Know Your Rights – Code Blue & Code Red


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.