Guidance for providers of services for people experiencing homelessness (in the context of COVID-19) [2020-03]

Many people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing homelessness rely on community-based organizations, non-profit and voluntary organizations for a range of essential services. The following recommendations are for the homelessness-serving sector (including overnight emergency shelters, day shelters, and meal service providers).

Those who experience homelessness may be at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 or developing complications due to COVID-19, as they may not be able to access and use traditional services and standard resources. Footnote1 These circumstances may affect their ability to follow public health advice, such as being able to effectively isolate/self-isolate from others and perform proper hand hygiene.

Organizations, community health workers and volunteers play an important role in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 among those who experience homelessness. It is important that these service providers plan ahead and take precautions in their environments/workplaces, based on public health advice to reduce disruptions to their services. Consider reaching out to the population you serve, management and local governments to understand the essential requirements of your organization during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Read the full guidelines here.

Government of Canada
March 2020