The National Governors Association, in collaboration with the American Bar Association, launched a webinar series on Equity and Policy Preparedness during Public Health Emergencies. Participants in all four webinars will consider lessons learned from past public health emergencies to inform their implementation of best practices for the future.
The third webinar will examine services available to people experiencing homelessness in the context of public health emergencies, and the way in which laws and policies can both protect or negatively impact this vulnerable group. Not only can public health emergencies exacerbate homelessness itself, they can intensify chronic and acute consequences for individuals experiencing homelessness. People experiencing homelessness tend to have a higher prevalence of preexisting conditions that increase the risk of experiencing poorer outcomes once sick. Additionally, overcrowding and unsanitary conditions in camps and shelters may increase viral transmission among people experiencing homelessness. The focus of this webinar will be to discuss the policies that can be put in place during public health emergencies to protect individuals experiencing homelessness.