“Much of the guidance around COVID assumes the people receiving this information are housed,” said Tiderington. “But right now, we know that over half a million people are without stable housing in the U.S. Health professionals and policymakers should keep this in mind as they are issuing directives on how to avoid contracting or spreading COVID.
“People experiencing homelessness are often doubled-up in close-quarters with others or living in places not meant for human habitation, so they are particularly vulnerable to contracting communicable illnesses,” she continued. “Living conditions like these make it that much more challenging for these individuals and families to practice social distancing and avoid contracting the illness or to self-quarantine if they get sick. Homeless individuals have much higher rates of mortality than the general population and I am extremely concerned about how this pandemic will impact this already vulnerable population."
Tiderington is an expert in housing and supportive services for homeless populations with complex needs, frontline service provision in homeless services and mental health and substance abuse recovery in people with a history of homelessness.
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