If your family or a family you know is experiencing a housing crisis that they cannot resolve on their own, please contact Virginia Williams Family Resource Center (VWFRC). 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.
To be eligible for homeless services for families through VWFRC, you must be a District resident; have minor children or adult dependents in your custody, or be a pregnant woman in your third trimester; and have no other safe place to stay. To access the services below, you must be assessed and referred by VWFRC.
The District has programs to prevent families at risk of becoming homeless from entering the shelter system by providing services and resources that stabilize the family within the community. This includes the Homeless Prevention Program (HPP), emergency rental assistance, and DC Flex.
Through contracts with service providers, DHS offers emergency shelter to District families experiencing homelessness year-round in safe and dignified buildings. 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 stable housing within 90 days. DHS’ inventory of emergency shelter units includes both apartment-style units and private rooms, which are referred to as Short-term Family Housing. All referrals to the family shelters are made through Virginia Williams Family Resource Center. For additional questions, you may contact [email protected]
DHS provides transitional and permanent housing programs to District families who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. These programs include Family Re-Housing Stabilization Program, Targeted Affordable Housing and Permanent Supportive Housing. All referrals to these programs are made through the Coordinated Assessment and Housing Placement (CAHP) system. The CAHP system represents standardized access and assessment for all families, through a coordinated referral and housing placement process to ensure that people experiencing homelessness receive appropriate assistance with both immediate and long-term housing and service needs. The entire Coordinated Entry process uses a "no wrong door" approach, while doing so through a standardized process from initial engagement to successful housing placement.