Today is World Health Day: How will the expiring COVID-19 PHE affect the homeless population and their health?
World Health Day
World Health Day is a global health awareness day celebrated every year on 7 April, under the sponsorship of the World Health Organization, as well as other related organizations. In 1948, the WHO held the First World Health Assembly. This year, the existence of COVID-19 and its impact on the world is a focus for many as they reflect on World Health Day.
COVID-19’s Effect on the Homeless
The CDC states some people who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness may be at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. This could be due to old age and/or certain underlying medical conditions, such as chronic lung disease or serious heart conditions.
Homeless individuals across the globe live in a constant state of crisis. Yet, during times of societal crisis that affect all populations, disaster planning has rarely included this high-risk group. During the pandemic, Boston created a mental health disaster team to try to minimize mental health effects on at-risk populations, like individuals experiencing homelessness. Read more by clicking here.
The COVID-19 PHE (Public Health Emergency)
As we all know, COVID-19 has shaped the way the world operates for the last two and a half years. On January 31, 2020, a Public Health Emergency was declared as a result of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. Organizations around the United States received funding as a result of the PHE. The current Declaration of Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 will expire April 16. With that expiration date in mind, funding, flexibilities and waivers will also expire.
How the PHE Expiring Affects HUD Organization and the Homeless Population
The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness has created a new tool that identifies expiring federal provisions that may impact homelessness prevention and intervention.
The status and timeline of these provisions continue to evolve. The USICH has requested that you direct any questions to your USICH regional coordinator.
This new tool lists relevant provisions from the departments and agencies of:
- Homeland Security (DHS)
- Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- Agriculture (USDA)
- Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Veterans Affairs (VA)