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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Hypothermia program helps the homeless survive the winter

The hypothermia program protects the homeless when the temperature drops.[FACETS]
If you see someone out in the cold at night who looks like they might be homeless, contact the police non-emergency phone line, 703-691-2131, to get them into the county’s Hypothermia Prevention and Response Program.

The program consists of a network of community providers, including nonprofits, faith-based community partners, and homeless shelters, that provides a safe, warm place to spend the night and nutritious meals when the temperature drops. from November through March, 31.

During this period, no one is turned away on cold nights at the county’s shelters, including the Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter on Moncure Avenue.

Last winter, the hypothermia program provided overnight shelter to 1,061 men and women. The program is operated for the county by FACETS, Northern Virginia Family Services, Cornerstones, and New Hope Housing.

When the shelters are filled to capacity, local churches and other religious institutions serve the overflow. FACETS works with more than 30 faith communities in its hypothermia program, including Annandale United Methodist Church.

The Hypothermia Program “gives us a chance to respond to the needs of those seeking shelter from the cold and connect them with housing solutions and critical services,” says Margi Preston, executive director of FACETS, one of the founders of the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness.

FACETS offers personalized case management to all shelter guests who want to participate to help them move off the streets and into safe and stable housing.

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