The District will activate the Hypothermia Alert Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. and it will stay activated throughout the weekend. Hypothermia alerts are activated when the NWS forecasted temperature, including wind chill, is or will be 32° F or below; or, when the temperature is forecasted to be 40° F or below, and the forecasted chance of precipitation is fifty percent or greater.
Hypothermia Death Sunday
On Sunday morning, after the first hypothermia alert of the year was issued, Commissioner Denise Krepp (6B10) called 911 to request assistance for a homeless woman that she met on a bench outside Union Station at about 6:40 a.m. The woman was not appropriately clothed, she wrote on Twitter, and at least two other men were in sleeping bags nearby.
An hour later, police informed Krepp that the woman had died. Krepp said the woman was within a half block of a warm building.
She later called for the District to do more to help the vulnerable population in the District.
At 6:41am today, I called 911 to request help for lady sitting on this bench. At 7:41am police called & told me that she was dead. Hypothermic conditions tonight & at least 2 homeless men at Union Station in sleeping bags. @theHillisHome @ljjanezich @ekogorek @charlesallen pic.twitter.com/BQmhjh3vt0
— Denise Rucker Krepp (@kdrkrepp) November 12, 2018
At the November 13th meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 6B), First District Sector One Captain Jon Durrough said that the woman’s passing “drives home the point that we have to be out there doing as much as we can.”
Sector Two Captain John Knutsen said that MPD was following up with other agencies that have jurisdiction in the Union Station area to ensure they will be keeping an eye out for endangered people over the coming days.
Knutsen said he was unable to tell Krepp the woman’s name, as he could not confirm that next-of-kin had been informed.
While the overall homeless population in the District has decreased, the largest decline has been among families, Durrough noted. He said that in contrast, the homeless single population has increased over the past year.
MPD takes the threat of hypothermia very seriously, Durrough added, committing resources and training to the issue every year. He noted that people without homes have the right to housing if they want it, and that the Department of Human Services (DHS) will provide transportation where required. He said that if a call was made on behalf of a person who wanted to remain outdoors, District personnel would assess if the person was a danger to themselves. If they are not, they have the right to remain on the street, he said. If they are a danger to themselves, they can be sent for psychological assessment.
A representative from Community Connections said that 40 to 50 people die annually of the effects of cold in the District, although the number has been decreasing throughout the years. He added that the not for profit would be doing community outreach throughout the weekend and evening hours to try to prevent suffering.
Transportation Hotline, Shelter
Free transportation to shelter is provided to anyone experiencing homelessness in the District during a Hypothermia Alert. To request transportation to shelter for people in Washington, DC who are experiencing homelessness, contact the Shelter Hotline by calling (202) 399-7093 or 311. Please include the time, address or location of the person, and a description of the person’s appearance.
DHS will amplify outreach efforts during the weekend to raise awareness about the availability of Hypothermia Shelters.
Families seeking emergency shelter can also visit the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center at 920 Rhode Island Avenue, NE on Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and Friday, 8:00 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. Families may also call the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or 311 at any time day or night.
Low-Barrier Shelters for individuals operate year-round and will be open 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. If a Hypothermia Alert is issued, all shelters are open all day and will remain open during the extent of the Hypothermia Alert.
- New York Avenue Shelter at 1355 New York Avenue, NE
- 801 East Shelter at 801 Making Life Better Lane, SE
- Adams Place Emergency Shelter at 2210 Adams Place, NE
- Community for Creative Non Violence (CCNV) at 425 Second Street, NW (Drop In Center is open only during Hypothermia Alert)
- Nativity Shelter for Women at 6010 Georgia Avenue, NW (Opens at 7:00 p.m.)
- Harriet Tubman at 1900 Massachusetts Avenue, SE Building #27
- Patricia Handy Place for Women at 810 5th Street, NW
- Community for Creative Non Violence (CCNV) at the 425 Second Street, NW (Drop In Center is open only during Hypothermia Alert)
Seasonal Shelters are open daily from 9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., November 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019.
- King Greenleaf Recreation Center at 201 N Street, SW
- The Salvation Army at 3335 Sherman Avenue, NW
Hypothermia Shelters are open from 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. anytime a Hypothermia Alert is called, except in recreation centers, where, due to previously scheduled programming, the shelter opens at 9:00 p.m.
- Community for Creative Non-Violence (CCNV) at 425 Second Street, NW
- Banneker Recreation Center at 2500 Georgia Avenue, NW (Monday – Friday; 9:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.)
- Kennedy Recreation Center at 1401 7th Street NW (Monday – Friday; 9:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.)
- New Covenant Baptist at 1301 W Street, SE
- Sherwood Recreation Center at 640 10th St, NE (Monday – Friday; 9:00 p.m. – 7:00 a.m.)
- Community of Christ at 3526 Massachusetts Ave, NW