Thursday, February 12, 2015

What to do for homeless individuals during this cold snap

While the District government and homeless services contractors do the bulk of the work helping homeless individuals stay warm during hypothermia season and when Cold Emergencies are activated, there is much regular people can do.

First, program your phone with the contact info for the Shelter Hotline operated by UPO.   The phone number is (202) 399-7093 and the email is

The second thing you can do is tell homeless individuals you see―many hang or sleep at Metrorail stations―that they can go to a warming site (not a shelter) to eat, keep warm, and sleep overnight.   The warming sites tonight are recreation centers so those who are homeless can enter at any time to stay warm.   They will not be able to sleep until the centers close to the general public and transition to a warming site.   Contact UPO and request transport for one or more people to a warming site or shelter; individuals will tell you which type of facility they like.

The third thing you can do is to tell others to program their phones and to look out for those who rely on the shelter system and warming sites.

Finally, you can learn more about Cold Emergencies by visiting the DHS website: Information About Cold Emergency Alerts.

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