Cold Weather Kicks Emergency Shelter System Into High Gear

cold_thermometerELIZABETH—When Union County residents are in need of emergency shelter, services are available to help. The 24-hour Homeless Assistance Hotline takes calls at 908-756-6061, every day of the week.

“If you know of someone in need, please let them know that the hotline is there to help them,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Angel G. Estrada, “Our staff can provide referral to emergency shelter and other forms of assistance.”

The Homeless Assistance Hotline is a service of the Union County Division of Human Services. It provides referral and assistance for all Union County residents and families, including single men and women, two-parent families with children, single parents with children, and childless couples.

Victims of domestic violence are urged to call Union County at the secure 24 Hour Domestic Violence Hotline, 908-355-4357 (908-355-HELP).

During especially cold weather, all 21 municipalities coordinate a “Code Blue” alert with the Department of Human Services and other Union County resources, in order to respond swiftly to residents seeking shelter and to provide transportation if needed.

The two main homeless shelters in Union County are the Plainfield Area YMCA Plainfield Emergency Shelter at 518 Watchung Avenue in Plainfield, 908-756-6061, and the Salvation Army—Elizabeth Emergency Shelter at 1018 East Grand Street in Elizabeth, 908-352-2886. Both may be contacted by phone 24 hours a day. For security purposes, shelter locations for victims of domestic violence are not disclosed.

Union County residents who are not eligible for other forms of emergency shelter assistance can contact Operation Warm Heart at 908-353-4002, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Operation Warm Heart is a program of the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless.

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