- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The region’s first significant snowfall this winter apparently didn’t hamper the District’s ability to give homeless people shelter from the storm.

A staff member at the 801 East Shelter in Northeast — one of 20 hypothermia emergency centers recognized by the mayor’s office — said there was no significant uptick in visitors. The head count Tuesday morning was 285 men.

“Everything is running good. It’s not snowing that bad, not like New York,” said the staffer, who didn’t want to give his name.

The shelter offers overnight housing and food, operates a daily program for 18- to 24-year-olds and manages a transitional rehabilitation program.

To prepare for the snowstorm, staff organized extra food, water, bedding, cots and pullout beds.

Schroeder Stribling, executive director of N Street Village homeless shelter in Northwest, said the Patricia Handy Place for Women in Chinatown had reached its capacity of 213 occupants Tuesday morning.

Opened in February 2016, the Patricia Handy Place is a “low barrier” shelter, meaning it has few requirements to enter.

“There’s no assessment required,” Mrs. Stribling said. “I could give any name, maybe an alias. It’s a real ease of access for anyone.”

Shelter managers said more of their overnight centers were operating during the day so women wouldn’t have to travel unnecessarily.

One overnight hypothermia emergency center, Sherwood Recreation Center near the H Street corridor Northeast, was closed Tuesday morning. Dora Taylor, a spokeswoman for the D.C. Department of Human Services, said Sherwood would reopen if other centers reported overflows of occupants.

The recreation center’s closure disappointed a nanny, who was forced to contemplate options for the day with the child in her care.

“I guess I’ll go to the Library or Union Station,” she said.

Getting to Union Station would not be easy because the District’s $200 million streetcars that run along H Street Northeast from Benning Road to the railway hub were out of service because of ice on their electrical lines.

Bobby Martz, owner of a 7-Eleven on H Street, said residents swarmed the store Monday night and early Tuesday to buy shovels and rock salt. Also hit hard were shelves of bread, milk, eggs and snacks.

At a nearby Giant supermarket, the egg shelves were cleared out and the bread shelves were almost bare.

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