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‘Code Grey’ Declared, Homeless Urged To Visit City Shelters

(Homeless people huddle under a highway overpass on the edge of Old City Philadelphia.  File photo by Dawn Pratson)

(Homeless people huddle under a highway overpass on the edge of Old City Philadelphia. File photo by Dawn Pratson)

John Ostapkovich John Ostapkovich
John Ostapkovich brings humor and wit, and a wealth of experience...
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By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In a weather situation in which people are being urged to stay home, it’s extra difficult for those who are homeless.

Just as winter weather can bring a “Code Blue,” and summer its “Code Red,” this is a Code Grey, according to Laura Weinbaum of Project HOME.

“It does give us some additonal powers to bring people in against their will,” she tells KYW Newsradio, “but the truth is most people, if offered the right setting and if the conditions become really intolerable, people will come in voluntarily.  It’s rare that we have to invoke any of the special powers of a code situation.”

Brian Jenkins of Chosen 300 Ministries, which normally feeds 300 homeless people per night, expects fewer due to the storm.

“A lot of people will probably huddle down in the (Septa) concourse and places like that.  There are shelters that are open.  However, just in normal circumstances, some homeless people do not feel comfortable entering into shelters.”

Jenkins also notes that Chosen 300 has a volunteer shortage due to the storm.