25/06/2020 | Michelle Lensink MLC

A Code Blue extreme winter weather response for people sleeping rough in regional South Australia will be activated from tonight due to forecast prolonged cold temperatures.

During a Code Blue activation, Housing SA, together with its non-government partners, makes additional accommodation available for extended hours for people sleeping rough.

The Code Blue applies for the Port Augusta, Whyalla, Riverland, Mt Gambier and Murray Bridge regions and people sleeping rough in these areas should contact the 24/7 Homelessness Gateway on 1800 003 308 for assistance.

“Predicted cold weather in the regions is expected to reach below five degrees for five nights or more and that’s why we, together with our homelessness partners, will be activating a Code Blue tonight.

“People who are experiencing homelessness in these regions and need assistance to take shelter from these conditions can call the Homelessness Gateway on 1800 003 308. This number operates 24/7, every day of the year.”

Minister Lensink said a substantial number of people experiencing homelessness were already in motel rooms as part of the

Marshall Liberal Government’s swift coronavirus pandemic response.

“Currently, there are 195 South Australians experiencing homelessness in motels as part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s

COVID-19 response to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” said Minister Lensink.

“Supporting South Australians into safe, secure and stable long-term housing is our continued aim and we are committed to helping people into a range of housing options following their stay in motels.”

Current Code Blue criteria, as determined in conjunction with the Government’s NGO partners, includes:

* Conditions predicted to continue for at least three days by BOM with any two of the following: temperatures dropping below an average night-time low of 6C, significant rainfall and damaging wind, OR

* Conditions predicted by BOM to continue for at least five days, when temperatures drop below an average night-time low of 5C.