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DHSS Press Release

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

Date: March 5, 2015


NEW CASTLE (March 5, 2015) - With the forecast calling for 4 to 8 inches of snow across the state and much colder overnight temperatures, Code Purple declarations have been made in all three counties.

The volunteer-organized and volunteer-run Code Purple sites in houses of worship and community centers provide a sanctuary during snowstorms and sub-freezing temperatures for people who don't have a home. The National Weather Service's winter storm warning for all three counties continues through 7 p.m. today, with snow totals ranging from 4 to 8 inches and overnight lows Thursday and Friday in the teens.

"I want to thank all of the volunteer-organized Code Purple sites across our state for supporting people who are homeless throughout this long winter season," Gov. Jack Markell said. "Many of these locations report being at capacity on most nights. To me, this is truly neighbors helping neighbors."

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, and additional daytime sanctuaries may be available.

The Salvation Army has declared Code Purple in Wilmington for Thursday and Friday, the 37th and 38th nights of Code Purple this winter. The schedule:

Newark: Code Purple is in effect in Newark on Thursday and Friday nights, 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 Sunday, March 8. Morning leave time is 7 a.m. for each day listed. Call 1-800-733-6816 for any further updates this week. The schedule and locations:

Addresses for the Sanctuaries:


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:

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, backpacks, 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.

"We are grateful to the volunteers across our state who have provided so much support, safety and comfort this winter to people who are homeless," Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf said. "The Code Purple sites not only provide for people's basic needs, but they also give them hope. Until government and nonprofit partners can find transitional or permanent housing for all of the individuals and families who are homeless in our state, we are grateful for the critical service that the Code Purple locations are providing."

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.