By the Oneida Dispatch firstname.lastname@example.org
With cold weather approaching soon, the Community Action Partnership for Madison County has partnered with local libraries and the Office for the Aging to establish warming sites for the homeless.
CAP officials advise homeless individuals and families to seek shelter at a warming center located at either the Hamilton Library, Cazenovia Library, Sullivan Free Library, Chittenango Library, Bridgeport Library, Canastota Library or the Office for the Aging when a Code Blue is declared.
Three years ago, through an executive order signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state declared a county must make sure anyone in need of assistance has shelter when winter weather hits. This includes temperatures that reach freezing or lower, wind chill below zero degrees, ice storms, freezing rain or more than 6 inches of snow.
Each warming site has a sign in their entryway that identifies their location as such. CAP equips each location with detailed resource folders, refreshments and “go bags” to provide those who identify as homeless with necessary supplies for hygiene, warmth and wellness.
CAP officials said in nine months, the organization has received 695 calls for housing and homelessness issues in the community.
CAP officials said in just one week after opening, they have received a lot of positive feedback from the newly established warming sites.
“The library is very pleased to be a part of the Code Blue initiative,” Cazenovia Public Library Director Betsy Kennedy said. “For many people, the library represents a safe place and a place that has the answers to their questions. We appreciate Community Action Partnership giving us the tools to assist people when they need it most.”
Warming sites will continue to operate until March 31, 2019.
Organizations looking to get involved in being part of the Code Blue initiative can contact Sandra Bain at 315-697-3588 ext. 14.