Safe Havens: ABCCM’s Code Purple Response
City of Asheville designates ABCCM as a 2023-24 official Buncombe County shelter for unhoused individuals during Code Purple Emergencies
With two facilities totaling 115 beds, ABCCM is a designated 2023-24 official City- County Shelter for the homeless during Code Purple nights. Code Purple nights occur with temperatures of 32 degrees or lower, when people are at-risk of freezing to death. The threat is real; there are an average of 75-90 unsheltered (women and children, veterans, and other individuals) nightly in Buncombe County alone.
“Today’s unhoused homeless need safe, healthy facilities, competent staff and trained volunteers to help meet the complex needs of these neighbors,” says ABCCM Executive Director Rev. Scott Rogers. “ABCCM accepts everyone. We do not require ID or background checks. We accept all people of color. We accept different genders without putting labels and initials on people groups. We treat each unique individual with kindness. We serve those who may be in active addiction and need to stabilize or socially detox. Our focus is on safety for everyone. We do not allow active drug use on the property or in facilities. We require people to be in control of their behavior, not making threats or be a threat to themselves. We have a safe place for those with pets to house them offsite at a certified pet shelter or veterinarian facility. We focus on connecting people with health resources and other important supportive services. ABCCM calls these places: Safe Havens for Code Purple.”
Each year during freezing weather, ABCCM mobilizes Code Purple Vans to help Buncombe County’s homeless residents stay safe and warm at designated Safe Haven shelters.
“Code Purple is a life-saving arm of the churches supporting ABCCM,” Rev. Rogers says. “Since a homeless veteran froze to death on the streets in 1984, ABCCM has been committed to reaching out through our Code Purple vans to offer lifelines to the homeless. Thanks to the hundreds of volunteers and area churches, we will transport men and women to emergency shelters and ABCCM will provide shelter.”
As temperatures plummet, Code Purple saves lives. “We need everyone’s help to provide coats, hats, gloves, blankets, as well as food for the homeless,” Rev. Rogers says. “Our vans visit homeless sites to deliver coats, hats, gloves, blankets, hand warmers, and food, and they pick people up from these camps and take them to emergency shelters. Many homeless people have no way of getting to the shelters. The Code Purple Vans remove this transportation obstacle.”
Safe Haven Locations
Safe Havens will operate from 4pm to 7am:
- VETERANS RESTORATION QUARTERS
ACTS building at 1401 Tunnel Rd.
(Veteran men – 95 beds)
- TRANSFORMATION VILLAGE
30 Olin Haven Way
(Women and children – 20 beds)
Volunteers are needed at all locations:
- Cook Teams: shifts- 4-7pm and 6-8am
- Evening Activity volunteers: shifts 5-7pm and 7-9pm
- Life Skill teachers: shifts 7-9pm
- Mentors or Faithful Friends: shifts 5-7pm and 7-9pm
Beverly-Hanks will sponsor a fund drive for Transformation Village in November, and the Grey Eagle will be holding a clothing drive on November 5 for ABCCM’s Crisis Ministry.