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.