BUFFALO (WKBW) A "Code Blue" is in effect for Western New York because of the latest snow storm, issued whenever the temperature drops below 19 degrees. And for some homeless people who can't get to the City Mission, the mission comes to them.
"Code Blue for us means that we need to jump into gear and start preparing to bring in the 50 plus individuals or so who are in need tonight," Raine Schreiner of the Buffalo City Mission said.
Mother Nature has an icy grip on Western New York, and for those not close enough to get to the warmth of the City Mission by themselves, volunteers go out to pick them up.
"Unfortunately many homeless individuals have died, they've succumbed to the frigid temperatures in the past, and they've been found in abandoned houses. So it's really important that we reach them and try to bring them in so they don't succumb to the frigid temperatures," Schreiner said.
They are then brought back to the mission and given the basic human needs of food, clothing, and shelter. For those who refuse a ride, donated hats and gloves, blankets and wool coats are left with the area's homeless. Everyone is also given a sandwich and hot beverage to warm themselves up.
And being able to have a big impact on a population in need makes braving the cold to make others warm that much more rewarding.
"Just to know that we've touched some lives and saved some lives, the words are unspeakable," Schreiner said.