Department of Human Services

DC Agency Top Menu

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

Hypothermia/Hyperthermia Alerts

Hypothermia Web Pic.jpg

The District is committed to protecting residents experiencing homelessness from hypothermia and other extreme cold and hot weather injuries. Outreach is conducted throughout the year by teams from DHS and the DC Department of Behavioral Health (DBH), and the District is one of only three jurisdictions in the country with a right to shelter year-round. The District significantly enhances outreach personnel and shelter capacity during the hypothermia (not enough heat) and hyperthermia (too much heat) seasons.

Hypothermia alerts are activated when the National Weather Service (NWS) forecasted temperature, including wind chill, is or will be 32° F or below; or, when the temperature is forecasted to be 40° F or below, and the forecasted chance of precipitation is fifty percent or greater. Hyperthermia Alerts (Extreme Heat Warning) are activated when the temperature or heat index reaches 95 degrees.

Shelter Hotline

Transportation to shelter is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you see someone outside in need of shelter or a welfare check, call the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or dial 311. If there is an immediate risk to safety call 911. When calling, please include the time, the address or location of the sighting, and a description of the person’s appearance.

Families seeking emergency shelter can call the DC Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or 311 at any time day or night. Families may also visit the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center at 920 Rhode Island Avenue, NE, Monday through Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The Center is closed on Federal holidays.

Low-Barrier Shelters for individuals operate year-round and will be open 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. If a Hypothermia Alert is issued, all shelters are open all day and will remain open during the extent of the Hypothermia Alert. 


  • New York Avenue Shelter at 1355 New York Avenue, NE
  • 801 East Shelter at 801 Making Life Better Lane, SE
  • Adams Place Emergency Shelter at 2210 Adams Place, NE


  • Saint Josephine Bakhita at 6010 Georgia Avenue, NW 
    (Opens at 7:00 p.m.)
  • Harriet Tubman at 1900 Massachusetts Avenue, SE Building #27
  • Patricia Handy Place for Women at 810 5th Street, NW

Seasonal Shelters are open as noted, November 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020:


  • King Greenleaf Recreation Center at 201 N Street, SW 
    (9:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m.)


  • Malcolm X Recreation Center (Co-Ed) at 1351 Alabama Avenue
    SE (8:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m.) 

Hypothermia Shelters are open from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. anytime a Hypothermia Alert is called, except in recreation centers, where, due to previously scheduled programming, the shelter opens at 9:00 p.m.


  • Banneker Recreation Center at 2500 Georgia Avenue, NW 
    (9:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m.)
  • Kennedy Recreation Center at 1401 7th Street NW 
    (9:00 p.m. - 7:00 a.m.)
  • Salvation Army (Co-Ed) at 3335 Sherman Avenue NW              


  • New Covenant Baptist at 1301 W Street, SE 
  • Sherwood Recreation Center at 640 10th St, NE
    (9:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.)
  • Community of Christ at 3526 Massachusetts Ave, NW

Cooling Centers

When Hyperthermia Alerts (Extreme Heat Warning) are activated, the District will open cooling centers in publically accessible government facilities, homeless shelters, and senior citizen wellness centers for residents to seek relief. Residents can find their closest cooling center using the District’s interactive map. For information about services provided during an Extreme Heat Warning, visit heat.dc.gov.

Contact TTY: