SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As we get closer to the holidays, another season has started for Code Blue in Saratoga. This year, they have a brand new location and they’re hoping they can help even more people.
While many families are busy prepping their thanksgiving meals, some are wondering where they’re going to lay their heads at night to keep warm this holiday. We’re getting into the dangerous season for sleeping outside and Shelters of Saratoga say they have new tools this winter to keep the homeless safe.
With Governor Cuomo’s executive order now requiring shelters to open when temperatures dip to 32 degrees or below, Code Blue Saratoga had to move from the Salvation Army. Now, they have upwards of 50 beds at the Soul Saving Station on Henry Street.
“We have this space, like I said, whenever we want, Salvation Army is now getting into programming again for after school programming so there would be days when we wouldn’t be able to use it if it was below 32 degrees,” Shelters of Saratoga Director Mike Finocchi said.
Their new location is now up and running and Finocchi says so far, it’s been a success.
“We’ve been open 7-8 nights with one or two daytime shifts thrown in there,” Finocchi said. “We do perimeter checks so every hour on the hour, a staff or volunteer goes out down Caroline, down Henry, just checking the area [and] makes sure everything’s okay, makes sure everything’s safe.”
In addition to their new Code Blue spot, Shelters of Saratoga say they have other new tools for their busy season, including a new conference space with computers, to look for jobs and housing. There is also a new industrial size fridge and freezer to store donations.
Finocchi says their next goal is to be able to provide more services all under one roof.
“We are currently looking for trying to work with the city and the county, looking for a permanent location for a Code Blue/Drop-In Center so individuals will be able to stay the night,” Finocchi said.
Shelters of Saratoga say they always need more help when it comes to Code Blue.
They said this year, they really need more overnight volunteers in Saratoga. They also could use more donations. If you’d like to help, you can find more information on their website.