With summer now officially underway, the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) is again utilizing its Code Red procedure to protect individuals who are living unsheltered throughout the five boroughs.
Employed when the heat index reaches 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, Code Red call for increased street outreach efforts, allowing teams to check on individuals more frequently and assess them for signs of medical danger. In addition, when Code Red is in effect, New Yorkers experiencing homelessness may walk into any shelter or cooling center Citywide and have access to drop-in centers 24 hours per day.
Since 2005, New York City’s comprehensive, around-the-clock outreach program has resulted in 28 percent fewer individuals living on City streets. Although engaging these clients is always an important task, the efforts become all the more crucial during times of dangerous weather. Through Code Red, DHS can further encourage individuals to move indoors to safer and more comfortable environments.
With many days of summer still ahead, we ask all New Yorkers to join us in our mission to serve street homeless individuals. Dial 911 in the case of a medical emergency, or 311 to dispatch an outreach team to an individual in need.
For tips on staying safe in the heat, visit the New York City Office of Emergency Management (OEM): http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/hazards/heat.shtml