A ‘Code Blue’ response will be declared across South Australia from tomorrow, activating a range of measures that will help rough sleepers to stay safe as storms, cold weather, wind and rain roll in.
Human Services Minister Nat Cook announced the SA Housing Authority – in partnership with homelessness services and community organisations – will implement the response until at least Wednesday.
Under the Code Blue program, homeless people are offered additional supports, shelter and food during prolonged low temperatures, high rainfall or damaging winds that increase safety risks for those without shelter.
In Adelaide, Baptist Care’s Westcare Centre in Millers Court will provide overnight accommodation while the Hutt Street Centre and the Service to Youth Council’s Foundry on Carrington Street will also have extended opening hours. Homelessness services will also conduct additional outreach services to known rough sleeper locations to offer support to those in need.
Additional services are being offered in regional areas and anyone who needs help is encouraged to call the 24/7 Homeless Connect hotline on 1800 003 308.
Extreme weather responses for the homeless were first established under the former Labor Government in 2016 and now cover both extreme heat events (code red) along with cold, wet and windy periods (code blue).
These events make life even tougher – and create significant safety risks – for rough sleepers who don’t have safe and secure housing and don’t have anywhere to store their belongings.
Code Blue has been declared in regional areas over the past month.
The Malinauskas Labor Government has announced an extra $6 million in funding is being invested into homelessness services.
Attributable to Nat Cook
Most of us stay warm at home in cold and wet weather but too many people in our community have no shelter at all and face major risks from wild weather – we have a responsibility to help them.
South Australians have a great reputation for getting around those who are disadvantaged and marginalised. This help will be even more important as the nights turn colder for those sleeping rough.
The activation of Code Blue is a stark reminder of why Labor’s commitment of $180 million in extra funding to the South Australian Housing Trust for new and upgraded housing is so important.