Hypothermia/Hyperthermia Outreach Team (HOT)

The severe weather in winter makes homelessness more immediately life-threatening, especially during hypothermia season (from November 1 through March 31). Every summer and winter, Washington, DC city government agencies, faith communities, and nonprofit organizations provide emergency services to support men, women, and families experiencing homelessness. 

As part of these efforts, CSJ partners with the Georgetown Ministry Center (GMC) to form a Hypothermia/Hyperthermia Outreach Team (HOT) as the severe weather approaches. HOT volunteers help to prevent death from exposure and encourage unsheltered individuals experiencing homelessness to seek safety in available shelters and warming or cooling stations. This volunteer work is an important way for the Georgetown community to care for our own neighbors in need. No previous experience or specialized skills are required. 

Watch this short video of CSJ’s Hypothermia Outreach Team and listen to this story, Homeless residents share what it is like to live outdoors in DC in February, about HOT from WAMU. Register your interest in the Hypothermia Outreach Team.

Frequently Asked Questions about HOT

Q:    What are the training requirements?

A:    All volunteers must participate in a one hour orientation. These trainings are scheduled in November, January, May, and June.

Q:    What is the time commitment for HOT?

A:    HOT members volunteer on an ad hoc basis. Every Sunday during hypothermia season an email is sent asking for volunteers on the nights the temperature is predicted to drop below freezing or above 95 degrees. The day of, outreach is confirmed with the volunteer team prior to 4:30pm. Outreach typically takes about two hours and starts at 7:00pm at the Center for Social Justice.

Q:    How often will I participate in outreach?

A:    There is no minimum or maximum number of times you must participate during the season. You participate when you are available when a scheduling request is sent out during periods of extreme weather. We need a minimum of four people each session in order for a team to conduct outreach.

Q:    What will I be doing during outreach?

A:    Conducting wellness checks with individuals experiencing homelessness in the Georgetown catchment area. These wellness checks will include checking for signs of hypothermia or hyperthermia, connecting individuals to city’s resources, and providing emergency supplies such as blankets, handwarmers, and water.

Q:    Are there supplies that I can donate to the HOT team?

A:    Yes! We are always in seek of newsocks, gloves, winter hats and scarves. Unopened emergency (foil/thermal) blankets, hand warmers, and non-expired, pre-packaged granola bars are also welcome. These can be brought to the Center for Social Justice (Poulton Hall, Suite 130). You can also support HOT’s work with a financial donation here. Please make sure to mark “CSJ Hypothermia Outreach Team” on your gift.

Hypothermia/Hyperthermia Resources and Numbers

Washington, DC:

Montgomery County:

Prince Georges County:

Alexandria:

Arlington County:

Fairfax County:

Falls Church: