SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Those running Saratoga's first
ever Code Blue program say they want to keep the homeless from sleeping in
Congress Park on nights when the temperature is expected to drop.
Saratoga Springs, for the first time ever, has created an
initiative to helping the homeless stay warm and sheltered during extreme
winter weather. The program organized just last week is now up and running with
its Code Blue Emergency beginning at 4 p.m. Christmas Eve.
Code Blue is an effort to aid the homeless in seeking
shelter rather than sleeping outside in 10-degree or lower temperatures. The
homeless can come to St. Peter's Church on Hamilton Street and sleep on a warm
bed and have a hot meal.
The program is being modeled after the only other shelter
in the Capital Region that provides Code Blue, The Capital City Rescue Mission.
Springs Mayor Elect Joanne Yepsen and others felt compelled to act when a
homeless woman died this month while outside overnight in the city.
sorry I didn't know her better and I think we all feel so much remorse that we
didn't do this sooner and that we're not going to let this ever happen again,”
Liz Hitt, who is in charge of calling for a Code Blue
Emergency said what the Saratoga program needs most, is the public's support.
“If you'd like to donate in support of this program
you can send your check to Shelters of Saratoga,” said Hitt. “Just mark it Code
Blue. We're also going to need volunteers. We're happy to train
Those organizing Tuesday night's Code Blue say the only
way to spread this information to the homeless is by word of mouth, so they've
been on the streets letting them know about the shelter and handing out flyers
telling them where to go.
If you know of anyone or see someone outside who needs
shelter you should call Saratoga Police or direct them to St. Peter's Church.