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Hot Temperature, What To Do

As we enjoy the beautiful weather, it’s easy to forget that scorching heat and humidity can be brutal and life-threatening for our homeless neighbors.

You may not know that more people die from summer heat than from winter cold in our area. And people who are experiencing homelessness are especially vulnerable.

The good news is that heat-related illness is preventable.

When the temperature soars and you see or know of someone who may be in immediate need of shelter, contact the DC Shelter Hotline at 202-399-7093, or by dialing 311 within the District.

Ice water is the first line of defense against overheating, offering both cooling and hydration. Our dedicated street outreach workers load up their backpacks and travel around the neighborhood, delivering this simple life-saving necessity to the men and women on the streets. You can do the same.

If you feel comfortable doing so, you can engage directly with someone living on the street. Introduce yourself. Ask their name. Ask if they need assistance.

Gently urge them to move into the shade. You can also print, cut and handout this guide that lets them know where they can find cool places to get out of the heat. 

Our Welcome Center provides refuge from extreme temperatures. If they’re willing, encourage them to come into Friendship Place, where they can relax in the air conditioning, have a sandwich, take a cool shower, wash their clothing and use the bathroom.

As you know, once a person experiencing homelessness comes into Friendship Place, we offer them a host of additional services, from free psychiatric and medical care to transitional shelter to permanent housing. If they’re ready for our assistance, we can help them get off the streets, so that they never again face the dangers of blistering heat.

Your Donation Helps End Homelessness!

Your support for Friendship Place has a lasting impact. In 2019, our programs ended or prevented homelessness for more than 1,437 people, including 482 children in families and 558 veterans. We empowered 219 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to get jobs through innovative, state-of-the-art job placement services. Friendship Place's programs collectively served a total of 3,305 people in 2019. Make a donation today in support of our work to end homelessness. Questions? Please feel free to call our fundraising office, 202.503.2970.

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