The COVID-19 pandemic has strained communities and health care systems across the country. Among the many challenges to emerge is how to best meet the health care needs of people experiencing homelessness during the crisis. To further examine the impact of COVID-19, the Center for Health Care Strategies, with support from California Health Care Foundation, produced a series of resources highlighting success stories, opportunities, and obstacles to improving care for people experiencing homelessness that have emerged during the public health crisis.
This brief synthesizes innovative approaches and key lessons for supporting the health care needs of Californians experiencing homelessness during COVID-19. It presents the immediate public health challenges in responding to the pandemic and shares key programmatic efforts to support those experiencing homelessness. It also shares considerations for California policymakers and stakeholders to leverage these lessons to prepare for the ongoing and continued impacts of the pandemic, and to inform future policy direction. While findings from this brief are informed by efforts in California, the lessons herein can guide other states.