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 (December 2017 through March 2018), the program provided almost 1,100 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.
If you see someone who is unsheltered and you think he or she could be at risk of hypothermia, call the county’s non-emergency (police) phone line at 703-691-2131, TTY 711. A police officer will go out and do a wellness check and offer transportation to a hypothermia shelter site. If you see someone who appears to be in distress, call 911.
For more information on the county’s Hypothermia Prevention Program, please visit https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/homeless/hypothermia-prevention-program.