202-737-9311 | info@thrivedc.org

Experiencing Homelessness in DC during Hypothermia Season? These Resources Can Help

Posted on November 16, 2022

On Tuesday, November 1st, DC entered Hypothermia Season. As a DC resident, you have the right to shelter during this dangerous time! Below are resources available to you, and remember, Thrive is always here to support you and answer any questions you may have.

What is Hypothermia in Washington DC

Hypothermia is a medical emergency that happens when your body cannot maintain its normal body temperature. If emergency services are not provided, hypothermia can lead to death. 

DC issues a Hypothermia Alert when the weather is forecasted to dip below 32 degrees (including wind chill), or 40 degrees if there is a high chance of precipitation.

Know the signs:

We understand any hesitancy to go to a shelter or reach out for support, but when you start to notice these signs and symptoms you need to warm up, or there could be serious consequences, like frostbite or death. 

Signs and symptoms of hypothermia include:

  • Shivering
  • Slurred speech or mumbling
  • Slow, shallow breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Clumsiness or lack of coordination
  • Drowsiness or very low energy
  • Confusion or  memory loss
  • Loss of consciousness

Resources and Support

DC has protections during hypothermia season to ensure that everyone, regardless of housing status, has access to shelter during dangerous weather conditions. You can utilize these resources: 

  1. Call the District Shelter Hotline: Call (202) 399-7093. The District’s Shelter Hotline runs 24/7 during Hypothermia Season, which is from November 1 to March 31. The hotline provides:
    1.  Information on available programs and services
    2. Safety and wellness checks
    3. Warming items (blankets, gloves, socks, hats) 
    4. Bottled water
    5. Transportation to shelters. 
  2. Find Support at Thrive: Thrive DC has many resources to help you during hypothermia season. Our office is open Tuesday-Friday from 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm at St. Stephens Church on 1525 Newton St.
    1. Winter Gear: Thrive will be handing out coats, hats, gloves, and other winter gear from Tuesday, November 29th - Friday, December 2nd and Tuesday, January 10th - Friday January 13th. Appointments are required.
    2. Hot Breakfast: Thrive DC has hot breakfast and to-go lunch available Monday-Friday from 8:30am-10am.
    3. Showers and Laundry: Staying clean and dry is especially important during hypothermia season. Sign up for showers and laundry during the morning breakfast program.
    4. Housing Support: Thrive DC can connect you with housing resources and assist you in the process of obtaining IDs and other documents you may need. 

Thrive DC is here to support you. Visit our office or come to the morning breakfast program to learn more about any of our services. You have rights–let us support you in exercising them this hypothermia season. 

1525 Newton St NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 737-9311

Client Hours:
Tuesday - Friday
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM | 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Staff Hours: 
Monday – Friday
8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
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