In a response to the need for safe, warm shelter for homeless individuals and families in the Phoenixville area, a group of community partners from various organizations met and planned the pilot Code Blue Center program - initially knowns as the Code Blue Ministry of Phoenixville.
Doors to the Center opened on Monday, January 2016 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) in time for a large blizzard. Code Blue operated for 11 weeks, 7 days a week from 8PM to 8AM, and served 48 homeless men, women, and children.
After the 2016 Pilot Season of Code Blue, Ann's Heart determined the need to adopt the Center as the first full program of Ann's Heart. During the assessment of the program the Board of Directors decided that the Center needed to be updated to include fully accessible bathrooms and showers, as well as adding laundry facilities.
Construction for these renovations began immediately.
With the adoption of the Code Blue Overnight Emergency Warming Center as a program of Ann's Heart, the Board of Directors decided to hire the first staff person for the organization - an Executive Director.
The new Executive Director was hired and began work on September 1, 2019, establishing an Ann's Heart office at 148 Church Street, Phoenixville, PA.
After a delayed start due to renovations and having to house the program in an alternate location, the Code Blue Overnight Emergency Warming Center began its first full season as an official Ann's Heart program.
Over a period of 17 weeks, the Center served 52 individuals, providing a safe and warm place to spend the night. During the first season Ann's Heart engaged over 90 volunteers to support the Center, accumulating 1,275 hours of volunteer time.
After a lengthy renovation process, construction was finalized and we were granted the final certificate of occupancy for the Sacred Heart Church Hall's use at the Code Blue Overnight Emergency Warming Center.
The Code Blue Overnight Emergency Warming Center began its first full season in its newly renovated space. Providing showers and laundry to guests, the Center operated for 23 weeks and served 88 homeless individuals from Phoenixville and surrounding areas.
Challenged by an anonymous donor who believed in our vision for the Sacred Heart School's re-imagination into the HEART, Ann's Heart led and successfully completed a year-long capital campaign to raise $50,000 from area donors in order to receive a full $50,000 match. This was a great accomplishment as this was the first Capital Campaign ever completed by Ann's Heart.
Thanks to funds raised during the HEART JumpStart and countless hours of volunteer support, Ann's Heart was able to complete the various projects and steps required to receive a certificate of occupancy for the community center. In May, the Borough of Phoenixville awarded us with this certificate so that final renovations could be made to ensure the opening of the HEART to the community.