Voices from the Field: COVID-19 and Recession Surveys, Interviews, and Data

The Alliance’s Homelessness Research Institute has conducted surveys with Continuums of Care (CoC) throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to assess their most pressing needs, and identify any trends in homelessness as a result of the pandemic. The reports below detail how providers and CoCs have been able to respond to the crisis, and identifies promising practices that have evolved as a result. 

Community Survey: Protecting People Experiencing Homelessness from COVID-19

March 2020

The first survey asked homeless providers, leaders, advocates, allies, and those with lived experience of homelessness to complete a survey on what they needed to protect people experiencing homelessness from COVID-19. A total of 785 individuals completed the brief survey, which yielded rich qualitative data. 

Community-level Responses of Homelessness Assistance Programs to COVID-19: Data from May 2020

May 2020

A second survey demonstrates the continual challenges and gaps in resources Continuums of Care (CoCs) face while serving people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey, targeted to CoC leadership, emphasizes the connection between housing and health care, and innovative strategies being implemented to swiftly move people experiencing homelessness into housing. 

Responding to COVID-19: Conversations with Homeless System Leaders

August 2020

Following these surveys, Alliance staff held conversations with homeless system leaders throughout May and June to discuss how systems are approaching housing placements, ensuring healthy conditions, data collection, staffing, partnerships, and common challenges. These areas represent implementation of “promising practices:” homeless system practices that have emerged in the crisis, but are yet to be formally evaluated.

Surveying Local Homeless Service Providers (Part 2): Responses from July 2020

August 2020

This installment reflects the findings of a second online survey of CoC leaders, and notes systems’ progress in areas such as access to personal protective equipment (PPE), screening, and testing. 

Surveying Local Homeless Service Providers (Part 3): Responses from November 2020

December 2020

These findings from a third online survey of CoC leaders reflect how homeless service providers and systems have been able to maintain service delivery amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, despite a lack of new federal funds since the initial CARES Act allocations.

Voices from the Field: Responding to COVID-19 (Part 4) – February/March 2021

April 2021

This installment comprises survey responses from homeless service providers and advocates during February and March 2021. These results reveal the importance of significant federal investments, vaccine planning and data collection, crisis housing, permanent housing as a priority, unsheltered homelessness strategies, and planning for the post-pandemic period.