Providing Shelter From the Cold and Saving Lives

Photo of sign held by homeless man, which says cold and hungry.

After a mild start, our winter weather has turned frigid, with temperatures often falling into the teens.

So imagine you are spending the night sleeping outside, behind a store on Route 1, in the woods in Burke or beside the parkway in Reston. For the homeless in our county it is a frightening and potentially life-threatening reality.

To help our vulnerable neighbors survive the winter, we provide overnight shelter with a “no turn-away” policy at all emergency homeless shelters during freezing weather. From late November through March,we also provide the Hypothermia Prevention Program, a countywide community network of overnight shelters. Through this program last winter, our nonprofit and faith-based community partners provided 1,061 men and women with a safe, warm place to sleep.

“This is an essential lifesaving program…and sanctuary for many of our homeless community. If we didn’t have the hypothermia shelters, a significant number of our homeless would not have shelter on the coldest nights of the winter and would likely freeze to death.”Barbara Schultheiss, FACETS, a nonprofit community partner
Guests are welcomed to St. Andrew's Church hypothermia shelter on Jan. 10, 2016.

Guests are welcomed to the hypothermia shelter at St. Andrew’s Church in Burke on Jan. 10, 2016.

Call If You See Someone in Need

If you see someone at night who is unsheltered and you think could be at risk of hypothermia, call the county’s non-emergency phone line at 703-691-2131, TTY 711.


Provide Your Time, Talents and Donations 

Our community partners need your help this winter. Contact our Office to Prevent and End Homelessness and we’ll provide you with information on where the need is greatest or the nonprofit partner that is closest to where you live or work. Call 703-324-9492, TTY 711, or send an email.


Listen and Learn More 

Listen to Tom Barnett from the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness discuss the Hypothermia Prevention Program.

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