Washington D.C.

Find alternatives to calling the Metropolitan Police Department.

Typically, people call the police because they are experiencing or perceive an emergency and need immediate assistance. In order to provide the most effective alternatives to calling the police or 911, unless otherwise indicated, the resources included here are limited to those that offer immediate assistance through emergency or crisis services.

These resources may be obligated to call police in the case of an immediate risk of harm to the caller or another, child abuse, or abuse of a vulnerable adult. Where we know or suspect that a resource may work in cooperation with law enforcement or involve them beyond what is required by law, we acknowledge that in the listing.

These resources are not intended to cover all situations, only to provide the services described. If you are in danger of immediate harm and feel safe doing so, call 911.


  • Community of Hope
    • Provides short-term emergency shelter for families with 24-hour support. Works to stabilize families at risk of becoming homeless through specialized services and connection to other community resources. Helps families experiencing homelessness exit shelter quickly and move into their own homes with short- to medium-term rental and utility assistance and supportive services.
    • Clients must be referred through the Virginia Williams Family Resource Center – (202) 546-0017 or (202) 724-4208
    • (202) 407-7747 (General)
    • (202) 540-9857 (24-Hour Nurse Helpline)
  • DC Coalition for the Homeless
    • 24/7 Shelter Hotline – when the temperature or Wind Chill is 32 or below, the District of Columbia issues a Hypothermia Alert. On Hypothermia Alert Day, the District is obligated by law to make shelter available. On those days, your call to the Shelter Hotline should result in the dispatch of a van to take the person from the street to an emergency shelter (or to a hospital if needed). The van is equipped with items such as water, blankets, gloves and jackets.
    • (202) 399-7093
  • Department of Behavioral Health*
    • Provides services to homeless individuals 18 and older with behavioral health disorders. Homeless Outreach Teams provide crisis assessment and interventions to homeless persons who may be experiencing a mental health crisis whether on the streets or in homeless shelters. 
    • (202) 673-9124 (General)
    • (888) 793-4357 (24-Hour Helpline)
    • *Please note this is a government service; they do not specify whether law enforcement may be involved.
  • Us Helping Us
    • Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc. is committed to improving the health and well-being of communities of color through innovative programs and services and – through a vision of inclusiveness – to reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS in the entire Black community. Offers housing stabilization referral services, including transitional, short-term, or emergency housing, and emergency housing assistance (e.g., rental assistance). These services are designed to prevent homelessness (housing stability) and achieve and/or maintain treatment adherence and improved health outcomes. Also assists and empowers clients in accessing and utilizing clinical, behavioral, social, legal, financial, and other social services such as emergency financial assistance, hygiene vouchers, and food. 
    • 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., Monday – Friday
    • (202) 446-1100


  • D.C. Anti-Violence Project
    • FREE individual, couples, and group therapy to LGBTQ survivors of crime, violence (including partner abuse) and trauma
    • (202) 682-2245
  • The D.C. Center for the LGBT Community
    • Offers individual and group mental health support services for LGBTQ survivors of violence and crime in the District of Columbia. This includes any individual or couple that has experienced any of the following types of victimization: intimate partner violence/domestic violence, sexual and/or physical assault, hate crime (racial, religious, gender, sexual orientation, and/or other type of hate crime), bullying, physical abuse/neglect, teen dating victimization, and family violence.
    • Email Christina Cappelletti at

Mental Health

  • Department of Behavioral Health Access HelpLine*
    • This 24-hour, seven-day-a-week telephone line is staffed by behavioral health professionals who can refer a caller to immediate help or ongoing care. The Access Helpline can activate mobile crisis teams to respond to adults and children who are experiencing a psychiatric or emotional crisis and are unable or unwilling to travel to receive behavioral health services.
    • (202) 673-9124 (General)
    • (888) 793-4357 (24-Hour Helpline)
    • *Please note this is a government service; they do not specify whether law enforcement may be involved.
  • PRS CrisisLink
    • 24/7 Crisis & Suicide Prevention Hotline and Textline—offers crisis intervention, suicide prevention, and support to individuals in order to foster self-sufficiency by providing problem-solving skills and information on community resources so callers can better cope with emotional trauma, personal and family crises. Serving D.C. and Northern Virginia.
    • (800) 273-TALK (8255) (24/7)
    • Text: “CONNECT” to 855-11

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

  • ASHA For Women
    • Empowers South Asian women to become self-reliant and live in an abuse free future. Free and confidential Helpline receives calls from abused women and from their friends, relatives, colleagues, seeking advice and assistance. The Client Services Coordinator studies the case and pairs the client with a volunteer advocate who is most suitable culturally and in experience. Advocates help the client negotiate public healthcare and legal services,and guides to resources available for shelter, education, life skills training, basic needs.
    • 1 (888) 417-2742 (24/7 DV Helpline)
  • D.C. Rape Crisis Center
    • DCRCC is the designated State Sexual Assault Coalition for the District of Columbia providing survivor-centered advocacy through therapeutic services, training and technical assistance, community education, public policy initiatives as well as a crisis hotline. 
    • (202) 333-7273 (24/7 Crisis Hotline)
    • (202) 232-0789 (General)
  • D.C. Safe
    • Per their website, DC SAFE is the only 24/7 crisis intervention agency for domestic violence in Washington, DC. Will provide free uber to get a forensic exam.
    • 1 (844) 443-5732
  • Deaf DAWN
    • A Trauma-informed, culturally responsive and transformative justice-based agency to provide multi-faced services to survivors and the deaf community; to understand and address power-based violence by providing direct services and education.
    • For emergency hotline:, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • Outside business hours call national deaf hotline: (855) 813-1001 or
  • Domestic Violence Resource Project
    • Free and confidential services, directed towards serving D.C.’s Asian/Pacific Islander populations. Domestic violence assistance in over 20 Asian/Pacific Islander languages. Information and referrals to local resources.
    • (202) 833-2233 (Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
  • FAIR Girls
    • 24/7 Hotline for victims of human trafficking, or those concerned, in the D.C., Virginia, and Maryland area
    • 1 (855) 900-3247
  • Network for Victim Recovery of D.C. (NVRDC)
    • Provides access, including free transportation, to forensic examinations following a sexual assault
    • 1 (800) 641-4028 (For a forensic exam)


Please note, people answering these calls may be mandatory reporters, and required to make a report to CPS or law enforcement in certain situations. Learn about local mandatory reporter laws here.

  • Break the Cycle
    • Inspires and supports young people 12 – 24 to build healthy relationships and create a culture without abuse.
    • Text “loveis” to 22522 to chat with a peer advocate 24/7
    • (202) 849-6289 (D.C. Office)
  • Children and Adolescent Mobile Psychiatric Services (ChAMPS)*
    • 24-Hour, no cost services to District residents and DC foster children in foster placement in Maryland. Available for children and youth ages 6 to 17. Also serve children ages 18 to 21 if they are in the care and custody of DC Child and Family Services Agency.
    • (202) 481-1440 – Number available to children or to parents/those concerned
    • *Please note this resource is Christian-affiliated
  • SMYAL (Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders)
    • Supports and empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the Washington, DC, metropolitan region. After school programming, social and advocacy events. Youth Housing Program Provides safe and stable shelter, food, case management services, crisis intervention, and community support for its residents.


  • ASHA For Women
    • Free and confidential helpline provides guidance to all South Asian seniors and caregivers in the DC Metro area.
    • 1 (833) 999-9080


  • Network for Victim Recovery DC (NVRDC)
    • Provides free, holistic, and comprehensive advocacy, case management and legal services to victims of all types of crime regardless of income. Welcomes all sexual orientations, genders, gender identities or expressions, income statuses, races and ethnicities, religions, immigrant statuses, countries of origin, and abilities.
    • (202) 742-1727


Please consider using these alternatives to calling the Metropolitan Police Department or 911 when faced with a situation that calls for de-escalation and/or intervention.

We have tried to indicate where police or law enforcement may work with the alternative resources listed; please let us know if you have any concerns about these resources.

Reimagine public safety. Don’t call the police.

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