Code Blue in Lackawanna County

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Shelters in Lackawanna County are issuing a Code Blue Wednesday night as temperatures tumble below freezing.

Keystone Mission in Scranton helped to open a shelter at Weston Field for the city. Wednesday night, the Scranton zoning board approved Keystone Mission’s plan to purchase a property on Wyoming Avenue to renovate into a permanent 50-room homeless shelter.

The next step is for the Mission to purchase the building before renovations begin. For Wednesday night, the homeless will be able to stay warm inside the gym and no one will be turned away, we were told.

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Shelters in Lackawanna County are issuing a Code Blue for Wednesday night as temperatures are expected to dip below freezing.

Keystone Mission in Scranton is setting up a shelter to try and keep the homeless out of the cold. The Scranton zoning board is expected to vote on the mission’s new potential 50-room shelter in the city. In the meantime, Wednesday night, it is focusing on a different shelter. Doors to the Weston Field Gymnasium will be opened and used as a shelter Wednesday night.

“Right now, we have a total of about 70 cots. We have 50 blankets and 50 pillows so we are equipped for about 50 people,” Keystone Mission CEO Justin Behrens said.

As temperatures are expected to dip below 20 degrees Wednesday night, the homeless will be able to stay warm. Keystone Mission does not turn anybody away. This is the non-profit’s second year providing shelter at the field during Lackawanna County’s Code Blue.

“I don’t even like walking out to my car in 20-degree weather. These people are out sleeping wherever, so it’s nice they will be able to open the door and help out,” City of Scranton Parks and Recreation Director Brian Fallon said.

Fallon says volunteers with the Mission will be on hand overnight to help individuals get comfortable for a decent night’s rest inside a city-owned building.

“They came to us and said can you open your doors and obviously it’s the least the city can do to help out the less fortunate,” Fallon said.

The non-profit has been working on purchasing the former Diamond Glass building on Wyoming Avenue. It plans on transforming it into a 50-room shelter for men, women, and families.

“We’re excited that we actually have a building that we are satisfied that will meet our needs. Today we have the zoning board that we’re going to go to get approval for the homeless shelter,” Behrens said.

Now, Keystone Mission employees tell Eyewitness News they expect the zoning board will approve its future shelter on Wyoming Avenue. If they do, their next step will be to purchase the building.

The Code Blue shelter will be open at Weston Field from 9 p.m. Wednesday night until 7 a.m. Thursday morning.

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