Delaware County Council reminds residents that various County agencies offer additional support to the homeless, elderly and vulnerable residents when harsh, freezing conditions take place during winter months.
When temperatures drop below freezing, and conditions pose a threat to individuals who are homeless, elderly or medically fragile, a network of agencies work to help residents obtain shelter, food and assistance.
“Several of our County agencies are prepared and ready to help residents cope with extreme weather conditions, from sheltering the homeless to reaching out to the elderly,” said Chairman Mario Civera Jr. “We want our residents to know about these services should they need assistance or if they know of someone who needs help. No one should suffer through a blizzard without shelter or heat.”
Delaware County agencies that assist people year-round and during extreme weather conditions:
- The Delaware County Division
of Adult and Family Services of the Office of Behavioral Health partners with various agencies to offer additional services through the Homeless Services Coalition of Delaware County. They also provide a winter shelter directory that is distributed to police, municipalities, school districts and other officials.
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 winter’s cold weather are available on COSA’s informational weatherline at (610) 872-1558.
Department of Intercommunity Health provides information to help people avoid medical emergencies, such as hypothermia and frost bite, during Code Blue conditions.
- Community Action Agency of Delaware County (CAADC) is the county’s anti-poverty agency that can assist economically disadvantaged households.
- The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps low-income families pay their heating bills. PECO also offers a CARES Program for people experiencing a hardship, a low-income usage reduction program and discounted rates for low-income families.
The county’s Adult and Family Services Division, based in Upper Darby, participates in the leadership of the Homeless Services Coalition, a group of 90 individuals and organizations dedicated to providing services to the homeless.
During cold weather, outreach teams and local authorities can take unsheltered homeless adults to shelter programs, which are operated by the Salvation Army Chester Corps, Connect-by-Night, a project of the Mental Health Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Life Center of Eastern Delaware County to access overflow shelter on cold nights.
The Mental Health Association’s Connect-by Night (CBN) Program transports people to host churches from their office located at 7200 Chestnut Street in Upper Darby. The Connect program is open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. and transportation to the host churches begins at 9 p.m.
Each year, the Division of Adult and Family Services distributes an updated Emergency Shelter Directory to all police stations, municipalities, hospital emergency rooms and social service agencies.
In addition, the office publishes a Survival Guide to Homeless Services that details a variety of services including shelters, housing, meals, treatment programs and government services. Both of these
resources are posted on the County website at www.co.delaware.pa.us.
Residents are encouraged to register for the DelcoAlert notification system that sends messages to mobile devices to alert them of weather emergencies, road closures and other extreme weather situations. Visit the county website and click on the yellow DelcoAlert icon.
For information or to obtain a copy of the current Emergency Shelter Directory and Survival Guide, contact Adult and Family Services at 610-713-2571 or 610-713-2365.
Resources and Contact Information:
Salvation Army: 151 W. 15th St., Chester. Call 610-874-0423
Connect-by-Night: 7200 Chestnut St., Upper Darby. Call 267-507-3970.
Community Action Agency: Call 610-874-8451
Life Center of Eastern Delaware County – 610-734-5770
For information on the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), call 1-866-857-7095.
For information on PECO energy assistance programs call 1-800-774-7040.