During and After Pandemic: How Hospitals Can Help Communities Respond to Homelessness

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Morning Consult




According to conservative estimates, more than 21,000 people experiencing homelessness could be hospitalized due to COVID-19. For those who recover, where will they go? Hundreds of thousands more could be infected — without homes, where will they stay? Without safe ways to care for people without homes, how will communities prevent the virus from spreading? What will happen to unsheltered people when the pandemic threat is diminished?

State and local leaders, public health departments and nonprofits have rallied to answer these questions with swift action. In California, the governor and mayors are now working to secure up to 15,000 hotel rooms to provide safe spaces for people experiencing homelessness. In Washington, Seattle and King County have created new 24/7 shelters and other places for homeless individuals to stay while recovering from COVID-19. Early lessons from these communities show us how political will and coordinated cross-sector action can save lives.

Hospitals can strengthen these heroic community-led efforts.


Infectious Diseases


Health Care Administration