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Shelter preparing for another Code Blue

Posted at 9:59 AM, Dec 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-19 09:59:21-05

When temperatures dip below 15 degrees, it makes for a busy week at St. Luke's Mission of Mercy on Walden Avenue.

"We were able to provide a warm, safe place for them which is always what's important," said Drew Bernstein, Code Blue coordinator for St. Luke's.

Bernstein, referring to the dozens of people taking shelter at the center, after the brutal temperatures last week.

"This year so far we've been lucky," said Bernstein. "We've only served 20 to 35 people a night."

That's about 20 cots under capacity for the center, which sets up around 50 beds in this space for people who need shelter during Code Blue nights.

"There's not always a need for a place for the homeless, for those who may not have heat," said Bernstein.

Just like Leon Malach, one year ago. Last Christmas he kept warm at the mission.

"I know what these people are going through," said Malach. "I understand the problems and things that are out there."

Now, Malach volunteers and lives at the center, with a bit of advice to those struggling.

"Don't slip into that dark place," said Malach. "You've got to keep going. There's always something better than where you're at."

This cold, Sunday night, St. Luke's Mission of Mercy is opening it's doors for another Code Blue, offering food and shelter for those in need.

"It's very tough for people who are outside most days to feel comfortable in a place, to feel like they are protected and that's always going to be a priority within any of the Code Blue warming shelters," said Bernstein.

"It's cold," said Malach. "If you don't find a place that's out of the wind, you can't do it."

To find out if there's a Code Blue going on, or if there's anyone you know that needs shelter for the night, all you have to do is dial 211.