Coronavirus and Homelessness

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on people who are experiencing homelessness or who are living in unstable housing or crowded situations because they can’t afford a home of their own. Think about these situations:

  • Where do you go when people in your city are told to stay home if you don’t have a home?
  • Where do you wash your hands if you don’t have a home?
  • What do you do if your job involves being in close contact with other people and if you need to take public transportation to get to work?
  • How do you pay your rent or mortgage if you lose your job or your hours are cut?
  • How do you self-isolate and stay socially distant if you live with several people because you can’t afford a place of your own?
  • How do you get critical supplies like masks and face coverings when you are already struggling to pay rent and utilities?
  • What do your kids do when school is closed and you need to work?
  • How do you or your kids participate in online classes if you don’t have a place to sit and use a computer or stable access to the internet?

Because of these situations and others, people experiencing homelessness have a higher risk of becoming ill with COVID-19. An article in USA Today indicates that people experiencing homelessness are sometimes forced to prioritize basic needs over concerns about the virus.

Coronavirus is having a significant impact on people of color who are disproportionately represented among people who are homeless and among people who are getting sick with coronavirus.