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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: February 17, 2015


NEW CASTLE (Feb. 17, 2015) - With another blast of arctic-cold temperatures forecast for Delaware, Code Purple declarations have been extended in New Castle County, with the likelihood that they will be extended across the state into next week.

The Salvation Army has extended its Code Purple declaration for New Castle County to include Wednesday and Thursday nights, with the possibility of an extension beyond that. "The long-range forecast continues to be rough," Code Purple organizers said.

The volunteer-organized and volunteer-run Code Purple sites in houses of worship and community centers provide a sanctuary during sub-freezing temperatures for people who are homeless. The National Weather Service is forecasting possible record-low temperatures nearing zero across Delaware on Thursday into Friday.

"The sustained low temperatures across our state are a danger to anyone who is outside for an extended period," Gov. Jack Markell said. "I commend the volunteers who are sustaining the Code Purple sites across our state as they offer a warm and safe place for people who have nowhere else to go. I urge Delawareans to reach out to the Code Purple location nearest them to offer their support."

Since Code Purple sites use volunteers to manage operations, the activation and implementation vary by county and site. To be connected to Code Purple resources, call Delaware 2-1-1, or search for "Code Purple" on the Delaware 2-1-1 mobile app or on its website at


The lead agency for Code Purple in New Castle County is Friendship House, which operates two Code Purple winter sanctuary programs - one in Wilmington and the other in Newark at the Newark Empowerment Center. The Wilmington program is operated in collaboration with the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army has extended Code Purple in Wilmington to now include Wednesday and Thursday nights. The schedule:

Newark: Code Purple is in effect in Newark through Thursday night, operating from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. in church space provided by eight different Newark faith communities on a rotating basis. Space in most places is limited to one or at most two rooms and can accommodate no more than 25 guests who are homeless. People in need are encouraged to pre-register from 1-4 p.m. daily at the Newark Empowerment Center, 69 E. Main St., Newark.


Code Purple has been extended through Saturday, Feb. 21. Morning leave time is 7 a.m. for each day listed. Various churches and community centers offer daytime warm-up hours. Call 1-800-733-6816 for any further updates this week. The schedule and locations:

Tuesday, Feb. 17
Dover Presbyterian Church (men only): Opens 5 p.m. (overflow to Dover Interfaith)
Calvary Baptist Church (women and children): Opens 5 p.m.
Milford Community Center (women and children): Opens 5 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 18
Dover Presbyterian Church (men only): Opens 5 p.m.
Wyoming UMC (men only): Opens 6 p.m.
Wesley UMC (women and children): Opens 5 p.m.
Milford Community Center (women and children): Opens 5 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 19
Dover Presbyterian Church (men only): Opens 5 p.m.
Wyoming UMC (men only): Opens 6 p.m.
Wesley UMC (women and children): Opens 5 p.m.
Milford Community Center (women and children): Opens 5 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 20
Dover Presbyterian Church (men only): Opens 5 p.m.
Christ Church (men only): Opens 5 p.m.
Shepherd's Place (women and children): Opens 5 p.m.
Milford Community Center (women and children): Opens 5 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 21
Dover Presbyterian Church (men only): Opens 5 p.m. (overflow Dover Interfaith)
Shepherd's Place (women and children): Opens 5 p.m.
Milford Community Center (women and children): Opens 5 p.m.


Calvary Baptist Church, 410 Fulton St., Dover
Christ Church 523 S. State St., Dover
Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing, 684 Forest St., Dover (302-736-3600)
Dover Presbyterian Church, 54 S. State St., Dover (entrance is on Reed Street)
Milford Community Center, 105 NE Front St., Milford
Mt Carmel Church, 117 N. West St., Dover
Shepherd's Place, 1362 S. Governor's Ave., Dover
Wesley United Methodist Church, 209 S. State St., Dover (building behind the church on
East North Street - purple lights in the window)
Wyoming United Methodist Church, 216 Wyoming Mill Road, Dover


While there is not a defined lead agency that officially activates Code Purple, there are several local champions and Code Purple sites that lead efforts to support people who are homeless in Sussex County. These include:

Eastern Sussex: Faith Methodist United Methodist Church supports the operation of Immanuel Emergency Shelter, 37439 Oyster House Road, Rehoboth Beach, from Monday through Friday throughout the winter.

Western Sussex: Code Purple has been declared beginning today through next Wednesday, Feb. 18. Call Nikki at 302-519-0024. Both locations will have slightly extended hours on Saturdays and Sundays. The sites are:

Stein Highway Church of God (for men), 425 E. Stein Highway, Seaford. Hours are 7 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. The church operates a day-care center from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Gateway Fellowship (for women and children), 8110 Cannon Road, Bridgeville. Hours are 8:30 p.m. to 7:45 a.m. The women are transported to Gateway after eating dinner at Stein Highway with the men. The women are brought back into Seaford at the ACE Center at 8 a.m. each day.

"The Code Purple locations across our state have been operating for an extended period this winter," Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf said. "I encourage Delawareans to offer their time as volunteers to the location nearest them, or to donate coats, blankets, gloves, boots, toiletries, food, coffee or a cash donation. We can show our gratitude to the Code Purple locations for the critical service they provide our neighbors by donating whatever we can."

Many of the Code Purple sites often need more volunteers, and more donations of money, sleeping supplies and food. The list of needed items include: blankets, cots, sleeping bags, towels and wash cloths, hand wipes and sanitizers, feminine products, toothbrushes and toothpaste, disinfectant spray, hats, scarves, gloves, boots, long underwear, coats, hand or feet warmers, bottled water, pre-cooked or frozen meals, instant hot drinks, ready-to-eat food with easy-opening lids, and garbage bags.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.