The record-breaking cold snap during the last week of January, which brought many US cities, including DC to a standstill, finally ended on February 2, 2019. Residents breathed a sigh of relief as temperatures rose to a “balmy” mid-40s and low 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Even better, that same day, world-famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow, which means that spring is a mere six weeks away! While Phil may have proclaimed the end of winter on Groundhog Day, weather forecasters say it's a bit premature for much of the country. Spring weather will take its time to arrive in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes, with the chance for snow as late as mid-March in Washington DC. See Phil making his prediction at link attached.
The 2018 Point-in-Time Count of Persons Experiencing Homelessness in Washington DC, see report attached, shows a drop in the number of homeless in DC of 7.6% to 6,904 persons, which is most encouraging. This is a reflection of the effort on the part of the DC government and several private agencies, including UPO, to deal effectively with the plight of the city’s homeless population and work on providing low-income housing to get the homeless population off the streets and homeless shelters into permanent housing.
UPO Shelter Hotline represents the entry point assisting homeless folks off the street, transporting them to homeless shelters and providing them with comfort items. Winter and summer over 40 dedicated UPO Shelter Hotline employees communicate with shelters to coordinate transportation services for displaced individuals and families. We are the sole provider of transportation services for the DC homeless population. Our vans are seen throughout DC distributing food, water, blankets, sleeping bags and other comfort items, funded by your generous donations in support of the homeless. During peak seasonal temperatures Shelter Hotline drivers work 24 hours a day during the winter and summer months transporting homeless individuals to shelters, cooling stations and feeding centers. UPO Shelter Hotline helps to save lives.
Shelter Hotline Statistics during the past year:
- 5,478 customers transported to shelters
- 186,416 trips provided to homeless customers
- 397,544 shelter nights utilized by homeless customers
- 63,997 phone calls received and processed
- 53,905 comfort items distributed
UPO's mission is Uniting People with Opportunities. As the designated Community Action Agency for DC, UPO serves the DC homeless through our educational, vocational and job training programs. The Office of Early Learning provides children of homeless families with free education and family support. UPO Workforce Institute provides free training and job placement services as we help the homeless to self-sufficiency. We believe that they deserve the decency of basic comfort items that we can take for granted.
To date Help UPO Help the DC Homeless has raised $23,298 towards our goal of $25,000 from 370 donations. We are pleased to report that during the past 12 months we raised $6,711 from 94 donations, a record average of $71 per donation. With our work far from over we have decided to raise our goal by $5,000 to $30,000. Please join us in meeting the challenge of raising an additional $6,702 by December 31, 2019!