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As Temperatures Drop, Know Who to Call

A representative from Community Connections said last year that 40 to 50 people die annually of the effects of cold in the District, although the number has been decreasing throughout the years. As temperatures drop, here’s a refresher on who can be called and where people can go.

People living without homes in DC have the right to housing if they want it.

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.

Families seeking emergency shelter can also visit the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center at 920 Rhode Island Avenue, NE on Monday through Thursday,  8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and Friday, 8:00 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. Families may also call the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or 311 at any time day or night.

Low-Barrier Shelters for individuals operate year-round and will be open 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. If a Hypothermia Alert is issued, all shelters are open all day and will remain open during the extent of the Hypothermia Alert.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) will provide transportation where required. An agency representative said that if a call to the shelter hotline is made on behalf of a person who wants to remain outdoors, District personnel would assess if the person was a danger to themselves. If they are not, they have the right to remain on the street. If they are a danger to themselves, they can be sent for psychological assessment.

If you think someone’s life is in danger, call 911. Give the location and a description of the person. You do not have to remain on the scene.

For all animal emergencies, including animals left outside in extreme temperatures, call the Humane Rescue Alliance at 202-576-6664.


  • 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
  • Community for Creative Non Violence (CCNV) at 425 Second Street, NW (Drop In Center is open only during Hypothermia Alert)


  • Nativity Shelter for Women 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
  • Community for Creative Non Violence (CCNV) at the 425 Second Street, NW (Drop In Center is open only during Hypothermia Alert)

Seasonal Shelters are open daily from 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., November 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020.


  • King Greenleaf Recreation Center at 201 N Street, SW


  • The Salvation Army at 3335 Sherman Avenue, NW

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.


  • Community for Creative Non-Violence (CCNV) at 425 Second Street, NW
  • Banneker Recreation Center at 2500 Georgia Avenue, NW (Monday – Friday; 9:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.)
  • Kennedy Recreation Center at 1401 7th Street NW (Monday – Friday; 9:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.)


  • New Covenant Baptist at 1301 W Street, SE
  • Sherwood Recreation Center at 640 10th St, NE  (Monday – Friday; 9:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.)
  • Community of Christ at 3526 Massachusetts Ave, NW

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