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By Location Alaska Albuquerque Allentown Amsterdam Anaheim Anchorage Ann Arbor Atlanta Austin Baton Rouge Bend Binghamton Boston Boulder Canada Cardiff Charlotte Chatsworth Chicago Chippenham Cleveland Columbia SC Columbus Dallas Denver Des Moines Detroit Edmonton Eugene Fayetteville Fort McMurray Fredericton Gainesville Glendale Great Falls Greensboro Harbor City Harrisburg Hawaii Hawthorne Hollywood Honolulu houston Ithaca Kalkaska Kelowna Koreatown Las Vegas Lima London London (Canada) Los Angeles Louisville Manchester Miami Minneapolis/St Paul Montreal Nashville New Orleans New York City Nickelsville Norway Oakland Ocala Oslo Ottawa Oxford Paradise Pasadena Peru Philadelphia Phoenix Pine Ridge Pittsburgh Portland Reseda Sacramento Salt Lake City San Diego San Francisco San Jose San Luis Obispo Santa Monica Saskatoon Seattle Shawnee Skid Row Springfield St John's St Louis St. Petersburg Syracuse Tacoma Tampa Toronto Traverse City Tulsa United Kingdom Vancouver Venice Beach Vermont Victoria Wales Washington DC Wentzville Westwood Wichita Wilmington Winnipeg Yellowknife By topic Addiction Advocacy Affordable housing Art and Music Awareness Charity Cold Weather College Students Community Involvement Coronavirus Couch Surfing Couple Criminalization Data Disabled Divorce Domestic violence Drug testing Education Employment Eviction Ex-convict Faith based Families Family conflict Female Financial crisis Foster care Harm reduction Health care HIV/AIDS Homeless count Homeless deaths Hostels (UK shelters) Hotels Housing First HUD Human trafficking Identification Incarceration Indigenous Invisible People Invisible Stories Job loss K2/Spice (Synthetic Marijuana) LGBT Libraries Lived Experience Male Mental illness Mobile Homeless Natural disasters NIMBY Outreach Panhandling Peer Support Pets Poverty Pregnant PTSD Public Feeding Racism Recycling Relationships Research Rural Schools Seniors Sex Offenders Sex Worker Shelters Single Parent Social Media Social Security Socks Solutions Street Soccer Survival sex System Failure Systems Change Technology Tent Cities Tiny Homes Transgender Travelers Veteran Vietnam Veteran Violence Waiting list Welfare Working poor Youth EVENTS @home contests PBS road trip road trip 2009 road trip 2010 road trip 2011 road trip 2013 to fight youth homelessness sober birthday campaign SXSW TEDx INTERVIEWS Learn More Canadian Homelessness Coronavirus and Homelessness Criminalization of Homelessness Family Homelessness Homeless Seniors Homeless Veterans Homeless Youth Homelessness Mobile Homelessness Panhandling Tent Encampments U.K. Homelessness MISCELLANEOUS 360 video Awards Cause Marketing Dream Center Gates Foundation Google Glass Media Patreon Tribute World Trade Center YouTube More Updates

Supporting People Who Are Homeless or at Risk of Becoming Homeless During COVID-19

homeless man wears mask

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, National Homelessness Law Center and the National Low Income Housing Coalition offer some steps to help people experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Programs:

  • Offer private beds and bathrooms to homeless people when possible (however, as the National Health Care for the Homeless Council notes, care should be taken to ensure that the process of isolation is not traumatizing). Some states have housed people in hotels.
    • California established Project Roomkey to help provide hotel rooms for people experiencing homelessness. While the program demonstrated that governments can quickly take actions to end homelessness, it ran out of funding.
    • According to a WBUR article, some Boston-area shelters used empty college and university dorms to provide shelter.
  • Services should try to stay open, not turn anyone away, and not require abstinence
  • Try to find additional shelter sites
  • House people who are most at risk of the virus first
  • Develop transportation protocols to ensure that people have access to health care
  • Ensure that people experiencing homelessness have access to information about emergency cash assistance
  • Establish policies around staff well-being, including:
    • Coordination of personal protective equipment (PPE)
    • Adequate staff training
    • Contingency plans for when staff are absent
    • Minimalization of client contact among staff members who are most at risk of the virus
    • Access to stress and coping resources
    • Hand washing
    • Minimal contact with client belongings
    • Laundering of staff clothes
    • Masks and face coverings
  • Use text messaging as a way to communicate with people experiencing homelessness
  • Ensure that information is accessible in a variety of languages
  • Ensure adequate testing and screening

Communities:

  • Increase access to hygienic facilities for people experiencing homelessness
  • Develop safe parking facilities: some areas are using state parks as temporary encampment grounds, and some cities are setting up temporary tent cities
  • Ban encampment clearings, vehicle ticketing, and impoundment
  • Decrease criminalization of homelessness (for more information, click here)
  • Schools should ensure the safety of students during shutdowns
    • Schools (including colleges and universities) should ensure that students have adequate access to food.
    • There should be an increase of housing vouchers for students experiencing homelessness.
  • When collecting data, ensure that race and ethnicities are specified (Click for more information on testing)
  • Place moratoriums on eviction, rent, and foreclosure proceedings
  • Offer access to paid sick and family medical leave
  • Offer hazard pay to frontline workers
  • Reduce jail and prison populations to prevent the spread of the virus in crowded conditions
  • Ensure that cash relief programs reach people experiencing homelessness
  • Establish community-wide planning to best meet the needs of individuals and families experiencing homelessness
  • Offer incentives to landlords to rent to people experiencing homelessness

In addition, the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, National Low Income Housing Coalition, and National Health Care for the Homeless Council have developed The Framework for an Equitable COVID-19 Homelessness Response. This offers suggestions for immediate, short-term, long-term, and longer-term actions for unsheltered people, shelter, housing, prevention and diversion, and strengthening systems for the future.


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C4 Innovations advances recovery, wellness, and housing stability for people who are marginalized. We are committed to reducing disparities and achieving equitable outcomes. We partner with service organizations, communities, and systems to develop and implement research-based solutions that are: person-centered, recovery-oriented, and trauma-informed.

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