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Why public health approach to Covid should lead to a step change in how we tackle homelessness

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Now that Covid-19 vaccines are being rolled out, we are starting to return to a busy society, planning for celebrations, festivals and, for some people, a first visit home in a long time.

Transitions can be uneasy, uncomfortable, and stressful. They are a reminder of change and, for some, anxiety that is rooted in a lack of control and the unknown. However, for people experiencing homelessness, transition is often a constant state.

For many people, the pandemic was the first time they experienced the lack of choice over, for example, when or how long you can leave your home, where you can go, or even food because of flour and pasta shortages early in the pandemic.

Yet, many homeless shelters have decided such choices for their residents long before Covid-19. For people staying in temporary accommodation or night shelters, autonomy is often limited by the rules of organisations and a constant state of transition.

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