Code Blue, SOS working to accommodate Gov. Cuomo's new shelter protocols

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an Executive Order last month to ensure that homeless individuals are directed to shelter when temperatures decline to 32 degrees or below, and requires homeless shelters extend their hours of operations so that those without shelter can remain indoors.That order deviates from Code Blue Saratoga, established December 2013, and providing an emergency shelter during “extreme winter weather” – defined as 12 inches of snow or more, and temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit or less, to include wind chill factor. Michael Finocchi, executive director at Shelters of Saratoga, issue a statement Monday saying SOS and the Code Blue Saratoga Steering Committee are working with the city of Saratoga Springs, county and state agencies to initiate a plan that would accommodate the new protocols. “For the time being, the Code Blue shelter will continue activating on nights predicted for 20 degrees or below and /or 12 inches of snow, as forecasted by Accuweather.com,” Finocchi said. “The year-round, one day per week SOS Adult Drop-In Center, which opened in November 2015, will continue to serve individuals living on the street by providing them with a safe location to shower, launder their clothes, get something to eat and to connect with critical resources. Options for expanding both of these programs are being explored, however each requires adequate space, manpower and financial resources to do so. “