What is Code Blue?
Our Fouth Code Blue Mission Season will begin
Code Blue is a county-wide effort to provide shelter for unsheltered individuals during periods of inclement weather when wind chill and precipitation combine to cause the out-side temperature to plummet below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. These conditions present the threat of serious harm and/or death to unsheltered individuals.
In an effort to increase awareness, Reach Out and Advocates for the Homeless & Those in Need (AHTN), along with the support of the county commissioners, local churches, and other county services, have become part of a coalition to aid the homeless population of Bucks County.
Life for many of the unsheltered individuals consists of dependence on food pantries and pan handling among a plethora of survival skills. These individuals are living in conditions such as
tents, cars, boxes, and other temporary shelters within the woods surrounding our communities.
Many times these individuals are difficult to see. They are extremely resourceful and blend in well with an active community. It is very likely that at some point in time we have worked next to an individual who is living in these types of conditions. It is also true that many of us have, at some time, lived one paycheck away from the street.
Homelessness has touched many people’s lives. They are our friends, our family, our co-workers, and, quite possibly, ourselves. Throughout the history of humankind this issue is nothing new. Many unsheltered individuals are suffering from mental illness and are unable to seek out much needed treatment. Many more feel as if the system has failed them on every level.
An individual can become homeless for any number of reasons including mental illness, drug addiction, unemployment, and foreclosure. In a weakened economy social accountability becomes a huge road block when everyone is struggling to hold on to what they have. One of the most common responses to this crisis is, “Why is it my problem?” This agenda affects the community as a whole when there is a rise in crime while societal health, in general, suffers.
Code Blue is the bare minimum any community can do to ensure the health and safety of those less fortunate. Services are still needed once these individuals leave shelters and return to their accustomed surroundings. Reach Out, AHTN, and the coalition, will continue to make efforts on behalf of these individuals to improve their health and quality of life.