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Snowfall on trees, Germany.
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This has been a really LONG 48 hours!

The blizzard that hit the eastern coast of the United States left us buried yesterday under what was about 2 feet of snow. This was in addition to the 18 inches or so that was already on the ground from last week’s storm! The official snow total for Philadelphia so far this winter is 70.3 inches of snow. That makes this the snowiest winter on record so far–the last record was set in the winter of 1995-1996, when there was 65.5 inches of snow.

All that to say, this has been an interesting week at TLC’s Code Blue Shelter. On Tuesday afternoon, just hours before the storm was supposed to start, we made the decision as a staff and volunteers┬áto keep the shelter open from 8 p.m. on Tuesday evening until 8 a.m. on Thursday morning, so that our guests would have respite from the storm during the day on Wednesday. The Lower Bucks Center for Church and Community homeless shelter network has referred to this idea of keeping a Code Blue Shelter open additional hours during extreme snow emergencies as “Code White.”

And “white” it was! I arrived at the shelter for my shift a little after 11 p.m. on Tuesday evening. When I left at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, my car was literally buried! It took me and 3 guys to dig out. It was the same story Thursday morning–it took 2 volunteers and 2 of our homeless guests to dig out the remaining cars in the lot when we finally closed the shelter this morning at 8 a.m.

We were very fortunate to be able to keep the shelter open for “Code White” during the last 48 hours. Many thanks to the dedicated volunteers and staff people who spent their snow day at the church (and slept in their offices, and┬árisked travel on dangerous roads to be on time for their shift) so that others might be sheltered from the weather. We are truly blessed.

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