Ahead of Winter, Fairfax County to Expand Hypothermia Shelters

At a Fairfax County Board of Supervisors meeting today (Tuesday), the board will consider an ordinance to approve shelters. The move would also authorize a streamlined process to approve temporary changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far, the county has identified four hypothermia shelters, including the North County Human Service building (1850 Cameron Glen Drive). Three other backup locations have been identified in Fairfax.

If approved, the county would be able to set up facilities as a place for transient overnight housing.

The county’s Housing Crisis Response System serves more than 1,000 people who seek shelter from cold every winter. The program operates from November through March.

In previous years, the county has taken support from faith communities.  But due to the pandemic, many faith organizations are either unable to take part in the program or can participate with significantly reduced capacity.

The county is anticipating more demand due to the pandemic. The ordinance would also streamline the approval process, which would otherwise be time-consuming and highly individualized.

The Board of Supervisors has expressed its desire to remove unnecessary obstacles to businesses that seek to stay in business while following state and other governmental COVID-related requirements,” according to meeting materials.

The meeting is set to begin at 2 p.m. today.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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