Homelessness in the time of Coronavirus

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It’s estimated that more than 500,000 people in the United States experience homelessness on any given night. In recent weeks, social distancing and stay-at-home orders have been implemented across the United States in order to slow the spread of coronavirus. But, for people currently staying in homeless shelters which may serve hundreds of people at once and have communal living spaces, this presents unique challenges for both staff and residents. In addition, people facing homelessness often have comorbidities that go untreated, placing them at greater risk for serious illness due to coronavirus, and economic downturn could mean that community support for the homeless population could be in even greater demand in the future.

In this episode, we talked with Barbara Brush, a Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the School of Public Health and an expert on homelessness and health about the hardships people experiencing homelessness encounter daily during this pandemic. We also spoke with Linda Little, President and CEO of the Neighborhood Service Organization which provides shelter and support to thousands of people in Metro Detroit each year about how coronavirus has impacted how they provide care to the people who need it.


Listen to "High Risk: Homelessness in the time of Coronavirus 5.8.2020" on Spreaker.

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In This Episode

Barbara BrushBarbara Brush

Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education

Barbara Brush is a Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and a Professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing. She is an expert in nurse workforce policy, health disparities, community-based research, and homelessness and health. Dr. Brush uses a community based research approach to promote health and reduce health inequality among vulnerable community-based populations, including the homeless population. She is conducting ongoing research with homeless families in Detroit to test the use of narrative interventions to encourage people to seek help and reduce homelessness recidivism.
Learn more.


Linda Little

President and CEO of Neighborhood Service Organization

Linda Little is the President and CEO of the Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO). NSO provides services to thousands of people each year with developmental and intellectual disabilities, and people facing homelessness or housing insecurity in Metro Detroit.

Learn More.


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