Helping The Homeless Before A Big Snow/Weather Event

via Capital Weather Gang/Facebook

The image says it all. Winter is here and the White Walkers have arrived. No, that is not a snow hole you see in Capital Weather Gang’s update. As a friend, one sage M.A. Mulligan put it on Facebook, “They ran out of scary colors and just left our area white. Like snow.”

Jokes – and railing at OPM this morning – aside, here is how you can help as we stare down this weekend’s storm.

Start with going to the store, as you have probably already planned.

The homeless can always benefit from donations of non-perishables and canned goods. As NEW’s executive director, Wanda Steptoe points out, “The families we serve live at income levels where there is no ‘cushion’ of extra food if the weather knocks out electricity or curtails travel to a store.”

In fact, this is something that we can all do through the winter or the height of summer – in other words, any time of the year when we have noteworthy, inclement weather. So if you’re hitting the store today for eggs, bread, and milk; or any time before a major weather event, please do consider picking up a few supplies and donating it to. You can bring it to NEW’s offices at 611 N Street NW, Washington DC 20001, or take supplies to the nearest shelter.

Additionally, the region’s emergency shelters are gearing up to open their doors for those most vulnerable, which means they can use the following supplies:

  • Warm clothing – coats, sweaters, hats, scarves, gloves
  • Toiletries
  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable food that doesn’t need heating up (cereal, granola bars, bread, canned goods)
  • Frozen dishes – because if the power fails, you just keep them out on the stoop!
  • Paper goods – plates, TP, paper towels
  • Can openers
  • Ice melt
  • Batteries
  • Hand sanitizer

In other words, those without need what many of us keep on standby at all times, just in case. Click here for more information on what to get and where to donate them.

Also, as always, keep the following numbers handy if you see someone in need of shelter:

  • DC
    • Shelter Hotline – (800) 535-7252 or 311
  • MD
    • Prince George’s County Shelter Hotline – 1-888-731-0999
    • Montgomery County county crisis hotline – 240-777-4000.
  • VA
    • Arlington County Emergency Winter Shelter 703-228-7395
    • Fairfax County non-emergency number – 703-691-2131
    • Alexandria winter hypothermia emergency shelter – 703-548-7500, ext. 231. (additional shelter services – 703-746-5700)

A more complete list of warming centers, shelters, and resources is available here.


One last thing before you head out for the weekend. You can always help by coming to one of our many events through the year. Please mark your calendar for our next Happy Hour – Sudhouse DC on Thursday, February 11 from 4 pm to 8 pm at 1340 U St. NW. Near 14th and U Streets. The good folks at Sudhouse will donate 5% of all food and drink sold during the happy hour. Every little bit helps.

Stay warm!

It’s been a challenging time for all of us as we adjust our days, our budgets and our expectations to COVID-19. And now, add a city and country grasping for footing after the death of an unarmed black man by a white police officer and we all feel even more out of control, unstable, and concerned about the future. Here at NEW we know that one way we can process our own feelings is to think about the needs and feelings of others.

We need you. The women need you. Your community needs you. Now more than ever women and children in DC need a safe and stable place to live.