Released: February 3, 2023
Delaware County Council reminds residents that various County agencies offer additional support and resources to the homeless, elderly, and vulnerable residents when harsh cold, snow, and freezing conditions take place during the winter season. When weather conditions pose a threat to individuals who are homeless, elderly, or medically fragile, a network of agencies works to help residents obtain shelter, food, and assistance.
During Code Blue conditions (below 32 degrees) expanded outreach services are implemented. Outreach staff will circulate in areas frequented by homeless persons. The goal of the Outreach Team is to locate homeless persons and bring them to safety in a warm facility. Overflow shelter beds will be utilized for identified homeless persons. Outreach services are provided by Horizon House, Inc. 24 hours a day, on a rotating 5-day schedule. Horizon House can be contacted at (267) 671-4357.
Several County agencies are prepared to help residents cope with extreme weather conditions, from sheltering the homeless to reaching out to the elderly. Council reminds residents about these services should they need assistance or if they know of someone who needs help.
The following Delaware County agencies assist people year-round and also during extreme weather conditions:
The Delaware County Department of Human Services, Adult and Family Services partners with various agencies to offer additional services through the Homeless Services Coalition of Delaware County (available at https://delcohomelessservices.org/), a group of 90 individuals and organizations dedicated to providing services to the homeless. They also publish the Homeless Services Resource Guide (available at https://delcohomelessservices.org/printable-resource-guide) that details a variety of services including shelters, housing, meals, treatment programs, and government services.
The County Office of Services for the Aging (COSA) extends outreach to senior citizens, including having case managers check on seniors who may be vulnerable. Tips on how to stay warm and safe during the winter are available on COSA’s informational weather line at (610) 872-1558.
Community Action Agency of Delaware County (CAADC) is the county’s anti-poverty agency and can assist residents with obtaining shelter and meals.
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps low-income families pay their heating bills. PECO also offers programs for people experiencing hardship, a low-income usage reduction program, and discounted rates for low-income families.
1-866-857-7095 if hearing impaired call 711
During cold weather, outreach teams and local authorities can take homeless adults to emergency shelter programs, which are operated by the Salvation Army, Chester Corps, and the Life Center of Eastern Delaware County.
Salvation Army, Chester Corps: (610) 874-0423
Community Action Agency: (610) 874-8451
Life Center of Eastern Delaware County: (610) 734-5770
The County’s 2022/2023 Cold Weather Plan can be found here: https://delcopa.gov/pdf/ColdWeatherPlan22-23.pdf
Residents are encouraged to register for the DelcoAlert notification system which alerts residents of weather emergencies such as road closures, power outages, and other extreme weather situations.
Register for Delco Alert here: www.delcopa.gov/delcoalert/delcoalert.html