Estimated Emergency and Observational/Quarantine Bed Need for the US Homeless Population Related to COVID-19 Exposure by County; Projected Hospitalizations, Intensive Care Units and Mortality

March 20, 2020  |  Publications


Dennis Culhane, Daniel Treglia and Ken Steif, University of Pennsylvania
Randall Kuhn, University of California Los Angeles
Thomas Byrne, Boston University

This report aims to establish the potential mortality and hospitalization costs associated with COVID-19 infection among the homeless population in the United States.

The authors’ analysis suggest that the total estimated cost to meet the nation’s emergency and observational/quarantine shelter bed need is approximately $11.5 billion for the current year, and project that homeless individuals infected by COVID-19 would be twice as likely to be hospitalized, two to four times as likely to require critical care, and two to three times as likely to die than the general population.

The report can also be found at the UPenn ScholarlyCommons Gallery

The authors have created a companion web application for communities to customize estimates of the impact of COVID-19 on their homeless populations and the additional capacity required to manage this crisis. That tool is available here.