Through contracts with service providers, the Department of Human Services (DHS) offers emergency shelter to families experiencing homelessness in safe and dignified buildings through the District. Each program provides a rich array of supports and service connections – including housing search, connections to mental health and employment services, and meaningful activities for children – with the goal of helping families exit to permanent housing and get back on their feet quickly.
Families may access emergency shelter through the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center, the central intake for DC families experiencing homelessness. During the public health emergency, intake is conducted by telephone by calling the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093. The shelter hotline is open every day from 8 AM - 12 AM. During hypothermia season (November 1 - April 15), the shelter hotline is open 24 hours a day.