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Hypothermia/Hyperthermia Alerts

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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 access 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 & Heat Emergency Plan Alerts

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. The Heat Emergency Plan is implemented when the forecast of the temperature or heat index in the District is 92 degrees or higher.

Shelter Hotline

Transportation to shelter is available from 8 a.m. - 11:59 p.m., Monday - Sunday. 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. 

Low-Barrier Shelters

Low-Barrier Shelters for individuals are open and have extended daytime hours during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency.  


  • 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

Cooling Centers

When the Heat Emergency Plan is activated, the District opens 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 a heat emergency, visit heat.dc.gov.

Hypothermia Shelters

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
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