Local church went over the limit to keep residents warm

Tuesday’s snow and cold temperatures forced more people into the Code Purple facility at the Dover Presbyterian Church on S. State Street as the alert was extended until Saturday. Normally, the church can accommodate 18 people, but four more were allowed to stay overnight Monday.

 “We don’t really deny anybody unless they’re acting up or starting trouble,” David Denny, church treasurer, said Tuesday afternoon.  “If they come to the door more than likely they’ll find a place for him.”

The Dover church provides shelter to men only during Code Purple alerts. It’s one of 10 places in Kent County that helps the homeless during extreme weather.

With temperatures expected to stay below freezing through the weekend, Code Purple declarations were extended across Delaware. In Kent County, it was extended through Saturday.

The Code Purple sites, operated by volunteers in houses of worship and community centers, provide a sanctuary during sub-freezing temperatures for people who don’t have a home.

“The temperatures and wind chills expected in Delaware are potentially dangerous to anyone who might be outside for an extended period,” Gov. Jack Markell said in a press release on Monday. “That’s why I am grateful to all of the Code Purple locations in our state that can provide a safe place for people to sleep. During the next few days, I urge Delawareans who see people outside who don’t appear to have a place to go, to call 9-1-1 so police can help get them to a safe location.”

Since Code Purple sites use volunteers to manage operations, the activation and implementation vary by county and site. Here are plans for Kent County sites through Saturday.

Wednesday, Feb. 18
Dover Presbyterian Church (men only): Opens 5 p.m. 
Wyoming UMC (men only): Opens 6 p.m. 
Wesley UMC (women and children): Opens 5 p.m.
Milford Community Center (women and children): Opens 5 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 19
Dover Presbyterian Church (men only): Opens 5 p.m. 
Wyoming UMC (men only): Opens 6 p.m. 
Wesley UMC (women and children): Opens 5 p.m.
Milford Community Center (women and children): Opens 5 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 20
Dover Presbyterian Church (men only): Opens 5 p.m. 
Christ Church (men only): Opens 5 p.m. 
Shepherd's Place (women and children): Opens 5 p.m.
Milford Community Center (women and children): Opens 5 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 21
Dover Presbyterian Church (men only): Opens 5 p.m. (overflow Dover Interfaith) 
Shepherd’s Place (women and children): Opens 5 p.m.
Milford Community Center (women and children): Opens 5 p.m.

To be connected to Code Purple resources, call Delaware 2-1-1, or search for “Code Purple” on the Delaware 2-1-1 mobile app or on its website at www.delaware211.org.