With a Code Blue in effect overnight, the vents and benches between City Hall and Rittenhouse Square were mostly clear of blanketed bodies around sunup this morning.

The square itself was desolate - except for the occasional dog walker or bundled strider in a hurry to get somewhere, if only some place warm.

At 15th and Moravian, however, next to Bally's Total Fitness, lay a man in a black hoodie and a woman in black knit cap covered with blankets.

"Yesterday was coldest," said James Davis, 50, who said he'd been homeless since his "money ran out" five years ago.

These were the two coldest nights since February, with the overnight low of 19 degrees just a few ticks up from yesterday's 15, according to the National Weather Service. Tomorrow should warm up into the high 40s.

When the city declares Code Blue police and public health authorities endeavor to move any homeless on the street into shelters.

Overnight, the city found refuge for 285 homeless people and another 35 family members, mostly children, said Leticia Egea-Hinton, deputy director of operations for the city's Office of Supportive Housing.

An even greater number of at-risk people sought shelter on their own, going to the intake centers at family intake 1430 Cherry Street (for families), 1360 Ridge (adult males) and 1320 Arch (after-hours), to be sent to 1,900 beds available through about 30 agencies, Egea-Hinton said.

Anyone concerned about a homeless person can request help by calling the outreach program coordinated by Project Home, at 215-232-1984.

Calling 911 is appropriate if someone on the street needs emergency attention, she added.

Davis' friend, Tanya Singletary, 53, said she wouldn't return to the shelter where she used to stay.

"I'm not going," she said, just before a van pulled up from Self, Inc., one of the nonprofits that works with Project Home.

The driver would say only that he was doing "outreach," before asking the pair a few questions and then driving away in the van.

Singletary and Davis, who were both missing front teeth, had been staying at this spot for two months, and had known each other about two years, Davis said.

"I need me a home," she said. "I never had one."

During the day, "we just walk around," he said. They get money panhandling.

Around the corner at 16th and Walnut, a bearded man was lying with his knit-capped head near a steam vent.

"No," he said a couple of times when asked if he'd talk to a reporter.

Slowly passing by was a woman wearing several jackets, her head protected only by the hood of her red sweatjacket.

Sharon Kitrelle, 40, said she was homeless, too.

She often sleeps overnight at a SEPTA station near City Hall, but spent last night at a friend's house, she said.

Kitrelle used to live in Germantown, but wound up on the streets, because "my mom sold her house and we went our separate ways," she said.

Being alone on the streets, breathing outdoor air, has been good for her, to a degree, she said.

"I'm mentally ill, but not as much as I was before," she said.

Despite her medium-brown skin and brown eyes, she said that she was "albino ... like Johnny Depp" and "albino people gotta stay outside."

"If I go inside, I'm gonna itch a lot," she said.

"I take vegetables for medication, fruits and vegetables," she said.

And no street drugs.

"I see people doing crack and weed out here and sleeping on those vents," she said.

Thanks to government checks, Kitrelle, who said she once studied to be a doctor, hopes to find a room to rent soon.

Tonight, freezing rain and sleet are possible, but as temperatures rise, the precipitation should be become all rain in the city.

Tomorrow's high should be in the upper 40s, according to the weather service.

For more on the forecast, go to http://go.philly.com/weather.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.