NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — When cold temperatures reach freezing or lower, wind chill below 0 degrees, or the area is hit by ice storms, freezing rain or more than 6 inches of snow, New York City triggers a “Code Blue” to make sure anyone in need of assistance has the shelter they need.

During a declared Code Blue warning the Department of Homeless Services and the New York City Police Department aim to contact the city’s most vulnerable people once every four hours to make sure they are safe from the frigid weather.

According to nyc.gov, the following help is made more available for the homeless:

Shelters: During a Code Blue, homeless adults can access any shelter location for single individuals.
Beds are available system-wide to accommodate anyone brought in by outreach teams or walk-ins.

Drop-in centers: All drop-in centers are open 24 hours a day when Code Blue procedures are in effect, taking in as many as people as possible for the duration of inclement weather. Drop-in staff also can make arrangements for homeless individuals at other citywide facilities.

Safe havens and stabilization beds: Chronically homeless individuals may be transported to these low-threshold housing options, where they may go directly from the street to a bed.

New Yorkers should call 911 if they see someone in need of medical assistance, and 311 to have a HOME-STAT outreach team engage a homeless individual about going to a shelter and receiving homelessness services.

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