We are wondering if you would be interested in becoming a volunteer for Code Blue this year. Code Blue is a low-demand emergency shelter process for shelter-reluctant homeless community members to find refuge from extreme cold. These shelters open when the temperature dips below 15 degrees Fahrenheit with the windchill or during particularly nasty inclement weather. We will need at least two volunteers each night to assist.
In past years, Code Blue was operated by Buffalo City Mission (Thank you City Mission!). They have a pre-existing shelter operation and would expand capacity when the weather deemed it necessary. This year, Buffalo City Mission is pursuing other goals that they felt were mutually exclusive with continued operation of Code Blue. As a result, Code Blue is a multi-site collaboration.
When the weather is severe, females will be housed at the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Hope House. Males will be sheltered at either the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Hope Center at 385 Paderewski Drive, Buffalo, NY 14212 or Restoration Society, Inc's Harbor House at 241 Genesee St, Buffalo, NY 14204. There are typically too many men to rely on one site alone. Each evening will have three outreach workers to find people without shelter, each site will have paid staff to provide security and oversee operations all evening, and we will need at least one volunteer per night to assist with setting up/taking down cots and small tasks including the distribution of linens, direction of people, and to be a friendly face.
Volunteers should be able to commit to one night per week and be aware that the clients utilizing code blue are those for whom shelter is something they enter reluctantly- volunteers should be prepared to be very patient with clients. Homelessness is a traumatizing experience, and we have found that some of our community's most vulnerable people are those who require Code Blue.
All interested people, or those with questions, should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.