WASHINGTON — The D.C. Department of Human Services is asking residents to be on the lookout for homeless neighbors and those in need of help as temperatures drop to dangerous levels Sunday evening. 

The district activated its Cold Emergency Plan as city leaders expect temperatures to drop into the low teens with wind chills making feel like -3 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the city’s AlertDC page.

During severe weather events, DC’s Department of Human Services launches outreach teams. It's a race to get people inside during the Hypothermia Alert.

“I don’t like to use the word lethal, but for anyone who’s been sleeping outdoors for prolonged periods of time, when hypothermia sets in, it can be very dangerous. And temps tonight are supposed to be a lot worse than normal hypothermia conditions,” said DHS Homeless Services Outreach Coordinator, Melvyn Smith.

Smith tells WUSA 9 they are planning to provide a combination of welfare checks Sunday evening. This includes reaching out to the people they've already identified as homeless. Four DHS Outreach teams will also canvass the city to find anyone they may not have made contact with before.

Smith says each of the four teams could meet anywhere around 50 or more people Sunday night. We’re told the Department of Behavioral Health is also assisting.

If you see anyone who says they are homeless, or if they appear to be cold, DHS says to call 3-1-1 or their Shelter Hotline at: (202) 399-7093. 

Outreach members will be able to coordinate transportation to a warming shelter. They can also provide any needed supplies, like blankets.

The Outreach teams will be operating Sunday night through Tuesday night.

Below is city’s shelter information:

Shelter Hotline

Transportation to shelter is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you see someone outside in need of shelter or a welfare check, call the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or dial 311. If there is an immediate risk to safety call 911. When calling, please include the time, the address or location of the sighting, and a description of the person’s appearance.

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


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 alerts.


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, 2018 through March 31, 2019.


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