AME Zion Church on Franklin Street to Partner with Catholic Charities and DSS to Provide Warming Center as Part of Code Blue Services During Inclement Winter Weather
Kingston, N.Y. – On Wednesday, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein announced a new location for the Ulster County Warming Center and immediately activated the Center as temperatures are forecast to fall into the single digits on Thursday night. The Warming Center will be open for 48 hours, from 6pm on Wednesday, November 21 through 6pm on Friday, November 23. The Center's operations may be extended beyond Friday, depending on future weather conditions.
The new location at the AME Zion Church at 26 Franklin Street in Midtown Kingston was made possible through a partnership between Ulster County, the AME Zion Congregation and Catholic Charities, which will provide staff support at the Center. The Warming Center was previously housed at the Clinton Avenue Methodist Church, which is no longer available. Members of the Kingston Interfaith Council and Kingston Mayor Steve Noble helped identify the new location.
The Ulster County Warming Center provides cots, bedding and meals, as well as referrals to other supportive services, for anyone who is without a warm place to stay during cold winter nights.
During periods of extreme cold, the Ulster County Warming Center is activated as part of the County’s “Code Blue” protocol. For the duration of a Code Blue activation, members of law enforcement and others are encouraged to refer individuals in need of shelter to the Family of Woodstock Hotline at (845) 338-2370 or directly to the Warming Center. Code Blue activations are reported on the County’s website at www.ulstercountyny.gov.
Ulster County Executive Mike Hein
“I want to express my sincere gratitude to Reverend Mary Bruce and the parishioners of the AME Zion Church, as well as the staff from Catholic Charities, who have agreed to partner with the County to ensure this critical service,” said Ulster County Executive Mike Hein. “I also want to recognize Mayor Noble and everyone involved in helping to make this a reality, just in time for our first major cold snap of the season. No one should have to find themselves out on the streets, especially in freezing cold weather. Our warming shelter assures that anyone in need has a safe, welcoming place to stay. I want to once again recognize Reverend Bruce and the AME Zion Church, Catholic Charities, and our own team at the Department of Social Services for working together to assure that those most in need have shelter as well as access to food and important services that they need.”
Kingston Mayor Steve Noble
“I appreciate the incredible dedication of our County’s network of caring faith leaders, non-profit organizations and government agencies, all of whom have been working together to protect our most vulnerable residents this winter,” said Kingston Mayor Steve Noble. “The City of Kingston is committed to helping in any way we can to ensure that every member of our community has access to safe and warm shelter.”
Ulster County DSS Commissioner Mike Iapoce
Michael A . Iapoce, Esq, Commissioner of the Ulster County Department of Social Services said, “I am deeply thankful to Reverend Bruce and her congregation for agreeing to work with us to find a new home for the Ulster County Warming Center and to County Executive Hein for continuing to support this important service for the most vulnerable members of our local community during winter conditions. While we continue our work to combat homelessness in Ulster County, it is vital that we make sure that everyone, under cold weather conditions, has access to shelter. DSS is also available to assist individuals who come to the Warming Center to access other essential services and secure permanent housing.”
Photo (below): The AME Zion Church at 26 Franklin Street, Kingston, will be the new home of the Ulster County Warming Center, which will be open from 6pm Wednesday through 6pm Friday.