Impact of COVID-19 on homelessness

The coronavirus pandemic is likely to kill more than 3,400 people experiencing homelessness across the United States, according to new estimates. 

Bedding and blankets belonging to homeless people on the ground underneath an underpass

Further, the virus could hospitalize some 21,295 people who don’t have housing, or about 4.3% of the nationwide homeless population, the researchers found in a report that was finalized this week. Of those likely to be hospitalized, nearly 7,200 or more may require critical care.

“The homeless population faces unique vulnerabilities amidst this crisis,” said Dennis Culhane, co-author of the report and professor at the School of Social Policy & Practice. Culhane is also co-principal investigator at Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy.

Nationwide, there is an immediate need for 400,000 additional emergency accommodation beds to manage the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the homeless population, according to the report. The report estimates that the additional capacity needed to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus will cost $11.5 billion. It includes a county-by-county breakdown of projected regional needs and impacts.

Read more at the School of Social Policy & Practice.