Volunteer Challenge!

We want to ensure that each shelter can stay open every night this season.  We operate solely on the time and talents of the community. There are faithful volunteers that serve more than their share each winter. They enable us to provide a warm safe space for our guests to come into and sleep each night. Consider helping us give them a reprieve by having more servants join our team. Please be thinking about who you can bring to an upcoming training that could be your buddy for the overnight shift this season. 

Please note that any training you attend will be good for any Code Purple Site.

See links for FaceBook individual training events below.

Buddy Challenge CPSC 7-29-2019

Georgetown Training

Laurel Training

Milford Training

Laurel Training

Bridgeville Training

Seaford Training


“JOE”- CP True Story

The complete story of “Joe” from the last few weeks of FB posts. This is what God does! We love being a part of His handiwork and walking alongside those who need support. It has taken many hands to bring this all together for him. Now he is ready to start a new life. In order to do that he needs a place to live. Please read and let us know if you can help with a couple weeks of rent.

Sorry loooong read-
Today I was able to witness a compassionate act from someone that people think “lacks compassion”. Let’s begin 7 yrs ago when I met “Joe” in the woods while ministering (with SOUL ministries) to people experiencing homelessness. First encounter showed the little bit of wild in his eyes and a machete. (Don’t be so shocked. How many of you have a gun for protection at your house?) We knew from the surrounding ground around his tent that alcohol was his choice of substance. We talked a little about his work out regime if memory serves me correctly. We gave him some supplies and said our good-byes. Fast forward a couple of years to the beginning of Code Purple. “Joe” entered inebriated many nights. He didn’t speak much and made several people uncomfortable (including me most of the time, an oddity for sure) but our ministry is to save lives for the night so we did the best we could for all, including the difficult “Joe”. There were nights when his behavior got the best of him and we had to ask him to leave because he just couldn’t keep his anger in check. It’s never an easy decision but we have to keep a safe haven for all. You see, “Joe” has been experiencing homelessness for a very long time (probably close to 20yrs). Various people have tried to help him over the years but it’s never been a life change for him. He has been in Code Purple shelters off and on over the seasons, some years every night and some years just on occasions. When he started coming to our shower, lunch, and laundry days a few weeks ago, I have to admit that I was a little like “Oh boy” (I’m only human). Unfortunately, he has burnt every bridge that exists for him. One day he told me that no where else wanted him and his voice sounded very lonely and sad. Of course I understand why and how that comes about but it didn’t make me any less sad for the situation. This time around with “Joe” has been slightly different. I still have to ask him to chill (with that motherly tone I often use) but these past few weeks, he is listening. An understanding in his eyes that says “Yeah, Nikki, I can do that.” He’s been more pliable and asking continuously for help. He wanted to go to rehab. We attempted a couple weeks ago. He was taken to detox with detailed instructions for them to communicate with the advocate dropping him off before releasing him. Well this organization did not do that and just put him back on the streets. He came back and I was shocked. He felt let down again and went back to the bottle. *(We are not going to solve someone’s problems, that has been experiencing homelessness this long, with 7 days in detox!!)* Even though that experience was not what he had hoped for, he kept asking for help. Today things lined up for him again. We asked him if he was ready to go today. “Joe’s” momma happened to be with us for shower, lunch and laundry day. She was encouraging him to get the help he needs. He hesitated (because it’s not an easy step to take for someone fighting addiction) but he said yes. His momma was so elated that she started crying. What happened next will be forever etched into my brain. With tears in his eyes he put his arms around her and hugged her while patting her back, reassuring her that it would be ok. I was done. It was such a sweet moment that I wish I could’ve captured for all to see. This is a man that almost everyone has given up on. They think he is a hopeless case, never capable of positive emotions or love. But guess what? He was created by the same God as you and I were. There is the same Hope for him that there is for all of us. Never, ever forget that when you are dealing with another human being. I’m not saying be an enabler or a push over (believe me, I am no pushover lol) but be kind in your dealings with others. They have feelings whether you can see them or not. I believe that anyone asking for help in this way deserves to go, each and every time they ask because you never know if this will be the time that freedom happens for them.
Current situation for “Joe”:
He needed to be medically cleared at the hospital so a wonderful advocate (Phillip) took him there and helped him through the beginning of the process. He connected him to SUN and let them know that he would be arriving tonight. It was not an easy thing for the hospital or “Joe” as he can be cantankerous and the staff are not all equipped with how to speak to him or understand his mental condition. They also know him well, so they reach their limit of compassion so to speak (wish it was different but I do understand). However, thanks to Josh sitting with him until his release from the ER and delivering “Joe” to SUN and making sure he was settled in before leaving, he is currently in detox. I implore anyone that has read this through to the end, to PRAY for “Joe” to find true freedom and peace from his addiction!


Update on “Joe”. He has been released from SUN and will be on the streets until Monday. He has opted not to go to Gateway because he found out that you are not allowed to go outside or smoke. Now before you make any hasty judgements, imagine living on your own for over twenty years outside and the ability to smoke as you want. Then imagine while you give up alcohol you must also not smoke. I’m not saying anything against Gateway either, different places have different rules. This was just not the option “Joe” felt comfortable trying. We tried finding a place for him to stay through Monday but there isn’t anywhere. All of our options that we could think said there was no room for him. Please lift him up in prayer and ask God to pour out strength and hope to him. “Joe” is soooooo sad and hopeless feeling right now. Pray that God helps him not use any substances and help him show up for his appointment Monday. Pray that “Joe” would find the everlasting life in Jesus!

Update #2- Keep your prayers coming! “Joe” is still sober after being on the street last night! We have had a very gracious offer of a place for him to stay tonight and tomorrow night. Continue praying for him to feel God’s love through the people helping and from God Himself.

Update #3 “Joe” was blessed with a place for a couple of nights until he can get into a rehab. And as God blesses us, our room provider also blessed “Joe” with food and a tv. We are praying for Monday but sometimes (as we’ve seen) things don’t always go smoothly. I’m proud of “Joe” for sticking it out through this hiccup. I have never seen him go this long or want recovery this much. I don’t know how the story will end but I know that we will walk alongside him as long as he is willing to walk.

Update #4 “Joe” has waited patiently at a house that was so kindly offered for him to stay in until he could get check into rehab. He has maintained his sobriety, maybe partly due to being tucked away from his old stomping grounds but I think it’s more likely due to all the prayers going up for him. He was finally approved to get into Gaudenzia. They will take him tomorrow morning! Pray for Phil who has went above and beyond for “Joe” and has walked so faithfully beside him. Please continue to pour out prayers for his complete healing!

Update #5 “Joe has been successfully staying in Guadenzia and can be released at anytime. He has a job available to him and we are working on housing. We would like to raise $500 to help with his first weeks of rent until he can get paid from his job. Anyone that wants to help, please let us know and you can donate to LoveINC for this specific purpose. Thank-you!

Email: codepurplesussexcounty@gmail.com


We are excited to offer this valuable training! Please consider joining us, especially if you are going to volunteer this Code Purple season. Understanding the different aspects of our shelter guests helps break down the stigma associated with people experiencing homelessness. Every tool we acquire gives us more confidence to serve our guests well.

De-Escalation Trng Poster final 08-27-291024_1

Click the link below to sign up via Event Brite! (A flyer with links to each training spot will open in a new window.)

De-Escalation Training Links

Season Update!

We are excited about our upcoming Code Purple Season! It will be our 6th year in operation. We are continually amazed at how the community (YOU) helps us serve others IN OUR communities that are experiencing homelessness. 
We are busy planning for this winter and making sure each shelter is equipped with everything it needs to create a welcoming, warm, safe environment for those in need. Please continue to help us in our efforts. Plan on attending a training to find out more. You can also get a good bit of information off of our website  https://codepurplesussexcounty.com/ .
We are in need of several volunteers to fill coordinator positions. This includes Milford Volunteer Coordinator, Seaford Laundry Coordinator, Donation Coordinator, Georgetown Volunteer Coordinator and Food Volunteer assistants. Please let us know if you would like more information on what that entails or if you are interesting in serving in any of those capacities.
You can call and leave a message for Code Purple at 302-956-6006 and someone will return your call as soon as possible. 

Additional Day for Lunch, Showers and Laundry!



We are pleased to announce that the CROSS will also be open Thursdays to serve anyone experiencing homelessness! We will now be open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11am-4pm! 

During this time we serve a delicious meal provided by a loving member of the community. This is also a time for our guests to get a shower and to do their laundry. Can you imagine how nice a shower feels after being in the heat all day and night? Then to be able to put on clean fresh clothes? It has been said to “make me feel human again”. This is what you are helping to provide with the meals and toiletries that you donate. We can not thank you enough! 

We always welcome donations of laundry soap, toiletries, and to-go food items. Here is a link to our donation list. Donation List


You can sign up to bring a meal hereSignUp Lunch Calendar

Housing Alliance DE PIT 2019 DATA

Housing Alliance Delaware Releases Data on the Statewide 2019 Point in Time Homeless Count

Wilmington, De. (June 24, 2019) Today Housing Alliance Delaware released data from their annual Point in Time Count of homelessness, conducted statewide overnight on January 30th and into the next morning. This year over 130 volunteers and Housing Alliance staff counted individuals and families staying in year-round emergency shelters, seasonal Code Purple sites, long term transitional housing and motels, The teams also located and surveyed those categorized as “unsheltered” in vehicles, emergency waiting rooms, libraries, train and bus stations, tents, sheds and other places not fit for human habitation. Over 10% were unsheltered on a night when the temperature dipped below 5 degrees throughout the state.

Housing Alliance Delaware reports an overall statewide decline of people experiencing homelessness from 1,082 in 2018 to 921 this year, a 15% decrease. New Castle and Kent Counties also saw significant decreases of 25% and 20%. The overall State decline was hampered by a substantial increase in Sussex County, where the number of people experiencing homelessness jumped by 40%, from 118 last year to 181 this year.

This year the percentage of children under 18yrs rose to 24% of the counted population, up from 21% in 2018. The percentage who were youth, defined as 18-24 yrs by HUD, also ticked up slightly from 7% to 8%. The percentage of adults experiencing homelessness with children accompanying them grew from 35% of the population to 39%.

The Point in Time (PIT) Count is a HUD mandated nighttime count every January for communities receiving HUD funding for homeless services. Those communities must maintain a coordinated body of diverse representatives to make funding and policy decisions for efficient use of HUD and other grant funding to end homelessness in their jurisdiction. The governing body, known as the “Continuum of Care” (COC), makes policy and monitors progress and system performance for all the agencies receiving funding. Delaware’s COC board and membership donate resources and volunteer for the annual PIT. Although it is a snapshot of a single night, the COC and other policy planners rely on the PIT statistics, along with other system performance measures Housing Alliance collects and reports, for trends and indications of which programming is achieving success.

Housing Alliance DE Publications


Save The Date! Training coming soon to a town near you!

I know that it’s summer but the Code Purple Team is already planning for the upcoming winter season! We wanted to give you a peak at the trainings that will be available. Remember,  we are a volunteer and donation based ministry. We can not do it without the support of the community. Our guests have a warm safe place to lay their heads thanks to all of you! We will continue to update you on the various areas where you can serve in the Code Purple ministry. Check us out on FB and/or send us your email to stay up to date.


NOW AVAILABLE: Lunch Calendar for Shower, Lunch and Laundry Days!

8C364E2D-3DD6-46A8-9915-8945A517B897We are always trying to make things more streamlined and easily accessible to our volunteers and well, us too! 😉 We thought it may be easier for you to have the ability to sign up for lunches online. It will also make it easier for us to track what days are filled or not filled.

This is for the Seaford area at this time. The CROSS building is located at 703 East King Street, Seaford, DE 19973. You can bring lunch anywhere from 11-12pm.

Lunches can consist of any food you would like to bring for our guests to eat. We have had quite the variety of sandwiches, pizza, pulled pork, salads, fast food, desserts, and drinks. We provide all the paper goods and utensils (from our donations provided by the truly giving people in the community).

You have the option of dropping it off and getting on with your day or staying and hanging out with us. We can always use the extra help and we believe it is imperative that people get to know our guests so that we can change the perceived ideas that society has about people experiencing homelessness.

Remember you have to have this specific link to the calendar in order to sign up! Just click the link below.
Click to View Volunteer Opportunities on SignUp.com


Share the word about how the community can get involved with Code Purple throughout the year! If you haven’t yet “liked” us on FB, please head on over there and Like our page to keep updated on our events throughout the year. Thank you again for all your support!

Community Services Available

B8BD0D4E-FC52-42B5-90BE-BDAF1EFE59CEWe are pleased to announce that we have partnered with two agencies in order to help bring resources directly to our guests at the CROSS Building. This is helpful on many levels. We all know that anyone experiencing homelessness may have transportation issues and find it hard to make it to another town. There is also an element of trust that is established when meeting with people in their own comfort zones.  The following supports are available:

* Jessica Merrill (Division of Social Services Community Partner Support Unit (CPSU)) will be available every Wednesday 12-3pm in order to help with the following:

  • ASSIST application process
  • Applying for food benefits
  • Medicaid
  • Long-Term Nursing Care
  • Childcare
  • Home Energy Assistance
  • Referrals to pertinent partner organizations
  • Employment and Training
  • Overcoming general barriers


*Bernita Futch (Housing Alliance DE) will be available once a month. Friday, June 14th is the next day scheduled from 12-3pm.

  • Working with housing issues.
  • Helping with shelter searches.
  • PSH/RRH referrals.


These resources in addition to food, showers, and laundry access will go a long way in helping so many in the community find a sense of well-being, hope, and ultimately a place to live. Thank you all for the support you have given us over these last several years. We could not do it without the community’s help!

Showers, Laundry, & Lunch!

We are pleased to announce that we have been offering showers, laundry and lunch to our guests and new friends that are experiencing homelessness. The current days available are Wednesdays and Fridays from 12-4ish. This is such a necessary piece to the puzzle for our guests to be able to get jobs, fellowship with others, staying nourished, and well, just a little time to feel “normal” for a while.

We have some needs in order for us to be able to continue this piece of the ministry. Our guests do not have a lot of clothing, so we would love to have t-shirts and sweatpants/pajama pants for them to keep at The CROSS (they will be labeled and stored separately). This would allow them to have something clean to change into after they get out of the shower while their clothes are getting washed and dried.  Some of our guests have a need for flip flops/slides so if anyone wants to help with that mercy item, they would be very grateful. There are also times when new guests come in and do not have a backpack so that would be another mercy item. Since our guests are out in the heat and sun, ball caps would be appreciated as well.

We are sending food with our guests since we are not open each day of the week. This has pretty much depleted our to-go food. There is a complete list on our donation page found here. Donation Needs List PDF

Finally, we would LOVE to have help with providing lunch for these two days. (Hoping to add more eventually.) Two of us have been the sole providers since the end of the season and while we don’t mind, we would be very thankful for your help! You can message us on FB or email us at codepurplesussexcounty@gmail.com if you would like to help us provide lunch for our guests.

Items can be dropped off to The CROSS at 703 East King Street, Seaford, DE 19973. Lunch is also served at this location. The lunch is served at the same location. It is only available to people experiencing homelessness at this time.

Please look for further updates on this piece of our ministry. We will have ongoing needs and praise reports. This is an awesome time to come serve with us in a more mellow setting. This is an opportunity to “get your feet wet” and see if this is where the Lord is leading you to serve!