Days after a court ruled against the Bloomberg administration's policy of denying the homeless a place to sleep in city shelters, the Daily News reports that the city has also been turning away families with nowhere else to go when the temperature has dipped below freezing. "They tried to send us outside into the cold,” 23-year-old Junior Clarke told the paper of his family's ordeal in attempting to stay at the Bronx PATH Center last month. "They threatened to have us thrown out by the police."

Traditionally the city has given shelter to anyone during a "code blue" situation—when temperatures are below freezing—but homeless advocates now say that people who use the shelters more than once are being turned away. Patrick Markee, a senior policy analyst for Coalition for the Homeless, tells the paper that after repeatedly dodging the issue, the city eventually admitted that they changed the policy last year. “The fact that city officials refuse to admit they changed their ‘code blue’ policy for families seeking shelter only underlines how misguided and dangerous it is to turn children and parents into the streets on freezing cold nights,” Markee said.

The report pointedly criticizes the city's Department of Homeless Services, noting that its spokeswoman, Barbara Brancaccio, refused to answer questions about the policy change or make the Commissioner, Seth Diamond, available for an interview. She emailed only this statement:

For reapplications, we take into account weather conditions, and we work to ensure that applicants who have alternate living situations do not take up beds that are needed by those who truly have no recourse.

Clarke, his wife, and their four-year-old daughter sought help from Legal Aid representatives, who convinced workers at the PATH Center to take them in anyway. A paralegal for the organization, Christina Schrum-Herrera, said, “How many families did we not intervene for? “There are a lot more families who weren’t placed because the city no longer has the code blue policy.”

But besides a burgeoning homeless population, the State of the City is strong! Read our report about the mass graves where many homeless end up when they die, here.