With freezing temperatures and high winds sweeping across the area, Code Purple alerts have gone into effect nearly every night in January.
The alerts are put into place by the Asheville-Buncombe Homelessness Coalition when temperatures are at or below 32 degrees, including wind chill, or 33-40 degrees with precipitation. On Code Purple nights, participating shelters open up to offer emergency shelter to people experiencing homelessness, with transportation made available to shelter sites.
Here are a few ways you can volunteer at Code Purple shelter sites:
The Salvation Army is seeking volunteers to assist with laundry and resetting rooms from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. after a Code Purple night. Since Code Purple alerts are issued two days in advance, volunteers would be given notice when needed. Contact the organization’s Social Services Program Manager to assist with this opportunity.
Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM) offers two shelters for people experiencing homelessness during Code Purple nights: Transformation Village and Veterans Restoration Quarters. ABCCM is currently looking for volunteers at Transformation Village to assist with check-in, van driving, laundry + room resetting, and more. New volunteers will be paired with experienced volunteers to get on-site training — contact ABCCM’s Transformation Village Volunteer Coordinator for more information.
Beyond serving at these official 2023-2024 Code Purple shelter sites, there are many ways to support neighbors in need through housing, health, and food + resources by volunteering with groups like BeLoved Asheville, Homeward Bound, and more — find a list of organizations you can support across WNC.