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United Way of Lancaster County


Cold weekend temps prompt ‘Code Blue’ alert

(Source: Provided | OUL)

Update: In a follow-up alert issued midafternoon Friday, the Lancaster County Emergency Management Agency updated the time period and temperature projections for this weekend’s Code Blue.

The new time frames are 4:30 to 9 a.m. Saturday and 8 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday. Factoring in wind chill, temperatures are expected to feel like 19 degrees Saturday morning and like 14 degrees Sunday morning.

Previously reported:

The Lancaster County Emergency Management Agency has issued a “Code Blue” for portions of this weekend.

Code Blue alerts are issued when cold temperatures or winter storms make it dangerous for unsheltered individuals to remain outside.

The time periods of concern are from 3:30 to 10 a.m. 4:30 to 9 a.m. Saturday morning and from 7 p.m. 8 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday. Temperatures are expected to fall below freezing at those times; factoring in wind chill, it will feel like 18 19 degrees Saturday morning and like 15 14 degrees overnight Saturday into Sunday.

Justin Eby is executive director of the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority, where the Lancaster County Homelessness Coalition is headquartered.
The coalition is coordinating with the county’s shelters, and outreach workers are making contact with individuals without shelter, he said.

There are no plans for the coalition to open a temporary shelter, as it did at the Lancaster County Food Hub over the Christmas weekend, because there is no sustained period of low temperatures as there was then, Eby said.

If individuals decline to come inside, sleeping bags are available, a service being coordinated by the city police’s social worker.

The Food Hub’s regular overnight shelter, The Welcome Place, is hosted by Ebenezer Baptist Church on North Lime Street and has a wintertime capacity of 40 beds. It is projected to be full this weekend, as it has been nightly since December, Food Hub Executive Director Paige McFarling said.

The Food Hub is in contact with the city police department and will work with them to find shelter for individuals as needed, she said.

In a Facebook post, Elizabethtown social services provider ECHOS said it was looking for volunteers for Saturday morning and Sunday morning shifts at its winter shelter.

If you are homeless or at risk of losing your housing, contact United Way of Lancaster County’s PA 211 East referral service by dialing 211 or texting your zip code to 898-211.