FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 22, 2016
CONTACT: Rob Weinstein, President
THE CUMBERLAND COUNTY CODE BLUE COALITION SEEKS CHURCHES AND VOLUNTEERS TO HOUSE HOMELESS DURING WINTER WEATHER
(BRIDGETON, NJ)—Rev. Dr. Robin Weinstein, President of the M25 Initiative and Chair of the Cumberland County Code Blue Coalition, today announced that volunteer applications are now being accepted for the 2016-2017 Code Blue season in Bridgeton, Millville, and Vineland. Additionally, host and supporting churches are needed in all three municipalities.
“Our Cumberland County Code Blue program has become a model for our region and throughout the country because it is 100% volunteer-operated and is funded by private contributions,” said Dr. Weinstein. “This program unites our community to ensure that no one is without shelter during the cold winter weather. Together we have provided emergency warming centers to over 100 individuals and meals to over 200 during the winter months. We need more volunteers and churches to help in this effort.”
The main function of Code Blue is to provide emergency shelter during frigid temperatures. Beginning in the 2015-2016 Code Blue Season, all three municipal-based programs joined together to form the Cumberland County Code Blue Coalition.
Volunteers, organizations, and churches that wish to participate should visit www.codeblueccnj.org and fill out the appropriate forms. All volunteers (new and returning) need to fill-out an application. Churches that participate, as a host church, will receive a monetary stipend per night of activation to defray costs associated with the program. Those without internet access can request paper applications by calling 1-844-M25-HOPE.
The Code Blue Season begins on November 1 and has been extended to April 15, due to the extended cold weather last season.
“Code Blue is a massive labor of love from our volunteers and community and it requires everyone to do something,” said Weinstein. “We need meals to be provided, money to be donated, and volunteers willing to come out during the late evening or early morning hours to allow our homeless neighbors to rest in the warming center. There is something for everyone to do because we can all do something.”
Code Blue is declared by the designated government official (Bridgeton Mayor Albert Kelly) after evaluating weather forecasts and advisories produced by the National Weather Service that predict the following weather conditions in the county within 24 to 48 hours: a) temperatures will reach 25 degrees Fahrenheit or lower without precipitation; b) temperatures will reach 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower with precipitation; or the National Weather Service wind-chill temperature will be zero degrees Fahrenheit or less for a period of two hours or more. The Cumberland County Code Blue Coalition will utilize the forecast for Millville, NJ from www.weather.gov to determine county-wide activation.
Code Blue is a grassroots movement of churches and community members responding to the needs of our homeless neighbors. Code Blue is funded by community contributions made to the M25 Initiative.
The M25 Initiative is a 501c3 non-profit in Cumberland County, NJ created for the sole purpose of engaging, equipping, empowering, and mobilizing the local church and faith-based organizations to engage in innovative and cooperative solutions to alleviate suffering, feed the hungry, end poverty, reduce crime, revitalize a spirit community and transform lives!
For more information about the M25 Initiative or Code Blue, please visit www.m25initative.org or call 1-844-M25-HOPE.