Office to Prevent and End Homelessness

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Our office is open 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Monday - Friday

TTY 711

12011 Government Center Parkway, Suite 942
Fairfax, VA 22035

Thomas Barnett,

Hypothermia Prevention Program

Since 2005, the Hypothermia Prevention Program has prevented death and serious injuries among Fairfax County most vulnerable residents by ensuring that no one must sleep outside during the winter months. The program provides warm shelter, food, and other supportive services to connect guests to a variety of basic needs to include clothing, employment, housing and more.

Hypothermia Warning Signs


While many individuals who are experiencing homelessness may have access to warm, safe accommodations through friends, family and other programs and services, nearly 1,200 residents remain unsheltered and exposed to the harsh and dangerously cold winter weather. Last year, the Hypothermia Prevention Program served an average of 215 guests per night.

The Hypothermia Prevention Program shelters will open at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, and will remain available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week through the morning of April 1, 2021. Individual sites will have capacity limitations due to social distancing, but staff will work to ensure that everyone has access to accommodations at one of the county’s shelter locations. Click here to view an informational flyer on shelter sites.

Hypothermia Site

Shelter Locations & Access

Richmond Highway/Alexandria (South Fairfax)

  • Eleanor Kennedy Shelter
    9155 Richmond Highway, Ft. Belvoir
    Phone: 703-799-0200

  • Gerry Hyland Government Center, Suite 309
    8350 Richmond Highway, Alexandria
    Phone: 703-704-6017*
    *If you have trouble reaching our on-site staff, please contact the Elanor Kennedy Shelter (see above) for assistance.

Shelter locations are managed by New Hope Housing. For program related information, please contact Jason Munoz at or Steven Lonon, or call 703-799-0200.

To learn more about donation and volunteer needs, please contact Sami Smyth at or call 703-799-2293 x 11.


Falls Church/Alexandria (East Fairfax)

  • Bailey’s Shelter and Supportive Housing
    5914 Seminary Road, Falls Church
    Phone: 703-820-7621

  • Lincolnia Senior Center
    4710 North Chambliss Street, Alexandria
    *If you have trouble reaching our on-site staff, please contact the Bailey's Shelter (see above) for assistance.

This shelter is managed by New Hope Housing. For program related information, please contact Raynel Hines at or Warren Richardson at, or call 703-820-7621.

To learn more about donation and volunteer needs, please contact Kelley Mckeon at or call 703-578-8852.

Reston (North Fairfax)

  • Embry Rucker Community Shelter
    11975 Bowman Towne Drive, Reston
    Phone: 703-437-1975

  • North County Human Services Center, Reston Drop-In Entrance
    1850 Cameron Glen Drive, Reston
    Phone: 703-326-6565*
    *If you have trouble reaching our on-site staff, please contact the Embry Rucker Shelter (see above) for assistance.

Shelter locations are managed by Cornerstones. For program related information, please contact Missy Norquest at or Everett George at, or call 703-437-1975.

To learn more about donation and volunteer needs, please contact Adrian Chadwell at or call 571-323-3675.


Vienna/Fairfax (Central Fairfax)

  • The Former Container Store
    8508 Leesburg Pike, Vienna
    Phone: 703-854-1785

This shelter location is managed by FACETS. For program related information, please contact Michael Dykes at or call 703-854-1785.

To learn more about donation and volunteer needs, please contact Allison Coles at or call 703-352-6342.


If you see someone who is unsheltered ad you think they are at risk of hypothermia, 
call the County’s non-emergency Police phone number

TTY 711

A police officer will respond and conduct a wellness check. 
If you see an individual in distress, please call 9-1-1.

COVID-19 Changes Things a Little

The Challenges

In years past, the Hypothermia Prevention Program hosted shelters at a variety of houses of worship – many of which are currently closed or operating under reduced occupancy – which were staffed by a strong team of staff and community volunteers. Due to COVID-19, the County is facing some significant challenges when it comes to effectively and safely serving individuals who need assistance. The challenges presented in two critical categories:

  1. We need more space.  The COVID-19 pandemic poses significant health risks, especially for older adults and people with prior health conditions. To mitigate the spread of the virus, emergency shelters need to allow for greater social distancing (approximately 100 square feet per guest), so the virus is not transmitted among guests. Staff estimates that each location can anticipate hosting an average of between 40 and 70 guests per night. Unfortunately, the churches and other houses of worship that typically host the hypothermia prevention shelter are too small to allow for social distancing. 
  2. We need more staff.  In years past, we have had significant contributions from volunteering area faith communities. Many of these volunteers are unable to commit to volunteer this year because many are older adults and have a higher risk of serious illness if infected with the COVID-19 virus. 

The Solution

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted an ordinance approving temporary County-operated hypothermia prevention shelters and authorized a streamlined process for approving temporary use modifications to enable these buildings to serve as hypothermia prevention shelters.  Opening these temporary County-operated shelters will enhance the program’s:

  1. Safety –  by providing sufficient space for social distancing among guests and additional staff to manage facility operations.
  2. Capacity – by ensuring enough space to shelter the 215 guests per night (experienced last year) with additional space to shelter more if it is needed.
  3. Stability – by providing hosting the hypothermia prevention shelters in the same location all season long rather than rotating among various hosting sites.

Staff have reviewed a number of locations throughout the county to determine their suitability to serve as shelter locations. To be considered, sites needed to have sufficient space to host the estimated number of shelter guests; meet required fire and building code standards to allow for overnight sleeping on-site; and that they are publicly owned and expected to be underutilized during the winter season (December 1 – April 1). The following sites have been identified for possible use:

  • Gerry Hyland Government Center
    (8350 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA 22309)
  • Lincolnia Senior Center
    (4710 N Chambliss Street, Alexandria, VA 22312)
  • North County Human Services Building
    (1850 Cameron Glen Drive, Reston, VA 20190)
  • Braddock Glen Wellness Center
    (4027-B Olley Lane, Fairfax, VA 22032)
  • Fairfax County Government Center
    (12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035)
  • Pennino Building
    (12011 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035)
  • Herrity Building
    (12055 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035)
  • Former Container Store*
    (8508 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182)

* The Former Container Story was added to this list of identified possible sites on October 23. The addition of this location will be taken up by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors at their November 17 meeting.

Health Protocols

A critical priority for this program is to ensure the health and safety of the guests, volunteers, staff and surrounding community while this hypothermia prevention shelter location is in operation. To that end, this site will be staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week and staff will be implementing a number of health and safety protocols as advised by local health officials, including:

  • Social distancing
  • Wearing face coverings
  • Frequent cleaning and sanitizing of commonly touched surfaces 
  • Operating separate hotel accommodations for quarantining guests who are symptomatic and/or test positive for the COVID-19 virus

Safety Protocols

Fairfax County is also taking measures to ensure the security of each location and maintain general public safety:

  • In addition to nonprofit shelter staff, professional security guards will be present to monitor the site 24-hours a day, seven days a week
  • Guests will be responsible for maintaining a basic set of rules to promote a healthy and safe environment – both inside and outside of the building – for themselves and for other guests
  • Guests are instructed not to loiter outside of the building or create disruptions in the neighborhood
  • With the increased hours of occupancy in these facilities, staff are also coordinating with the appropriate public safety authorities.



Questions or concerns related to the Hypothermia Prevention Program can be directed to the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness at 703-324-9492, TTY 711, or by email at

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