Shelters Available for People Who Are Homeless to Escape Extreme Cold
Nov. 13, 2013
The recent onset of frigid temperatures has everyone taking steps to stay warm, with those who are homeless being the most vulnerable in cold conditions. The 2013-2014 Hypothermia Prevention Program incoporates the collaborative work of area faith communities, civic organizations, businesses and individual volunteers. It is thanks to the efforts of this partnership that no unsheltered individuals died due to hypothermia last winter, and the county would like to ensure the same success for this season. Hypothermia shelters operate from late November through March, with a "no turn-away" policy during freezing temperatures at all emergency homeless shelters beginning on Nov. 1.
Hypothermia is a condition brought on when body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If you see an unsheltered person at night who may be at risk of hypothermia, call the non-emergency phone line at 703-691-2131, TTY 711; staff will then help determine which shelter option is best in the situation. Fairfax County’s emergency homeless shelters have additional capacity during winter months to take in people overnight who are at risk of hypothermia.