Harriet Tubman residents say the shelter is still cold as hypothermia season begins
As the weather fluctuates across D.C., including wind chills in the 20s on Monday, residents at the Harriet Tubman Women’s Shelter say the building has remained uncomfortably cold for the past two weeks.
“It’s freezing in here,” Althea Thompson, a resident, told Street Sense Media on Oct. 26. “You don’t know if you want to be outside or be in here.”
Thompson said she and others have been bundling up in blankets to stay warm inside since Oct. 25. On that particular day, she reported the air-conditioning was still turned on and blowing cold air inside, while temperatures outside didn’t reach above 57 degrees.
An employee from the Department of General Services told Street Sense Media that the heat was turned on for the season at 1:20 p.m., Oct. 26. But two weeks later, multiple residents said it was still cold inside as Street Sense went to press.
Charner Snow, another resident, reported there were a few hot spots on the second floor as of Nov. 3. But she said the entire first floor, where her room and bed are located, is cold.
“I’ve got three blankets, two quilts on my bed,” Snow said. “Just to stay warm.” She says the shelter is now providing each resident two blankets, when they previously provided only one.
In the District, Nov. 1 marks the beginning of hypothermia season, a five-month period where the city prepares auxiliary resources to provide blankets, shelter, and transportation whenever temperatures dip dangerously low. The Department of Human Services hypothermia alert was activated on Sunday, Nov. 1, and Monday when temperatures reached a low of 39 degrees. It was deactivated Tuesday due to warmer weather.
11/1: The District’s Hypothermia Alert is currently ACTIVE.
If someone is outside in need of assistance or transportation to shelter please call (202) 399-7093 or 311. https://t.co/TRvcIiikW5
— DC Human Services (@DCHumanServ) November 1, 2020