Code Blue and COVID-19
“Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays…”
-“Motto”, United States Postal Service
While COVID-19 cases might be rising across the country, one thing that is not spiking these days are the temperatures. As our community faces the winter months and the challenges ahead as it pertains to the ongoing pandemic, we are simultaneously facing new challenges for individuals who are housing insecure and do not have shelter from the cold or inclement weather. Many of the traditional community partners for Code Blue alerts are experiencing reduced capacity restrictions due to physical distancing requirements, reduced staffing, and/or a reduction of resources to sustain their efforts.
In Atlantic City, our community is also experiencing these challenges, and as a result we’ve seen an increase in the number of individuals who are turning to the Emergency Department for shelter when all other doors are closed. Traditional resources, such as our local shelter, are struggling to meet the demand, while also ensuring the safety of their staff and clients.
As a community, members of our AC Collaborative are coming together to establish innovative solutions to meet the demand we’ve already seen and believe will grow in the coming months. New and current partners are throwing their hats in the ring to participate in the development of local solutions. We want to ensure that we are crafting sustainable and innovative strategies to address the needs at hand, while potentially avoiding any unintended consequences. As such, we are grateful for the many diverse voices and sectors at the table.
Our community has come so far together to combat homelessness, even in the face of COVID-19, when we quickly developed housing resources for those who were housing insecure and required a safe place to isolate. We will be sure to take on this new challenge too. Together, we are continuing to solve for homelessness.
The Grantee Blog regularly publishes updates from NJHI-supported communities. Bookmark this site to stay up-to-date and share in the work of building healthier communities across New Jersey.