ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) –The Homeless and Travelers Aid Society (HATAS) have issued a Homeless Code Blue Weather Alert for November 6th– 8th this coming week.
A Code Blue Alert is issued when the “real feel” temperature is expected to be 32 degrees or less, which includes the wind chill factor.
Designated places will offer food and assistance in finding a permanent home, so individuals are not in this type of situation in the future.
“They don’t have to comply with the normal program requirements, they can just come in from them cold, have something to eat and have a safe place to sleep,” said Liz Hitt, Homeless and Travelers Aid Society, executive director.
“I don’t know what I’d do. I’d probably be sleeping on the streets,” said Bill Case, who stays at the Rescue Mission.
Bill Case cannot imagine what he’d do without the Capital City Rescue Mission in Albany, a place that’s become a home.
“They always treat me with open arms and anything I’ve ever needed or asked for I’ve always got,” Case said.
That’s especially the case when it starts getting cold outside.
“They’ve gone right up and gotten me a jacket out of Blessingdales, a winter jacket,” Case said.
It’s one of three shelters in Albany County that open up to anyone in need when Code Blue is in effect. The Homeless and Travelers Aid Society is responsible for this alert when temperatures drop below 32 degrees and can also issue the alert in advance if the weather forecast indicates such. This coming week, temperatures are expected to be below 32 at various times Monday through Wednesday nights.
“It’s going to be really windy and a little bit rainy,” Hitt said.
The shelters will offer a place to sleep, provide food and give advice to those in need of shelter long-term.
“Working with people to make sure that they’re not in this place next year,” Hitt said.
So far, the Rescue Mission is ready.
“We do things in advance, especially for the cold. We get extra blankets and all the things that’s needed, extra coats,” said Kevin Anderson, Capital City Rescue Mission RA supervisor.
One person who no doubt will be there is Bill Case.
“You know you’ve got a place to stay and they treat you good and I’m just grateful it’s here,” Case said.
Homeless people should go to the Capital City Rescue Mission on 259 South Pearl Street, the Interfaith Partnership for the Homeless Safe Haven 26 South Swan Street or the Council of Churches Overflow Shelter on 646 State Street, all in Albany.
Homeless people can also call the HATAS Homeless Hotline at (518) 463-2124.