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What is a Code Blue Weather Emergency in 2023?

The Department of Homeless Services has policies called β€œCode Blue” for winter nights when at least one of the following extreme weather conditions occurs: Temperature falls below 32 degrees or wind chill below 0 degrees (Fahrenheit) OR Ice storms or freezing rain OR snow greater than 6 inches.

These are important because there are some things you can do to be a good human.

What to do if you see someone outside during a Code Blue

If you see someone on the street in need of shelter, you can call 311, give a description of the person and the location, and an outreach team will be dispatched to assist. You don't have to do anything else but call. You don't need to approach the person or wait for anyone to arrive. Just call 311.

Things you should know about Code Blues

From Coalition for the Homeless

  • Drop-in centers are required to take as many clients as possible, within the Department of Buildings restrictions.
  • Anyone in need of a place to go can walk into single adult or family shelters, without undergoing typical intake and eligibility procedures for the night in question.
  • For single adults who have been in shelter in the past can access any shelter, not just their assigned shelter for the night in question.
  • Cooling / heating vans or centers may be provided.
  • More outreach teams will be on the streets to offer services and shelter.
  • No shelter suspensions or sanctions can be carried out on these dates – clients who have been sanctioned can return to the shelter for the night in question, if necessary.

Kari J added: Don't forget, please use your unlimited MetroCards to swipe the less fortunate in – this is legal and will help people stay warm. (Support for swiping for others).


Josh Pugh

A business founding, digital marketing focused, charity driving, community builder from South Australia, living in New York City. After moving in 2017, Josh realized that there was an opportunity to curate and help the community of expats who moved to the United States – and launched America Josh.View Author posts

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