State Government issues first Code Blue response for homelessness services this winter

13 Jun 2019 newsmedia

People sleeping rough will be able to access extra services during wet and cold weather tonight (Wednesday 12 June), after the State Government declared a Code Blue response based on latest weather forecasts.

The Code Blue will apply to the Adelaide metropolitan area as well as Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Whyalla, the Fleurieu Peninsula (KI), Murray Bridge and the Riverland. Housing SA and the Homelessness Gateway Service (Uniting Communities) can activate a
Code Blue when heavy rain and strong wind makes sleeping unsheltered potentially dangerous, and difficult for rough sleepers to remain dry.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the Code Blue had been called due today’s forecast heavy rain and windy conditions.

“A Code Blue activation ensures there is shelter and services available overnight for roughsleepers during extreme winter weather conditions,” said Minister Lensink.

“Given the predicted significant rainfall and strong winds today, it is appropriate to call a Code Blue response to give people sleeping rough some respite."

“Specific conditions are needed in order to activate a Code Blue and in August last year, the State Government reviewed the current Code Blue triggers in consultation with our local homelessness services.”

Housing SA, together with its non-government partners, is making additional accommodation available for extended hours. These services offer additional shelter:

  • Baptist Care’s Westcare Centre at 11/19 Millers Ct, Adelaide will be open overnight
    from 3pm Wednesday 12 June, through to 7am Thursday 13 June 2019• Hutt St Centre at 257 Hutt St will extend its operating hours until 5pm
    Wednesday 12 June 2019
  • Trace-A-Place (SYC) at 135 Currie St Adelaide will extend its operating hours
    until 7pm Wednesday 12 June 2019
  • Adelaide CBD Street service Street to Home will increase staffing levels and
    engage with people rough sleeping through street work throughout this period
  • Regional homelessness services in the affected areas will activate local Code
    Blue plans
  • The Homelessness Gateway Service will continue to operate 24 hours a day 7
    days a week. Anyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness is encouraged to
    contact the Homelessness Gateway on 1800 003 308.

Housing SA will work with its metropolitan and regional partners to ensure shelter and outreach services are available during the Code Blue. Information about regional arrangements and emergency accommodation is available through the South Australia’s
Homelessness Gateway.

The gateway is available to offer assistance 24/7, year round. People who are sleeping rough, or people assisting them, can phone the gateway at any time.

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink thanked the people working to help rough sleepers stay warm and safe.

“It is thanks to these services and the additional shelter provisions that we are able to help people keep warm and dry when they need it most in extreme winter weather,” said Minister Lensink.