An independent news publication of
United Way of Lancaster County


Code Blue declared, temporary shelter at Food Hub opens this evening

The Lancaster County Food Hub (Source: Provided)

The Lancaster County Food Hub will once again host a temporary shelter for homeless individuals this weekend as a cold front brings temperatures in the region down to dangerously frigid levels.

A “Code Blue” alert went into effect at 5 a.m. this morning and will last through 5 a.m. Sunday. The Lancaster County Emergency Management Agency declares the alerts based on temperature and precipitation forecasts.

The shelter at the Food Hub will open at 6 tonight and continue operations through 9 a.m. Sunday. It is for adults only, not families with children, the Lancaster County Homelessness Coalition said.

It will be able to accommodate up to about 40 individuals overnight, Food Hub Executive Director Paige McFarling said. During the day, it can accommodate more people, serving as a warming station, she said.

The Food Hub previously hosted a temporary shelter over the Christmas weekend. Things will run more or less the same way this time around, McFarling and Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Justin Eby said.

The Food Hub operates a year-round overnight shelter at Ebenezer Baptist Church. It will open earlier in the evening and close later in the morning this weekend to help guests stay warm, McFarling said. During the day, the Food Hub’s warming shelter will be able to accommodate them.

McFarling said around half a dozen of the Food Hub’s clients offered to help with setting up the temporary shelter.

“That has just meant the world to us,” she said.

Today’s highs are not expected to exceed the mid-20s, and overnight temperatures will drop down to 11 degrees, according to Accuweather. Factoring in wind chill, the “real feel” overnight will be -5 degrees.

For Saturday, the predicted high is 28, and the overnight low is 23, for a “real feel” of 13.

After that, the weather turns warmer, with highs in the upper 40s Sunday and Monday.