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
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
Jorge Torres said he's already spent a few nights sleeping
"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
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
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.
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