Thousands of homeless New Yorkers struggle to survive on the streets every night. As winter approaches, high winds, frigid temperatures, snow, and freezing rain can put them at risk of life-threatening illnesses like hypothermia and frostbite. The City declares a Code Blue warning when the temperature drops to 32 degrees or below, including wind-chill, between 4:00pm and 8:00am. It is important to note that homeless individuals and families always have a right to shelter in New York City regardless of the weather, but there are expanded outreach and drop-in services as well as different shelter and intake rules when Code Blue is in effect.
Cold weather is dangerous for this vulnerable population, but here are a few ways you can help homeless New Yorkers this winter: