necessity.

"These people really need to be able to stay out of the cold and wet," he said. "It's just nasty to be out."

"I'm very grateful, and I can speak for myself and everyone else: without this we would be on the streets," Gibbs added. "We might even be dead right now."

If you want to help, Code Purple staffers said they are running low on gloves, but most importantly need more overnight volunteers in order to give their current ones a break. More information is on their website, or you can call (302) 519-0024.

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