The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the struggle of people experiencing homelessness (PEH) and presented new challenges to those serving this vulnerable population. To better understand and articulate how COVID has impacted both PEH and their ecosystem of support, we compared the national response - aggregated via a literature review of both gray and academic literature - to the statewide response in Indiana and the local response in Tippecanoe County.
Local homelessness providers emphasized that organizational partnerships are key - policy changes in one organization can have malignant effect extending throughout and putting additional strain on other organizations within the local homelessness ecosystem Moreover, building community awareness and engagement with organizations serving PEH during normal times can have beneficial effects in times of crisis - calls to the community for help may prove to be more fruitful if they are to existing contacts and not de facto cold calls. Considering the problems elucidated by various homeless providers, certain governmental policies and provisions native to Tippecanoe County and Indiana could be beneficial to export elsewhere in the event of another public health crisis of this scope. Providers relayed that a close relationship with the local department of health and hotels helped expedite the placement and facilitate the extended stay of homeless COVID positive individuals.
MacNeill, Justin; Lahey, Alexa; and Teo, Nina
"Homelessness and COVID-19,"
Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement: Vol. 8
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/pjsl/vol8/iss1/18