BUFFALO, NY – Mayor Byron W. Brown, joined by members of the Western New York Coalition for the Homeless (WNYCFTH) Code Blue Collaborative, announced the start of this year’s “Code Blue”, “Code Blue 32” and daytime warming initiatives. This is the 11th year of Code Blue in Buffalo.
Mayor Brown stated, “I thank all of our partners for continuing to step forward to further strengthen our Code Blue Collaborative. It is important for all of us to work together to ensure all City residents are safe from the cold and have a safe place to stay, particularly now as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 global health pandemic.”
“Code Blue” is the City of Buffalo and Erie County’s emergency weather safety plan that provides outreach, transportation, shelter and a warm meal to individuals experiencing homelessness on nights when temperatures or wind chill fall to 32 degrees or below from November 15 to April 30.
This year’s Code Blue Shelters are located at: Holy Cross at 412 Niagara Street, the Lincoln Field House at 10 Quincy Street and the Rural Outreach Center, 765 Olean Road, East Aurora. Day Time Warming Center services, which are available when the temperatures or wind chill fall below 32 degrees, will be available at the Lincoln Field House and the Rural Outreach Center. You can call 211 to find out if a Code Blue Event has been called.
You can also sign up for text alerts by texting codebluebuffalo or codebluesouthernerie to 898-211.
Mayor Brown also announced the launch of a new Landlord Incentive Program for Homeless Individuals, asking City landlords to consider renting units to residents who are experiencing homelessness.
He stated, “As we aggressively and comprehensively address the continuing economic distress residents are experiencing due to the pandemic, HUD is now allowing the City to use Emergency Solutions Grant funds as an incentive to landlords who participate in this program. This program is geared towards helping 50 people get off the streets, out of shelters and into a more stable living environment that they can call home.”
Incentives for landlords include:
The new Landlord Incentive Program for Homeless Individuals is a collaboration between the Homeless Alliance of WNY, Belmont Housing and the City of Buffalo. For more information about the program, please contact Landlord Outreach Specialist Dan Hanssel at (716) 884-7791 ex. 129.
Code Blue initiatives in Erie County served over 900 unique individuals and worked to maintain zero homeless weather-related fatalities for 2 years. On January 31, 2019 a Williamsville man lost his life to hypothermia experienced while unsheltered. This tragedy led Mayor Brown to create a Homeless Awareness Task Force to educate the community about homelessness in our communities and what they can do to protect life.
Code Blue is funded by Erie County, the City of Buffalo, National Fuel, and Rich Products. It is also supported by a collaboration of agencies under the WNYCFTH. It is open to anyone living on the streets and/or needing shelter due to loss of heat or electricity during extremely low temperatures.
The WNYCFTH is an association of service providers and concerned individuals who have joined together to empower and advocate for people in need of safe, affordable, and permanent housing and related services. For more information, please visit us as www.wnycoalitionforthehomeless.org