DC SHELTER HOTLINE: 202-399-7093
Our homeless neighbors are in danger this week, and throughout the cold winter months—at risk of hypothermia-related illness, injury or death. Here’s how YOU can help save someone’s life:
As a result of the current cold weather, the District has issued an extended Cold Weather Alert for all individuals experiencing homelessness. If you see or know of someone who may be in need of shelter from the cold, contact the DC Shelter Hotline at 202-399-7093, or by dialing 311 within the District. The Hotline provides information about and transportation to shelters at night and warming centers during the day, and distributes blankets and other cold-weather gear, as well.
If you feel comfortable doing so, you can engage directly with the person. Introduce yourself. Ask their name. Ask if they need assistance. Provide them with winter garments; coats, hats, gloves, and boots. Hand warmers are especially appreciated. You can offer them a $5 gift card for a local coffee shop; this small token goes a long way at promoting dignity by allowing them to step out of the cold as a paying customer.
Continue to support Friendship Place. Our Welcome Center provides refuge from the cold, and our street outreach workers look out for the safety of people who choose not to come indoors. And we go beyond emergency services: we find permanent homes for people, where they can sleep in a warm bed every night and come in out of the cold anytime they want.
Thank you so much. Any step you take, no matter how small, can save a life.
If you know the whereabouts of an unsheltered individual who may not choose to access warming services during periods of extreme cold, please email us immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org! We can help get the person’s information to the DHS and Behavioral Health outreach teams.