Homeless Planning & Support Services
- Expect your workforce to be impacted
- Health experts estimate that 15-35% of the workforce will be unable to work because of illness, fear of contracting illness or caring for their own families that have become ill.
- Increase attention about having clean hands
- Have sanitizer readily available throughout any facility.
- Clients may not have access to medications
- Access to and supply chains of medication can be interrupted during a pandemic.
- Map out locations of encampments
- Bring together outreach workers, law enforcement and other critical staff to develop a comprehensive map of where unsheltered people are living. This information may end up being critical in testing and tracking people impacted by the illness.
- Changes in protocols and practices
- Restrictions may need to be relaxed in order to allow more people to gain access to services. Things, like the way clients line-up for services, may need to be altered.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Take everyday preventive actions
- Clean your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or having been in a public place.
- If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places – elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking with people, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand or finger if you must touch something.
- Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places.
- Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
- Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs: practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks & cell phones)
- Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick.
Stats & Resources
- CDC keeps updated count and info on website
- DSHS keeps updated count on website
- Click here for the Disease Preparedness Webinar – Live Tuesday, March 10th, 2 pm
- Click here for the National HCH Council Guidelines
- Click here for the Infectious Disease Toolkits for CoC agencies
Other Links & Resources
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) posted information on disease risks and prevention on HUDExchange.
- Infectious Disease Preparedness Guidance for Homeless Assistance Providers: https://www.hudexchange.info/news/materials-posted-infectious-disease-preparedness-guidance-for-homeless-assistance-providers/
- Eligible ESG Costs for Infectious Disease Preparedness*: https://files.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/Eligible-ESG-Program-Costs-for-Infectious-Disease-Preparedness.pdf
- *Note that the Eligible ESG Costs for Infectious Disease Preparedness is federal guidance that relates to TDHCA’s ESG funds.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted a Coronavirus (COVID-19) informational website and specific guidance for homeless shelters.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html
- Resources for Homeless Shelters: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/homeless-shelters/index.html