Hypothermia Prevention Program
Homelessness is a frightening and potentially life-threatening reality.
And imagine you are spending the night sleeping outside, behind a store on Route 1, in the woods in Burke or in a car beside the parkway in Reston. For those experiencing homelessness in our county it is a frightening and potentially life-threatening reality.
To help ensure no one has to sleep outside during the winter months, a collaborative effort by the county, nonprofits and faith communities created the Hypothermia Prevention Program more than a decade ago. Last winter, the program provided more than 1,000 people experiencing homelessness in our county with a warm, safe place to sleep and a healthy meal.
People can die from hypothermia, a condition brought on when the body temperature drops below 95 degrees. Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.
Our Hypothermia Prevention Program is coordinated by the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, which contracts with four nonprofits to increase the number of available emergency shelter beds by hundreds each night throughout the winter, December to March.
This winter the nonprofits are working with 44 faith communities and coordinating 49 temporary shelter facilities to provide safe places to sleep indoors with sleeping bags or cots. Participating faith communities’ members also provide meals, transportation and often extras such as clothing donations. The county’s support services are also available at each site, including health and housing assistance. During the freezing weather, the county also provides overnight shelter with a “no turn-away” policy at all of our emergency homeless shelters.
Learn More about this Lifesaving Program
Contact the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness and they’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, or email: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/homeless/hypothermia-prevention
Because of the successful public-private partnerships that serve the critical needs of chronically homeless persons, the 2017-2018 Fairfax-Falls Church emergency hypothermia shelters are open under a "no turn-away" status from now until March 31, 2018 at all emergency shelters based on freezing temperatures. www.fairfaxcounty.gov/homeless/hypothermia-prevention/emergency-shelter.htm
If you see someone at night who is unsheltered and could be at risk of hypothermia, call the county's non-emergency phone line at 703-691-2131 (TTY 711). Information about the Hypothermia Prevention Program is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/homeless/hypothermia-prevention/.
A list of Homeless Shelters in Northern Virginia through Fredericksburg (Fairfax, Loudoun, Culpepper, Arlington, Alexandria, and Prince William Counties, plus Manassas & Manassas Park, can be found at: www.novaregion.org/DocumentCenter/View/11750
Photographs & images, on this page, and on this website, are not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, websites, or social media sites. For this and other stories on Annandale and Annandale Real Estate see the ENDEAVOR News Magazine.
(Copyright © 2011 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.)