Know Your Rights – Code Blue & Code Red

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The Department of Homeless Services has policies called “Code Blue” for winter nights and “Code Red” for summer nights when at least one of the following extreme weather conditions occurs:

Code Blue

  • Temperature falls below 32 degrees or wind chill below 0 degrees (Fahrenheit).
  • Ice storms or freezing rain OR snow greater than 6 inches.

Code Red

  • Heat index of 90 degrees is predicted by the National Weather Service with in 24 hours.

What changes during Code Red and Code Blue?

  • 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.