Cold shelters open in the DMV ahead of arctic blast

WASHINGTON DC — The Department of Human Services (DHS), in collaboration with the District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), will continue the activation of the city’s Cold Emergency Plan. Under a “Cold Emergency Alert” additional services and supports are provided to protect residents from life-threatening illness and injury associated with severe cold weather.

The DC Government activates the Cold Emergency Plan when the temperature and wind chill drop to 15° F or when the temperature, with wind chill, is 20° F and there is an accompanying meteorological event such as snow. DHS, HSEMA, and other agencies have determined that the weather, as forecasted, presents a danger, especially to residents who are experiencing homelessness.

Key services provided during Cold Emergency Alerts include:

Access to Emergency Shelter—Low-barrier, Hypothermia, and Overflow Emergency Shelters are open during Hypothermia and Cold Alerts.

Access to Overnight Warming Sites—In order to provide access to a warm and safe facility, designated public buildings, such as recreation centers, may open during the day or overnight. In cases where residents choose not to use the traditional low-barrier or hypothermia emergency shelters, these warming sites offer a warm and safe place to spend the night. Individuals may access these sites on their own or by contacting the Shelter Hotline for transportation. Overnight Warming Sites operate from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. Some sites may open later than 7:00 p.m. based on regularly scheduled business operations.

Transportation to Warmth and Safety—Free transportation to an emergency shelter or warming site is provided to anyone experiencing homelessness in Washington, DC during a Cold Emergency Alert. To request transportation to shelter for persons in DC who are experiencing homelessness, contact the toll-free Shelter Hotline: (202) 399-7093 or 311. Include the time, the address or location of the sighting, and a description of the person’s appearance.

Families seeking emergency shelter can also visit the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center at 920 Rhode Island Avenue, NE, from Monday to Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Families can also call the DC Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or 311 at any time day or night.

The following are low barrier and alert night emergency shelters and warming site locations:

Hypothermia/Cold Emergency Alert Night Shelters

Hypothermia/Cold Emergency Alert Night Shelters for Women

-New Covenant Baptist Church: 1301 W Street, SE

-Community of Christ Church: 3526 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

-Sherwood Recreation Center: 640 10th Street, NE

-Nativity Shelter: 6010 Georgia Avenue, NW


Hypothermia/Cold Emergency Alert Night Shelters for Men

-Banneker Recreation Center: 2500 Georgia Avenue, NW

-Kennedy Recreation Center: 1401 7th Street, NW

-Sacred Heart Church: 16th Street and Park Road, NW

-Salvation Army: 3335 Sherman Avenue, NW

-Community for Creative Non-Violence: 425 2nd Street, NW

-Adams Place Shelter: 2210 Adams Place, NE

-801 East Shelter: 801 Making Life Better Lane, SE

-Raymond Recreation Center: 3725 10th Street, NW


Co-Ed Hypothermia/Cold Emergency Alert Night Shelters

-Emery Recreation Center: 5801 Georgia Avenue, NW

-King Greenleaf Recreation Center: 201 N Street, SW


Low-Barrier Emergency Shelters

Low-barrier Emergency Shelters for Women
– Harriet Tubman Shelter: DC General Building 9, 1900 Massachusetts Avenue, SE
– Nativity Shelter: 6010 Georgia Avenue, NW
– Patricia Handy Place for Women: 810 5 Street, NW


Low-barrier Emergency Shelters for Men
– 801 East Shelter: 801 Making Life Better Lane, SE
– Adams Place Shelter: 2210 Adams Place, NE
– New York Avenue Shelter: 1355-57 New York Avenue, NE




Shelter Services

Provides coordination of services to homeless individuals and families. Services include: outreach, emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing. Services are provided primarily through partnerships and contracts with community non-profit organizations. DHHS Housing Stabilization staff provide emergency assessment services to homeless families with children. Emergency shelter capacity for individuals expands during the winter months. Case management services are provided to all homeless clients to link clients to needed services, including housing referrals, treatment, employment and entitlements.

Service(s):Homeless Shelter

Low Income

Homeless Families

Homeless Men

Homeless Women

Target Population:

Information Number:     240-777-3289



MidCounty DHHS Building

1301 Piccard Drive, Rockville, MD 20850


DHHS Silver Spring Center

8818 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910


UpCounty Regional Services Center

12900 Middlebrook Road, Germantown, MD 20874


Neighborhood Service Center at Catholic Charities

12247 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20906


Takoma East Silver Spring (TESS) Center

8513 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring, MD 20901


Neighborhood Service Center at Family Services, Inc.

200 Girard Street (Suite 203), Gaithersburg, MD 20877






For Cold Shelters information in Norther Virginia click HERE.