The District is committed to protecting residents experiencing homelessness from hypothermia and other extreme 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 mandate.
The District significantly enhances outreach personnel and shelter capacity during the hypothermia (not enough heat) season and remains committed to ensuring access to shelter during hypothermia season.
Map of Hypothermia Shelter Sites
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.
Hypothermia Shelters are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during hypothermia season (November 1 - April 15).
When the temperature or heat index in the District reaches 95 degrees, District Government, through DHS and the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), will implement the Heat Emergency Plan and activate cooling centers for residents to seek relief. Residents and visitors should take extra steps to beat the heat by staying in the shade or air-conditioning, drinking plenty of water, and visiting a cooling center. Periods of high heat and humidity can cause medical problems such as heat exhaustion and stroke.
For more information, and for a list of District cooling center locations, visit heat.dc.gov
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. Transportation to shelter is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during hypothermia season. 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.
Households seeking emergency shelter can call the DC Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or 311 after hours.