COMMUNITY ACTION STEPS
Housing Instability & Homelessness: CARES Act Suggestions for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Elected Officials Jointly released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Alliance to End Homelessness, National League of Cities and Mayors & CEOs for Housing Investment, this brief provides new guidance to elected officials on how they can use the billions of dollars in flexible funds provided in the CARES Act to address housing instability and homelessness – which are two of the most significant obstacles to flattening the curve and ending the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the release, the guidance provides recommended steps elected officials can make to address racial inequity and serve marginalized populations, provide emergency rental assistance, and address the needs of people experiencing homeless – with examples from city and state officials across the nation (April 15, 2020).
Homelessness & COVID-19: Considerations & Action Steps: This document provides recommendations for concrete actions steps and policy measures that communities can implement immediately to limit the spread and impact of the virus and mitigate future exposure. The document was developed collaboratively by homeless services providers; Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) like Healthcare for the Homeless Council; managed care organizations (MCOs); National Association of Community Health Centers; National Healthcare for the Homeless Council; National Alliance to End Homelessness; and United Healthcare (March 2020).
Interim Guidance for Homeless Service Providers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had provided guidance for communities to respond comprehensively to address housing instability and homelessness during COVID-19. Recommendations are also provided for shelter operations and staffing. (Updated April 2020).
Pandemic Planning and Services that Support People Who are Homeless: OrgCode provides information to consider when developing a community response to serve people experiencing homelessness in response to COVID-19 (March 1, 2020).
COVID-19: Pandemic Response Guide: Local Housing Solutions (LHS) developed a one-page guide for communities to respond to COVID-19, including how to reduce the spread of infection, support shelter-in-place, protect people experiencing homelessness, maintain business operations and ensure clear communication.
Recommendations for a Metropolitan COVID-19 Response: Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health released a report that outlines recommendations for metro areas dealing with COVID-19 response. It includes a recommendation for providing alternative housing to individuals experiencing homelessness and others lacking space for quarantine (April 2, 2020).
COVID-19 Planning & Response for Homeless Assistance Providers: As part of an ongoing series of virtual Office Hours, HUD’s Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) invited homeless assistance providers and partners to participate in an Office Hours session to discuss COVID-19 planning and response. Presenters from the following federal agencies and their partners were available for a live question and answer session: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); National Healthcare for the Homeless Council (HCH) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) (Webinar, Slides from April 10, 2020).
OTHER COMMUNITY EXAMPLES
- State of California (Source: California Department of Public Health) Recommended Strategic Approaches for COVID-19 Response for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness.
- State of Nevada (Source: Nevada County Health & Human Services) Information includes a homeless plan for COVID-19; homeless service provider toolkit; fact sheet on homelessness; and guidance for homeless providers on coronavirus, including recommendations on plans for Continuums of Care (CoCs), city and county homelessness officials and their partners and communicating regularly.
- State of Hawaii (Source: Hawaii Department of Health) Comprehensive site with information and resources provided by the Behavioral Health and Homelessness Statewide Unified Response Group. Information includes telehealth guidance; implementing infection control measures; regular updates from service partners; and resiliency and emotional wellness.
- The Chicago Continuum of Care (CoC) (Source: Chicago Continuum of Care) The Chicago CoC launched the COVID-19 Expedited Housing Initiative in April 2020. Adopted by the CoC Board, this includes a series of adjustments to the way people in the community access permanent housing (permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing), with the goal of expediting housing placements while ensuring our system remains nimble in response to COVID-19.
- Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH) (Source: Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness) CCEH developed a COVID-19 resource page that includes information and tools, including guidance for providing shelter (including temporarily through hotels) and housing.
- Ohio Balance of State Continuum of Care (Source: Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO) Information and resources for providers, funders and stakeholders.
- Santa Clara County, California (Source: Santa Clara County Department of Public Health) Information and data on community response to COVID-19, including homelessness and housing assistance.
- Leadership structures to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in communities from Florida, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Arizona, Washington & North Carolina (Source: Community Solutions: Built for Zero)
- Minnesota Housing Partnership COVID-19 Response (Source: Minnesota Housing Partnership) Information is provided on the community-wide, coordinated response including how to participate and support efforts. In addition, data and infographics are used to explain the impact of COVID-19 on people experiencing housing instability and homelessness.
POPULATION / SITE SPECIFIC
- Preventing & Managing the Spread of COVID-19 Within Domestic Violence Programs (Source: Safe Housing Partnerships)
- COVID-19 Special Topic Series: Spending Bill & Safe Housing Options for Survivors (Source: National Alliance for Safe Housing)
- Information On COVID-19 For Survivors, Communities, And DV/SA Programs (Source: Futures Without Violence)
- Resources on the Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Source: National Network to End Domestic Violence)
- Interim Guidance on COVID-19 for Member Domestic Violence Programs (Source: Ohio Domestic Violence Network)
- Calls All Family and Friends of Families Experiencing Violence at Home: Resource Guide (Source: Futures Without Violence)
INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES
- Reasonable Accommodations and Disability Discrimination in the Context of COVID-19 (Source: National Housing Law Project)
- The Lives & livelihoods of many in the LGBTQ community are at risk amidst COVID-19 crisis (Source: Human Rights Campaign Foundation)
- Release to What? Behavioral Health-based Strategies to Address COVID-19 (Source: Policy Research, Inc.)
Mental Health and COVID-19 – Information and Resources (Source: Mental Health America)
- Link to COVID-19 Resources for Undocumented Communities (Source: www.undocuscholars.com)
Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) among People Experiencing Unsheltered Homelessness (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Protecting Health and Well-being of People in Encampments During an Infectious Disease Outbreak (Source: U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development)
- SSVF Resources (Updated April 10, 2020)
- Five Strategies to Help Homeless Youth Transition to College During COVID-19 (Source: School House Connection)
- Fact Sheet on Stimulus Payments and Homeless Youth (Source: School House Connection)
- COVID-19 Checklist for State Education Leaders on Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness (Source: School House Connection)
- National Guidance on Emergency Homeless Services for Youth and Young Adults (Source: A Way Home America)
- Checklist for Local Education Agencies and Early Childhood Providers (Source: School Housing Connection)
- Opportunities for Impact: Child and Youth Homelessness, Schools, and COVID-19 (Source: School Housing Connection)
RESEARCH & DATA
NEW NATIONAL REPORT: “Estimated Emergency and Observational/Quarantine Capacity Need for the US Homeless Population Related to COVID-19 Exposure by County; Projected Hospitalizations, Intensive Care Units and Mortality” (University of Pennsylvania, University of California Los Angeles and Boston University | March 24, 2020) This report outlines the impact of COVID-19 on the population experiencing homelessness and estimates the cost to adequately shelter and quarantine people experiencing literal homelessness.
LOCAL DATA MODELS: Staff from Mecklenburg County Community Support Services applied the methodology from the national report (linked above) using local HMIS data to provide information on potential local impact, capacity and cost models for Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
CORONAVIRUS PLANNING MAP FOR COCs: Using ArcGIS, HUD developed an interactive tool that Continuums of Care (CoCs) can use for planning efforts. To access data on Charlotte-Mecklenburg, click the area on the map and select “Create Infographic.”
NLIHC RESEARCH NOTE: THE NEED FOR EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE DURING THE COVID-19 AND ECONOMIC CRISIS: The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) estimate the cost to assist extremely and very low-income households in the United States who are severely cost-burdened renters to be $76.1 billion over twelve months. Extending rental assistance to cover all current and projected housing cost-burdened extremely and very low-income renters would cost approximately $99.5 billion. (April 7, 2020)
FACT SHEET: POPULATION AT-RISK: HOMELESSNESS AND THE COVID-19 CRISIS: The Homelessness Research Institute, which is part of the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH), developed a fact sheet on how to serve people experiencing homelessness during the global pandemic. (March 25, 2020)
PANDEMIC PREPAREDNESS AND HOMELESSNESS: LESSONS FROM H1N1 IN CANADA: During the 2009 and 2010 H1N1 influenza outbreak, researchers from Canada analyzed the impact of the outbreak within the context of homelessness, using surveys and interviews with front-line workers, policy-makers, and persons with lived experience. The book is available via digital download; it was published in 2016 by the Canadian Observatory On Homelessness and edited by Kristy Buccieri and Rebecca Schiff. The book includes findings from the multi-site study, with chapters on the challenges of pandemic planning in the context of homelessness; accessing justice amid threats of contagion; and the health and wellness of homeless individuals in Canada.
WHERE LOW-INCOME JOBS ARE BEING LOST TO COVID-19: WEEKLY UPDATES ON THE PLACES AND INDUSTRIES MOST AT RISK The Urban Institute developed a new tool to help identify which neighborhoods are most vulnerable to COVID-19 job losses. The estimates provided can help nonprofits, foundations, and government target support where it’s most needed. (April 16, 2020)
COVID-19 PUBLIC SURVEY & RESULTS CONDUCTED IN COLORADO The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment developed a survey to understand the views, attitudes and beliefs about the novel coronavirus, testing, social distancing and crisis response. The survey was completed by over 44,000 people in days.
U.S. CENSUS BUREAU LAUNCHES COVID-19 DATA HUB The U.S. Census released a new resource page to help federal agencies, businesses, and communities make decisions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Similar to the Census Bureau’s resources pages created during natural disasters, this resource page includes information on population demographics, economic indicators and businesses. (April 23, 2020)
NEW ASSESSMENT OF INFECTION PREVALENCE IN HOMELESS SHELTERS IN 4 U.S. CITIES The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released the “Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Prevalence in Homeless Shelters — Four U.S. Cities, March 27–April 15, 2020” which highlights the importance of early testing in homeless shelters to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. (April 22, 2020)
EQUITY ISSUES, IMPLICATIONS & FRAMEWORK FOR SOLUTIONS
- An Equitable Systems Transformation Framework for COVID-19 (Source: National Innovation Services | March 27, 2020)
- Ten Equity Implications of the Coronavirus COVID-19 Outbreak in the United States (Source: NAACP | April 6, 2020)
- COVID-19 – Racial Equity & Social Justice Resources (Source: Racial Equity Tools)
- Racially Equitable Responses to COVID-19 (Source: C4 Innovations)
- COVID-19 in Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups (Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention)
- The COVID Racial Data Tracker (Source: The COVID Tracking Project)