Hypothermia season in DC starts today, marking the beginning of colder weather. Hypothermia is a state caused by prolonged exposure to low temperatures and can potentially be deadly. In the District, the season begins November 1st and lasts through March 31st. These cold months remind us that ending chronic homelessness in DC is a matter of life and death, especially for our neighbors living outside.
On average, individuals experiencing chronic homelessness die decades before their housed peers from manageable and treatable medical conditions, both in the winter and all year round.
Knowing the signs and symptoms of hypothermia is critical to taking action and may include: shivering, exhaustion, confusion, slurred speech, memory loss, slow shallow breathing, and a weak pulse.
3 ways to take action during hypothermia season
As someone who cares about ending homelessness, here are 3 concrete things you can do right now to help our neighbors during DC’s winter:
1. Program the DC Hypothermia Hotline Number into your phone: 202-399-7093
If you see somebody staying outside, express concern and offer to call this number. The Hypothermia vans can both transport people to shelter and provide extra blankets.
Click here to join our 7,000 partners and 110 partner organizations and to push Mayor Bowser and the DC Council to act with urgency to end chronic homelessness.
3. Click here to Tweet at Mayor Bowser to tell her that everybody deserves a home.
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