The District is committed to protecting residents experiencing homelessness from hypothermia and other extreme cold 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 access to shelter year-round.
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 and doing so in a way that is safe during the public health emergency.
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.
- Summary of the 2020-2021 Winter Plan for Single Adults
- District of Columbia Fiscal Year 2021 Winter Plan
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.
Families seeking emergency shelter can call the DC Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or 311 after hours. During the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency, Virginia Williams Family Resource Center is conducting Assessments for Homeless Services via phone. The Center is closed to the public for in-person interviews through the public health emergency.
Hypothermia Shelters are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during hypothermia season (November 1 - March 31). View the Summary of the 2020-2021 Winter Plan for Single Adults for hypothermia shelter details.