By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As the Philadelphia area braces for several more days of subfreezing temperatures, city agencies are gearing up to help the city’s most vulnerable residents.

When temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, the City of Philadelphia puts its “Code Blue” initiatives in place, adding 350 shelter beds for the homeless: “for single men and single women, and 90 beds for families,” according to Leticia Egea-Hinton, deputy director of the city’s Office of Supportive Housing.

She says they have had scores of vacancies at shelters over the past several days, and believe they have adequate space at their seven winter sites and three “after-hours” locations, where folks can get in without a lot of red tape.

“We try to make it as easy as possible,” she tells KYW Newsradio.

Broad Street Ministry, on South Broad Street near Pine, is operating its winter café, allowing those who refuse to stay overnight in a traditional homeless shelter to come in for a meal and a hot drink, and remain out of the frigid cold.

“Shelter-resistant folk are really at risk,” notes Broad Street Ministry’s social services director, Edd Conboy.

If you see someone who is homeless, call Project Home’s homeless outreach hotline at 215-232-1984.

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