An emergency sanctuary opens as temperatures fall below 32 degrees, when resources are available, in Delaware and across the country. Depending on your locations the alert is called something like “Code Purple” which is what we call it in Delaware. Other states may refer to this system as “Code Blue.” The sanctuary opens at 6 p.m. and closes at 6 a.m. which means our addressless neighbors have a place to sleep when the temperatures typically drop to their lowest point. However, during the day there are still few places available to get out of the bitter cold.
Brae’s Brown Bags provides “go-bags” to the patrons who stay overnight at emergency sancutaries. In addition to healthy food, we add winter weather clothing and hand warmers knowing that the person receiving the bag might not have shelter again until 6 p.m. the next day. If the temperatures are above 32 degrees, they may not have shelter at all.
If you see someone in need, please let them know where they can seek help. Not all homeless individuals prefer going to shelters, but an emergency sanctuary is temporary relief from the cold. If someone refuses to come in out of the cold, we provide socks, hats, scarves and gloves to help them retain as much body heat as possible. Our bodies create heat by metabolizing food and water, for our addressless friends this is a challenge as they do not always know where their next meal will come from.
Recognizing Cold-Related Emergencies:
• Moderate hypothermia – [core body temperature 82° F-90° F (28° C-32° C)]
• Severe hypothermia – [core body temperature < 82° F (< 28° C)]
• Shivering is lost and cooling is rapid.
• Hypoventilation, respiratory acidosis, hypoxemia, aspiration pneumonia,
atelectasis progress to apnea, and adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
• Pancreatitis, gastric erosions
• Hyperkalemia, hyperglycemia, lactic acidosis
• Rigidity progresses to rhabdomyolysis
• Hemoconcentration, hypercoagulability progress to disseminated intravascular coagulation, and bleeding
• Hyporeflexia, agitation, hallucination, dilated pupils progress to areflexia, coma, absent pupil responses
For additional resources and locations of shelters or sanctuaries, Dial 2-1-1.
or text your Zip Code to 898-211.
As you know, Braeden is always looking to enhance the kindness we see in the world. He has mentioned that it would be nice if locations were able to offer a place to wash up and clean laundry. If you know of a way we can initiate this idea please leave a comment below.