Code Purple Declared As Bitterly Cold Temperatures, Sub-Zero Wind Chills Arrive

NEW CASTLE (Jan. 30, 2019) With Delaware facing the coldest temperatures of the winter from Wednesday night through Thursday, Code Purple is being declared across the state by the nonprofit and volunteer organizations that operate the shelters to keep people who are homeless safe during dangerous winter weather.

When severe snowstorms or sub-zero temperatures are forecast in Delaware, the organizations that manage Code Purple sites activate their shelters. The Code Purple declarations, which vary by county and site, open up additional beds and warm shelter space beyond the year-round shelter beds available across the state.

To be connected to Code Purple resources, call Delaware 2-1-1 or click the Code Purple button at Or call the Delaware Housing Alliances Centralized Intake Line at 1-833-FIND-BED (833-346-3233). If you see someone outside who appears to be homeless, encourage them to seek emergency shelter or call a non-emergency police number to alert the police to the situation.

The wind chills across the state from Wednesday night through Thursday are expected to be below-zero, with overnight lows Wednesday through Friday not expected to climb above the teens. That means the risk for frostbite and/or hypothermia increases after even a short time outside.

“We are grateful to the series of nonprofits and volunteers that operate Code Purple shelters across our state,” said Governor John Carney. “This is the true meaning of neighbors helping neighbors.”

“The below-zero wind chills coming to Delaware will mean dangerous conditions outside,” said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, a board-certified family physician. “We encourage anyone without a place to go to find a spot at a Code Purple shelter.”

Details about the shelters, which are organized and operated by nonprofit organizations or volunteers:

Code Purple logo
Code Purple logo


Wilmington and Newark: 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 operated in collaboration with the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army has declared Code Purple for Wednesday and Thursday nights in Wilmington at the Salvation Army building, 400 N. Orange St. Those who seek overnight housing will receive a hot snack, continental breakfast and a shower.

In Newark, Code Purple has been declared for Wednesday night, with an additional declaration expected. The Newark Empowerment Center connects people with overnight stays at a rotating group of churches when Code Purple is declared. To register and get the location, visit the center at 69 E. Main St., between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. daily. For more information, call 302-544-0165.


Code Purple has been declared in Kent County (hotline at 800-733-6816) through Jan. 31. The schedule:

Centennial United Methodist Church, 44 E. Mount Vernon St., Smyrna (5 p.m. through Jan. 31)
Peoples Church, 26 S. Bradford St., Dover (5 p.m. through Jan. 31)
Marantha Life Changing Church, 1235 E. Division St., Dover. (5 p.m. through Jan. 31)


Western Sussex: Code Purple shelters a collection of churches are open each night now through March 15, regardless of temperature. Separate shelters are operated for men and for women (with or without children). For information, call the Code Purple Hotline at 302-519-0024.

Eastern Sussex: Code Purple already is being observed regardless of weather seven days a week until spring at Immanuel Shelter, 37439 Oyster House Road, Rehoboth Beach. The shelter serves men and women. For more information, call 1-888-634-9992.