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Sonoma County CODE BLUE for Homeless Shelters and Warming Stations

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Sonoma County CODE BLUE for Homeless Shelters and Warming Stations

At 5am this morning, Sonoma County issued a “Code Blue” advisory in response to the National Weather Service’s Severe Weather Alert of extremely cold nights predicted for the upcoming week.  This advisory, which requests that all homeless service agencies expand beds and open warming facilities, is part of the Homelessness Winter Weather Response Plan adopted by the Board of Supervisors on November 4th, 2014, in an effort to proactively mitigate cold-weather impacts on Sonoma County’s homeless population.  

A Code Blue advisory is issued when temperatures drop below 38 degrees, when the wind chill reduces the effective temperature below 38 degrees, or when rainfall makes it difficult or impossible for unsheltered individuals to remain dry.  As overnight temperatures are predicted to be at or near freezing over the weekend, the advisory will remain in effect through Monday morning, when the need for a continuing advisory will be assessed based on the latest weather conditions.

The request for expanded shelter capacity was sent out by the County’s Community Development Commission, and Catholic Charities will be opening a warming station at their Santa Rosa facility as well as expanding capacity at their Family Support Center.  The latest information on shelters can be obtained through 2-1-1 and the Catholic Charities’ Cold Weather Hotline at 707-800-2927.

Volunteers and donations are accepted at Catholic Charities.  Volunteers are always needed to help staff the Cold Weather Response Team, and to work shifts at the winter shelter and the warming stations, as well as to provide outreach and navigation support to the County’s homeless population.  Additionally, donation of warm items (clothes, sleeping bags, blankets, etc.) are welcome, and can be dropped off at the Family Support Center at 465 A Street in Santa Rosa. 

Those interested in volunteering or making a donation should contact Jennielynn Holmes at 707-800-2372 or by email at jholmes@srcharities.org.