What You Can Do To Help The Homeless In Dangerously Cold Weather

This week we’re seeing some of the coldest temperatures ever this season and we aren’t expected to get relief until next week. It breaks my heart to know that while I’m complaining about how cold the walk is from car to the front door of my office, there are thousands of individuals who slept on the frigid concrete the night before.

According to the District’s Department of Human Services, this time last year nearly 7,500 D.C. residents were homeless, 897 of whom were unsheltered, 5,363 of whom were in an emergency shelter, and 1,213 of whom were in a transitional housing program.

I can’t help but to imagine the increased number of hypothermia cases area hospitals will have to treat in the next few days. While everyone may not be able to purchase a warm coat or shoes, a hot meal, or even provide shelter for the many in need, there is something you can do to help.

Call D.C.’s Hypothermia Hotline at 1-800-535-7252. They offer round-the-clock patrols and guaranteed shelter when the temperature gets frigidly cold. If a person refuses shelter, the patrol will offer items such as warm drinks, blankets, and other clothes and even check on the person throughout the night.

Here are a list of warming center in the District:

  •  King Greenleaf Recreation Center
  •  Sherwood Recreation Center
  •  Banneker Recreation Center
  •  Kennedy Recreation Center
  •  Emery Recreation Center
  •  Salvation Army
  •  Community of Christ Church
  •  New Covenant Church
  •  Sacred Heart Church
  •  CCNV Drop in Center
  •  CCNV Women’s Overflow Shelter

Free transportation to shelter is provided to anyone experiencing homelessness in the District during a Hypothermia Alert. To request transportation to shelter for people in Washington, DC who are experiencing homelessness, contact the Shelter Hotline by calling (202) 399-7093 or 311. Please include the time, address or location of the person, and a description of the person’s appearance.

For a list of warming centers in the Maryland and Virginia, see here:

Prince George’s County

Montgomery County

Arlington County:

  • Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN): 703-228-7803
  • Arlington DHS Shelter In-Take 703-228-1010
  • Non-Emergency Police: 703-558-2222
  • Department of Health and Human Services: 703-228-1350
  • For more, click here.

Fairfax County:

  • Office to Prevent and End Homelessness: 703-324-9492
  • Non-Emergency Police: 703-691-2131
  • You can also call the shelters listed here directly.

Falls Church:

  • Winter Homeless Shelter (217 Gordon Road): 703-854-1400
  • Non-Emergency Police: 703-248-5053
  • For more, click here.
If you see a homeless person in need of assistance, please contact the following.
     — The District: 202-399-7093 or 311 if calling within the city
— Arlington County: 703-228-1010 (24 hours)
— Fairfax County: 703-691-2131 (police non-emergency line)
— Montgomery County: 311 if calling within the county or 240-777-4000
— Prince George’s County: 888-731-0999
— Loudoun County: 703-771-5429 (Volunteers of America) or call the sheriff’s office.


Baltimore offers similar services by dialing 311. And for most U.S. cities, resources are available by calling 211.


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I am a digital content creator and have worked in the digital space for more than ten years. "Robinrazzi" is a nickname given from a former colleague because I'm known for having a camera in hand at all times. I have traveled the world covering entertainment events, celebrities and anything trending. I earned my BA in Communications from Penn State and a MS in Marketing from Johns Hopkins University. I currently serve as Director of Digital Content for WHUR and the Howard University Radio Network.

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