In Anticipation of Arctic Cold Temperatures, Code Purple Shelters Open in New Castle and Sussex Counties

With temperatures across the state forecast to drop into the teens or lower tonight and Tuesday before gradually warming up Wednesday, Code Purple locations have been established in New Castle and Sussex counties to help people who are homeless find shelter.

In Delaware, centralized intake began today, meaning anyone experiencing a housing crisis in the state is urged to call 2-1-1. The operator will ask a few questions to determine if the individual or family would benefit from prevention services in the community or if they need to be assessed by a housing specialist.

To deal with the immediate cold-weather need, Code Purple locations have been established in New Castle and Sussex counties.



Friendship House has enacted Code Purple for today, Jan. 6, Tuesday, Jan. 7, and Wednesday, Jan. 8.  Volunteers provide soup and sandwiches. Friendship House provides hot beverages, paper and cleaning products. The shelter will be open each day from 2:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew, 720 N. Orange St.

For more information about Code Purple nights, call Bill Perkins at (302) 559-5716.

Salvation Army activates Code Purple when necessary. After 8:30 p.m., those at the sanctuary will go to the Salvation Army shelter, 400 N. Orange St. Men will be provided a cot set-up in the gymnasium and women will be provided accommodation in the women’s shelter. An evening snack and continental breakfast will be served before visitors leave the facility.


A coalition of 10 Newark faith communities offers emergency sanctuary from dusk to dawn (6 p.m.-6 a.m.). Eight local churches rotate in serving as the host site. Volunteers from local faith communities and community organizations support guests who are homeless in a church common room with access to bathrooms, a light evening meal, hot beverages and blankets.

Those in the Newark area who are in need of sanctuary from the cold weather are encouraged to call (302) 544-0165, and sign up for services with the Newark Empowerment Center. The center’s office hours are 1 p.m.-4 p.m. The host overnight sanctuary locations for the Newark Empowerment Center are:

Today (Jan. 6):  First Presbyterian Church, 292 W. Main St., Newark. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Tuesday (Jan. 7):  St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 701 S. College Ave., Newark. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Wednesday (Jan. 8): Newark United Methodist Church, 69 E. Main St., Newark. Doors open at 6 p.m.


Today, Jan. 6 through Sunday, Jan. 12: People in need of overnight sanctuary are encouraged to go to Epworth United Methodist Church, 19285 Holland Glade Road, Rehoboth Beach. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. For more information, call Nan Ruhl, director of Immanuel Shelter, at (302) 604-2619.


A Kent County Levy Court spokeswoman said Kent County has no designated Code Purple shelters at this time.

Nan Ruhl, director of Immanuel Shelter, said the overnight sanctuary at Epworth United Methodist Church in Rehoboth Beach would take in people who are homeless in Kent County or elsewhere who can get to the shelter.