Philly’s Homeless Get Help During “Code Blue”
6ABC featured Helena Boyle and Sarah Sterling from PAH’s Hall-Mercer Homeless Outreach Service, which is part of a network of hospitals and non-profits that help people outside during a Code Blue when the temperatures in the city dip dangerously low. Reporter Kenneth Moton joined the team as they searched for homeless to help get them food, warmer clothing or transport those in need to shelters throughout the city during the record-cold temperatures earlier this month. Staff like Boyle and Sterling work in teams of two and are frequently assigned to respond to calls for the homeless in the Center City area, but also work outside the perimeter of Center City. When they aren’t receiving response calls, team members are on the street engaging homeless people – every day of the year. During a Code Blue, they work longer hours from 8 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. The dedicated outreach workers work in 8-hour shifts and typically make contact with about 10 to 15 homeless people a night. To watch the segment, click here.