ALBANY, N.Y. – Low temperatures in Albany have hundreds of the city's homeless seeking shelter from the cold.
Perry Jones is Executive Director of the Capital City Rescue Mission. Jones said the mission housed 200 people Sunday.
"Come in. If you're out there seek shelter," he said. "You're not going to do well in this type of weather."
A Code Blue was issued in Albany on Friday to prevent unsheltered homeless from exposure to severe winter weather and the health dangers associated with serve cold.
"Frostbite or any type of hypothermia or other things that can happen in cold weather when you're trying to sleep outside," Jones continued.
A Code Blue is called when the temperature is ten degrees or less including wind chill. Jones said the need for shelter is great.
"[Our numbers] could go up toward 220 during the real cold sessions, and if it does that, we're ready and we'll help," Jones said. "But it tells you that things are a little bit harder in this area than you might think they are."
Jorge Torres said he's already spent a few nights sleeping outside.
"Freezing. Can't sleep you know," he said. "Wind hitting you so you just hope for the best. Can't do nothing about it but I'm glad I'm here. Trust me I'm glad."
Code Blue is in effect for Albany from November 15 until March 15. It's an effort to transport and shelter the homeless during extreme winter weather.
Torres said he knows the cold temperatures can sometimes be a matter of life or death.
He said, "It's no joke out there. You can freeze and die out there. You know especially if you don't have no warm clothes or anything like that."
During Code Blue, shelters like the Capital City Rescue Mission suspend routine agency eligibility to accept those in need of emergency shelter from the cold. For Kyle Sharpton that was crucial.
"I came back and checked in, and I got put on for an extra night for Code Blue," he said.
Capital City Rescue Mission is currently accepting donations of winter gear that can be dropped off at the Albany location at 259 S. Pearl St.
341 Northern Blvd., Albany, NY 12204
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