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Winter Response “Code Blue”

Oooh!… hasn’t it been cold dark and wet lately!

 

Most of us look forward to a warm house and cosy bed on these nights, but as the temperatures go down… the risk factors for homeless people dramatically increase.

 

This creates very real risks and challenges for the dedicated team at Baptist Care SA’s WestCare Centre which operates at the front line of South Australia’s ‘Code Blue’ winter response to Homelessness in the City of Adelaide during extreme winter weather conditions. “Code Blue’ is announced in SA when the Bureau of Meteorology forecasts harsh winter conditions including:

  • minimum temperatures of 5°C and/ or rainfall causing difficulty for unsheltered individuals to remain dry
  • damaging wind gusts posing a significant risk to the safety of unsheltered individuals and any other factors related to inclement weather that indicates circumstances warrant activation of this plan;

 

A recent street survey of people living on the streets of Adelaide (during Connections Week for the Adelaide Zero Project) identified that there are 227 people currently sleeping rough in the Adelaide CBD.

 

Of those, the follow statistics where recorded on the first two ‘Code Blue’ nights for this winter:

 

Code Blue on 12 June 2019
Total number of people assisted: 32
Male: 24
Female: 8
People staying overnight: 23

 

Code Blue on 13 June 2019
Total number of people assisted: 32
Male: 26
Female: 8
People staying overnight: 26

 

Driven by compassion and our concern for the safety and welfare of those sleeping rough, Baptist Care SA isadvocating for our State Government to call Code Blue more often. We remain committed to providing an integrated approach to addressing the complex issues that lead to people sleeping rough in our city. We are therefore seeking to work collaboratively with other groups and individuals who share our desire for better outcomes.

 

 

What can you do to help you ask?

 

We highly value the ongoing contribution of our compassionate and donors and supporters whose generosity enables our team to provide a safe, warm and supportive place for people to rest their heads.

 

Whilst Code Blue provides rough sleepers with respite from extreme weather events, it is the view of Baptist Care SA that a Code Blue is insufficient to meet the harsh
realities of living on the street during Adelaide’s harsh winter months. We are therefore seeking additional community support to enable us to extend the scope of our Winter Response for rough sleepers.

 

Please contact Stef Tocci, Manager, Inner City & WestCare on 8118 5200, [email protected] if you are able to assist.

 

Reflection on 2 Corinthians 12:10: That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Blessings to all who recognise that we are all weak and yet find the strength to respond with compassion.

 

 

Graham Brown
Chief Executive Officer

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