COVID-19 will have an unprecedented impact on homelessness, according to analysis by Dr. Brendan O’Flaherty, a professor of economics at Columbia University. Dr. O’Flaherty projects a 40-45% increase in homelessness this year compared to January 2019. This equates to nearly 250,000 additional people losing their housing, mostly due to lay-offs resulting from the economic impacts of the pandemic. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the July U.S. unemployment rate was 10.2%, after reaching a high of 14.7% in April.
According to the National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation, Black and Latino families are most likely to face eviction, with Black women facing the greatest threat.
There is a strong link between homelessness and health. Homelessness can exacerbate existing health conditions, cause new ones and make managing the spread of COVID-19 more difficult. This infographic from NIHCM highlights the challenges faced by people experiencing homelessness, and offers short and long-term solutions to improve their health and well-being.