The effect of homelessness becomes severe during the winter months, as excessive rain combined with frigid temperatures exacerbate health issues and can be life threatening for those experiencing homelessness. In response, Sonoma County officials and local homeless service providers have operated the Code Blue Winter Weather Response Program designed to intervene by expanding shelter capacity and provide warming stations during freezing temperatures and prolonged periods of rain.
Code Blue Winter Weather program has been operating since 2013, after a run of frigid nights left homeless advocates scrambling to supply homeless people with extra resources needed most which were not otherwise available.
Sonoma County’s homeless population rate per 1,000 residents is among the highest in the nation. Code Blue brings support and awareness to homelessness and offers a way for the community to directly reduce fatalities and help those most vulnerable during winter months.