Division of Developmental Disabilities Services Announces Data Breach; Call Center: 1-833-875-0644 (9 am - 9 pm Mon-Fri) Learn More

Current Suspected Overdose Deaths in Delaware for 2022: Get Help Now!

Find school water testing results and additional resources

Delaware.gov logo

DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Date: January 21, 2016


NEW CASTLE (Jan. 21, 2016) - With an array of storm watches already posted across Delaware, Code Purple locations will be opening Friday in all three counties for individuals who are homeless and need a place of refuge during the expected dangerous winter conditions.

Organized and staffed by volunteers, Code Purple sites in Delaware typically are located at houses of worship and community shelters. The sites provide safe, warm and short-term housing and hot meals to individuals and families who are homeless. The activation of Code Purple varies, but it typically occurs when winter-weather conditions - low temperatures, low wind chills, strong winds or heavy snow - make it difficult for anyone to be outside for extended periods.

"This weekend's storm has the potential to be a dangerous one across our state," Gov. Jack Markell said. "I am grateful to Code Purple organizers and volunteers in all three counties for providing a safe place for people who are homeless to go."

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, search for "Code Purple" on the Delaware 2-1-1 mobile app or on its website at delaware211.org and click on the Cord Purple button.

"No snow in December was truly a gift, but wind chills were awful," Delaware 2-1-1 Director Donna Snyder White said. "Volunteer Code Purple Teams across the state have been working feverously to provide warm places for homeless Delawareans to escape dangerous winter weather conditions. While more helping hands are needed, I am thankful to everyone who continues to support their neighbors in need."

Code Purple locations include:


Wilmington: 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 through the Newark Empowerment Center. The Wilmington program is done in collaboration with the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army has declared Code Purple from 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, through 6 a.m. Monday, Jan. 25. Here is the schedule:

Newark: Friendship House will open its Code Purple sanctuary beginning at 6 p.m. Friday and keep it open through the duration of the storm in church space provided by eight different Newark faith communities on a rotating basis. People who are homeless must register at the Newark Empowerment Center at 69 E. Main St. on Friday. The Newark shelter is already operating at capacity, so any individuals who cannot be accommodated in Newark will be provided transportation to Wilmington.


Code Purple is in effect through Tuesday, Jan. 26, with extended hours in anticipation of the storm from 5 p.m. Friday until Monday morning. The Code Purple status can be determined by calling 1-800-733-6816 to listen to a pre-recorded message, which is updated frequently, and will identify Code Purple sites that are open in Kent County. The schedule:

Friday, Jan. 22 through morning of Monday, Jan. 25

Monday, Jan. 25

Tuesday, Jan. 26

Champions and strong supporters of Code Purple in Kent County include Rebecca Martin, Diane Kaskeski and Allan Angel. For questions, call 1-800-733-6816 or email codepurpledelaware@yahoo.com. To volunteer, email codepurpledelaware@yahoo.com.

All Code Purple shelters in Sussex County will be open during the storm and, in some cases, beyond. Eastern Sussex operates cold-weather shelters that remain open until spring regardless of the temperature. For updates in Western Sussex, call the hotline at 302-519-0024 or email sussexcodepurple@gmail.com.

Many of the Code Purple sites across the state often need more volunteers, and more donations of money. In Kent and Sussex counties, the sites also need 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.

"We are so grateful that Code Purple volunteers are there to provide a warm place to stay, a hearty meal and a welcoming hand to people in need," Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Rita Landgraf said. "If you see anyone without a place to go this weekend or at any time during the winter, we urge you to refer them to the nearest Code Purple location or to Delaware 2-1-1 to be connected to services."

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.