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Bitterly cold temperatures bring on first Code Blue of the season

Avery Schneider

Monday Night’s frigid temperatures meant the first Code Blue of the season for the Buffalo City Mission. WBFO’s Avery Schneider tells us more about the program that helps protect some of the city’s homeless on dangerously cold nights…

Nearly 60 men came in from the cold, and meeting their needs is no simple task. Cots need to be set up, hot meals and warm drinks prepared, and a van will spend the night making trips to bring the city’s most vulnerable residents in from the elements. The numbers of those in need are high and many of them are in crisis…
“There are more people than you know who are living in abandoned buildings, who are going from apartment to apartment, from friend’s house to friend’s house with no permanent place to stay,” said Quick.

Credit Avery Schneider / WBFO News
The Buffalo City Mission's chapel, where cots replace chairs on Code Blue nights so that the city's homeless have a place to rest in warmth.

That’s Bruce Quick, a case manager for the Mission. He says sometimes the men are dealing with sickness, disease, emotional and mental stress. So on the mornings following Code Blues, case managers like him will try and connect the men with treatment and services to help get them back on their feet.

The work can be especially time-consuming during Code Blue days. Last winter there were 69 of them. But in the end, Quick says, it’s worth it…
“It’s what we’re here to do and so we hunker down and we do our best, and we do our best joyfully,” Quick said.

Avery began his broadcasting career as a disc jockey for WRUB, the University at Buffalo’s student-run radio station.