About Code Purple

Code Purple is a statewide movement that helps people who are homeless find a place of refuge or shelter when winter weather conditions become to dangerous for individuals or families to remain outside.  Typically, the weather and wind chill must fall below 32 degrees.  Code Purple sites are staffed by trained volunteers and usually are located at Houses of Worship (churches) and targeted shelters that provide a safe, warm and short-term shelter which can last up to 24-hrs.   The implementation and operation of Code Purple varies by county.  

  • New Castle County               

(302) 656-6628

      – Wilmington (Saint Andrews & Mathews)

Wilmington and Newark: The lead agency for Code Purple in New Castle County is Friendship House, which operates two Code Purple winter sanctuary programs--one in Wilmington and the other in Newark through the Newark Empowerment Center. The Wilmington program is operated in collaboration with the Salvation Army. Beside the Friendship/Salvation Army winter sanctuary program, the Sunday Breakfast Mission and the Rick VanStory Resource Center offer overnight shelter to both men and women.

The Salvation Army has declared Code Purple for the evening of  Jan. 3, with additional declarations expected:

  • Salvation Army building, 400 N. Orange St. Those who seek overnight housing will receive a hot snack, continental breakfast and a shower.

In Newark, Code Purple has been declared for Thursday, Jan. 4, through Saturday, Jan. 6. The Newark Empowerment Center (Friendship House) connects people with overnight stays at a rotating group of churches when Code Purple is declared, with visitors welcome for emergency sanctuary from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. To register, call 302.544.0165.

The locations:

  • Thursday, Jan. 4: Calvary Baptist Church, 215 E. Delaware Ave., Newark.
  • Friday, Jan. 5: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Newark, 420 Willa Road.
  • Saturday, Jan. 6: New Ark United Church of Christ, 300 E. Main St., Newark.

As Code Purple sites are updated frequently for Kent County, please dial 1-800-733-6816 to hear the latest list of participating locations, dates and times.

Addresses for Sanctuaries and other supports include:

  • Centennial UMC, 44 East Mount Vernon Street, Smyrna, DE
  • Christ Church, 523 South State Street Dover, DE
  • Dover Presbyterian Church, 54 S State Street Dover, DE (entrance is on Reed Street)
  • Dover Interfaith Resource Center, 684 Forest Street, Dover, DE (Day Shelter)
  • Hopes and Dreams Peer Resource Center, 621 W, Division Street, Dover, DE (Day Shelter)
  • Maranatha Church, 1207 E. Division Street, Dover, DE
  • Milford Community Center, 105 NE Front Street Milford, DE
  • Mount Carmel Church, 117 N. West Street, Dover, DE
  • Peoples Church, 46 S. Bradford Street, Dover, DE
  • Wesley Church, 209 S. State Street, Dover, DE Please come to the building in Church parking lot, purple light is on outside on North Street

Code Purple is declared when temperatures fall below 32 degrees. Sanctuaries through the weekend:

  • St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 202 N. North St., Seaford (men only). Check-in at 8:30 p.m.
  • Gateway Fellowship, 8011 Cannon Road, Bridgeville (women and children only). Check-in at 8:30 p.m. For both sites, dinner is provided at 7 p.m. at the CROSS building, 703 E. King St., Seaford, with transportation to Gateway Fellowship afterward.
  • Avenue United Methodist Church, 20 N. Church St., Milford (men only). Check-in at 7 p.m.; meals provided on-site.
  • Laurel Nazarene, 100 Walnut Drive, Laurel (men, with separate space for fathers with children). Check-in at 7 p.m. Dinner provided at the CROSS building, 703 E. King St., Seaford, with transportation to and from the CROSS to be provided.
  • Georgetown Presbyterian, 203 N. Bedford St., Georgetown. Call Pastor Mike at 302-344-1912 or leave a message at the church at 302-856-6842. The sanctuary is only open for extreme weather. People must call ahead about availability.
  • Immanuel Code Purple Shelter, 37439 Oyster House Road, Rehoboth Beach, open nightly until April 1 regardless of the temperature (serving men and women). 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. daily.

For more information, call the Kent County Code Purple hotline at 302.519.0024 or click here.

To be connected to Code Purple assistance, users should dial 2-1-1 or visit the website.

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