Resources

Coronavirus COVID-19

CNH3 is collecting resources to help the homelessness sector respond to a COVID-19 outbreak, and regularly updating this page with the best practices, tools and tips below.

People experiencing homelessness often have compromised health, compounding health issues and are at an elevated risk from viruses like COVID-19. Facilities, housing providers and other services that support people experiencing  homelessness (like shelters and drop-in centres) have increased risk of disease outbreaks, which is why we have compiled the below list of resources, best practices and tools to support efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Recommendations to Health Canada

(APRIL 5, 2020) CNH3 celebrates the release of the guidance for providers of services for people experiencing homelessness in the context of COVID-19 from Health Canada. It facilitates the direction of practice and preparation nationwide. Here, we summarize perspectives that may guide the implementation of these guidelines and future revisions: CNH3 Commentary on Health Canada’s “Guidance for providers of services for people experiencing homelessness (in the context of COVID-19).” – click this blue link to read our comments.

We initially provided Health Canada with recommendations in this document: Briefing and Recommendations on Isolation and Quarantine COVID-19 in the Homelessness Service Sector.

Our Statement on Prioritizing Vaccinations for People Experiencing Homelessness

On Feb 2 2021, CNH3 and CAEH released this statement calling on all levels of government, COVID-19 Vaccination Task Forces, and vaccination lead organizations to prioritize vaccination programming for individuals experiencing homelessness and staff who provide them with support as a matter of urgent public health protection. Readers are able to show support for this call by sending a letter to their health minister; further details provided in the statement.

For the latest Health Canada updates of COVID-19 cases and information: Click Here.

COVID-19 Information and Resource Links

For detailed COVID-19 resources, please consult the menu below:

Response & Recovery Frameworks
Canadian Response & Recovery Toolkit

Pandemic Response & Recovery Toolkit for Homeless System Leaders in Canada (CAEH and OrgCode, 48 pages, Version 2 – Nov 16, 2020) 

COVID-19 Response & Recovery Toolkit Overview, June 4 (CAEH and OrgCode, Webinar, 60 minutes) & PDF Presentation

OTHER FRAMEWORKS

Voices from the Field: Responding to COVID-19 (NAEH, Report, April 2021) 
This report – focused on responses from homeless service providers and advocates – notes the importance of federal investments, and vaccine planning and data collection processes. Other issues addressed include: strategies to expand crisis and permanent housing options, unsheltered homelessness strategies, and planning for the post-pandemic period. 

Isolation, Physical Distancing, and Next Steps Regarding Homelessness: A Scan of 12 Cities (Nick Falvo for the Calgary Homeless Foundation. Blog and Report)
Provides an overview of what isolation, physical distancing, and pathways to housing have looked like in 12 Canadian cities as well as policy recommendations moving forward.

Final Report: COVID-19 Interim Shelter Recovery Strategy: Advice from the Homelessness Service System (City of Toronto SSHA and United Way Greater Toronto, 11 pages)
Report offers guidance to the City, SSHA, United Way Greater Toronto, agencies and other partners in responding to COVID-19 in the shelter and homelessness service systems over the next 12 months, including priorities to address Black homelessness and Indigenous homelessness.

COVID-19 Transitional Planning Toolkit (Crisis U.K., webpage)
Provides practical resources and guidance for local areas in the U.K. transitioning from emergency COVID-19 arrangements.

COVID-19 Response Framework for People Experiencing Homelessness (CNH3, 4 pages)
Details four key areas that communities should consider in their COVID-19 response for homeless populations: Testing for COVID-19; Sentinel Surveillance in Shelters; Coordination with Health Systems; and Risk Stratification through screening and cohorting.

COVID-19 Preparation for Homeless Populations (Government of Canada, Homelessness Policy Directorate)
Briefly outlines key elements of a local pandemic plan.

Engaging Persons with Lived Experience in Your COVID-19 Response (U.S. Hud, webinar)
Recording and PPT slides

Housing & Coordinated Access
PATHWAYS TO HOUSING

Supporting Individuals Exiting Isolation or Quarantine (HUD, 3 pages)
Provides guidance and considerations for discharging individuals from isolation and supporting successful transitions to housing.

Creating Cohorts for Your Re-Housing Strategy (US HUD, 6 pages)
Steps and considerations for cohorting people experiencing homelessness for the purposes of re-housing.

Rehousing Activation: Planning and Implementation Tips (U.S. NAEH, 4 pages)
Outlines four key frameworks to begin strategically planning, dedicating, and implementing resources toward clear pathways to housing after shifts in the system due to the pandemic.

Getting Back to Housing: How Canadian communities are adapting Coordinated Access to accelerate connections to permanent housing and build momentum to end homelessness once and for all. (CAEH, 14 pages)
This guide outlines realistic and practical approaches to help local communities adapt their homelessness response system to coordinate, activate, and accelerate housing opportunities during the pandemic. It digs into the key components of a housing-focused response including access, triage and assessment, prioritization, matching and referral, and other helpful tips—all with a COVID-19 lens. 

Making Housing Happen in Difficult Times (US National Alliance to End Homelessness, slide deck)
Presentation slides and a recording from a May 12 webinar with U.S. system leaders who discuss how they are implementing permanent housing responses to COVID through coordinated entry and other creative housing options.

Webinar: Getting Back to Housing, April 30 (HOM Inc., Phoenix, AZ, Homeward Trust, Edmonton, AB, & CAEH, 65 minutes) & PDF Presentation
COVID-19 presents a unique opportunity to accomplish two objectives with one action. The answer to both keeping people safe during COVID-19 and ending homelessness is HOUSING. It’s time to try to get ahead of the pandemic to prevent an ongoing and perpetual cycle of disaster for people experiencing homelessness. Given the requirements of social distancing finding and securing housing may seem challenging, but it’s possible and it’s happening! Learn how they are adapting and innovating to get people experiencing homelessness housed. You’ll receive practical tips and tricks that can be tested and adapted in your own community.

COVID-19, Homelessness and Housing First (Ontario Housing First Regional Network of Community Interest, PowerPoint slide presentation PDF)
Details the housing work of 4 Housing First programs (USA, Ottawa, Toronto, Spain) during COVID-19, including CMHA Ottawa’s decision-tree to manage contact expectations with clients (page 30) and the work of CMHA Toronto’s Housing First Program in using rent subsidies to move clients from high-risk congregate settings to hotel rooms with on-site support (page 45).

Blog: The Best Protection Against COVID-19 Is a Home (CAEH, April 15, 1 page) and the follow-up Webinar: Housing as a Part of COVID-19 Response (CAEH, 15 minutes) & PowerPoint PDF
Remaining Housing Focused – BFZ-C Improvement Advisor Amanda DiFalco emphasizes importance of remaining housing-focused.

Continuing Coordinated Access During COVID 19 Community of Practice Call (CAEH, 1 hour)
Saint John shares their approach followed by questions and conversation

CAEH One-Pagers and resources

Getting Back to Housing: How Canadian communities are adapting Coordinated Access to accelerate connections to permanent housing and build momentum to end homelessness once and for all. (CAEH, 14 pages)
This guide outlines realistic and practical approaches to help local communities adapt their homelessness response system to coordinate, activate, and accelerate housing opportunities during the pandemic. It digs into the key components of a housing-focused response including access, triage and assessment, prioritization, matching and referral, and other helpful tips—all with a COVID-19 lens. 

The following CAEH COVID-19 Resources speak to Housing and Coordinated Access. See the “Full List of CAEH One-Pagers” for more details.

Housing Loss Prevention

CAEH ONE-PAGER: Preventing Eviction (updated July 10, 2020)
Provides tips and resources for preventing eviction and an overview of federal and provincial rental and financial aid.

Webinar: Diversion & Prevention Amidst COVID-19 Webinar, May 7 (OrgCode, CAEH, 90 minutes) & PDF Presentation
Even in the midst of our COVID-19 response, the optimization of finite homelessness prevention resources remains essential. This webinar explore sthe strength-based strategies and approaches designed to rapidly resolve housing instability and homelessness experienced by local households. OrgCode Consulting highlight the evidence-informed practices proven to enhance prevention and diversion efforts in communities.

Financial Relief Prevention Navigator (Prosper Canada, website)
Prosper Canada hosted a webinar on June 3, 2020 to review their new Financial Relief Navigator, an online resource that helps vulnerable Canadians, and those that work with them, access critical emergency benefits and financial relief from governments, financial institutions, telecoms, utility and internet providers.

Securing permanent housing assets

The first and second installment of the From Hotel to Home series by CSH offers key considerations for States and local jurisdictions exploring hotel/motel acquisitions as a Housing Strategy for people exiting COVID-19 shelter.

Webinar: BC Housing talks Encampments and Converting Hotels/Motels to Housing, August 6 (CAEH, BC Housing, Webinar 60 minutes) & PDF Presentation
Join us as leaders from BC Housing share insights into their COVID-19 homelessness response, including critical partnerships, hotel conversions to housing, and work with encampments in Vancouver and Victoria. 

CNH3 & CAEH Webinars

Webinar: Ending Homelessness for People Living in Encampments in Canada, December 9 (CAEH, OrgCode, 70 minutes) – Presentation (PDF) 
Tim Richter of the CAEH and Iain De Jong of OrgCode Inc. will discuss a new draft toolkit on ending homelessness for people living in encampments which can be found here. “Ending Homelessness for People Living in Encampments in Canada” outlines considerations for responding to encampments in a manner consistent with the Right to Housing, respects the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, acknowledges political and public pressures, and never loses sight that housing, with person-centred supports, will be the solution to homelessness for the people living in encampments. 

The toolkit is designed as a living document and is being released as a draft for discussion. Individuals, organizations and communities are invited to provide comments and feedback.

Webinar: Rural and Remote Responses to Homelessness During a Pandemic, November 3 (NAERRH, 60 minutes) Presentation (PDF)
Dr. Rebecca Schiff, Associate Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, discusses the new research project she will be launching to look at unique challenges of addressing homelessness in rural and remote Canada. NAERRH is the research partner on this project.

Webinar: BC Housing talks Encampments and Converting Hotels/Motels to Housing, August 6 (CAEH, BC Housing, Webinar 60 minutes) & PDF Presentation
Join us as leaders from BC Housing share insights into their COVID-19 homelessness response, including critical partnerships, hotel conversions to housing, and work with encampments in Vancouver and Victoria.

Webinar: Eviction Prevention in Ontario: What you need to know and consider, July 20 (CAEH, CMHA, CERA and ACTO, Webinar, 75 minutes)
Whether it be because of the shifting circumstances related to a pandemic or just the normal ups and downs related to tenancy regulations when working to provide sustainable housing for Canada’s most vulnerable, eviction can be a large hurdle that can become larger when we are talking about the ending of eviction moratoriums.

Webinar: COVID-19 Response & Recovery Toolkit Overview, June 4 (CAEH and OrgCode, Webinar, 60 minutes) & PDF Presentation

Webinar: Management Considerations of COVID-19 Positive Clients Experiencing Homelessness, May 19 (Doctors without Borders, CAEH, 60 minutes) & PDF Presentation (to come)
This webinar, supported by Doctors without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) Canada, COVID-19 Medical Lead Jaime Wah (RN) with Dr. Kate Hayman (MD, MPH, FRCPC) and Dr. Leslie Shanks (MD, CCFP) who will lead a practical discussion on management considerations of COVID-19 positive clients experiencing homelessness based on two case studies (facility offering single isolation accommodation and shelter forced to implement congregate isolation).

Webinar: COVID19 & Homelessness: How frontline providers can support each other through grief, while providing palliative approaches to care Webinar, May 11 (PEACH, CAEH, 90 minutes) & PDF Presentation
People facing any threatened or real loss may be expected to grieve. The manifestations of grief may be heightened in people experiencing homelessness during the COVID pandemic because of their high incidence of preexisting trauma. Through experiences gained by the PEACH (Palliative Education And Care for the Homeless) Program at the Inner City Health Associates in Toronto, Ontario, this webinar will address some of the strategies frontline workers can use to address and support clients experiencing grief during the COVID crisis. We will also discuss resources and strategies to support those clients who will benefit from a palliative approach to care.

Webinar: Diversion & Prevention Amidst COVID-19 Webinar, May 7 (OrgCode, CAEH, 90 minutes) & PDF Presentation
Even in the midst of our COVID-19 response, the optimization of finite homelessness prevention resources remains essential. This webinar explore sthe strength-based strategies and approaches designed to rapidly resolve housing instability and homelessness experienced by local households. OrgCode Consulting highlight the evidence-informed practices proven to enhance prevention and diversion efforts in communities.

Webinar: Responding to COVID-19 Outbreaks Among People Experiencing Homelessness, May 5 (Alberta Health Services, Calgary, AB, The Drop-In Centre, Calgary, AB, 65 minutes) & PDF Presentation (to come)
In this webinar Dr. Monty Ghosh, an Internist and Addiction Specialist (and CNH3 co-chair), will offer resources, insights and advice to help organizations prepare for outbreaks of COVID-19 in an emergency shelter setting, based on Alberta’s new outbreak response guidelines. The webinar will feature a presentation followed by an opportunity to ask questions and explore challenges responding to outbreaks may present for clients and staff.

Webinar: Getting Back to Housing, April 30 (HOM Inc., Phoenix, AZ, Homeward Trust, Edmonton, AB, CAEH, 65 minutes) & PDF Presentation. Read the CAEH guide, Getting Back to Housing: How Canadian communities are adapting Coordinated Access to accelerate connections to permanent housing and build moment to end homelessness once and for all.” 
COVID-19 presents a unique opportunity to accomplish two objectives with one action. The answer to both keeping people safe during COVID-19 and ending homelessness is HOUSING. It’s time to try to get ahead of the pandemic to prevent an ongoing and perpetual cycle of disaster for people experiencing homelessness. Given the requirements of social distancing finding and securing housing may seem challenging, but it’s possible and it’s happening! Learn how they are adapting and innovating to get people experiencing homelessness housed. You’ll receive practical tips and tricks that can be tested and adapted in your own community.

Webinar: Supporting Harm Reduction in COVID-19 Shelter and Self-Isolation, April 2 (BC Centre for Substance Use, CAEH, 61 minutes) & PDF Presentation
Dr. Christy Sutherland, Medical Director of the Portland Hotel Society, presents strategies for supporting people who use drugs when they are in self-isolation or social distancing, discusses prescribing practices and how to help people stay away from the illicit drug market. The webinar includes a question and answer period.

Webinar: COVID-19 Response for Unsheltered Homeless People with Iain De Jong of OrgCode, April 1 (OrgCode, CAEH, 90 minutes) & Presentation PDF
Iain De Jong, OrgCode, offers strategies, tools and advice for providing outreach and support to unsheltered homeless people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Second Preparing Homelessness Services for Coronavirus with Dr. Aaron Orkin, March 25 (CAEH & CNH3)
In this webinar Dr. Aaron Orkin, a public health, family, and emergency physician with the Inner City Health Associates, answers questions and offers resources, insights and advice to help organizations prepare for a coronavirus outbreak.

Screening, Testing, Referrals and Vaccination
Vaccination 

Increasing Access to COVID-19 Vaccines Among Homeless Populations: Successful Partnership Series (Webinar Recording, U.S. National Health Care for the Homeless Council)
The first webinar in a three-part series covering successful partnerships in increasing access to vaccines.

A Leader’s Guide to Safer, Faster, and more Equitable Community Vaccination Events (City of Charlotte, U.S., 19 pages)
Page 9 covers equity in vaccine distribution including considerations for outreach, access, messaging, and data and technology.

How to Earn COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence? Build Trust (Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Blog)
Overviews how listening and learning about thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about the vaccine can build trust and have long-lasting impact. The blog also references a new Conversation Guide to Improve COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake.

Interim Guidance for Health Departments: COVID-19 Vaccination Implementation for People Experiencing Homelessness (CDC, Updated April 30)
Provides strategies for health departments to distribute vaccines to people experiencing homelessness including considerations for prioritizing vaccine distribution, acknowledging mistrust of the medical system, and overcoming barriers to access.

Lists several resources, fact sheets, and questions from the U.S. National Forum on vaccination, held from February 22 to 24, 2021, including: Promising Practices; Key Things Recipients Need to Know; Communication Tools and Resources; Building Trust and Vaccine Confidence; Data to Drive Vaccine Implementation; Optimizing and Maximizing Equitable Vaccine Access;and other Curated resources.

Vaccine Rollout in Canada (Government of Canada Website, Updated on a weekly basis)
Outlines how shelters are to be offered vaccinations as additional supplies become available beyond the first priority groups and provides links to local rollout plans.

COVID-19 Homeless System Response: Vaccine Planning and Distribution (U.S. HUD, Resource Webpage)
Provides a series of resources and flyers to support vaccination planning and rollout, including:

and more.

Flyers include:

Screening Tools

Homelessness Support System COVID-19 Screening Tool (Durham Region, 1 page) 
Tool includes a plain language script found to be helpful in consistent application of screening questions

COVID-19 Screening Tool for Homelessness Service Settings (SSHA, City of Toronto, October 30, 2 pages)
Screening questions for service providers to ask at intake or with existing clients on Page 1. Process for continuing to shelter, self-isolation on-site or at a separate isolation site, or transfer to a COVID-19 assessment centre or ER based on answers to screening questions on Page 2.

Testing

Antigen Testing in Congregate Shelters: Process Outline and Implementation Playbook (Webinar & Guide, U.S. National Health Care for the Homeless Council)
Provides key strategy, planning, and operational considerations for implementing screening testing in congregate shelters to monitor, present, and respond to COVID-19 outbreaks using quick, intensive rapid testing solutions that present an alterative to PCR-only testing.

CAEH ONE-PAGER: Universal and Priority Testing for Staff and People Experiencing Homelessness (updated July 10, 2020)
Stresses the importance of priority testing in early identification and mitigation of spread in homelessness service settings. Summarizes recent studies and CDC’s recommendation for universal testing as opposed to testing based on symptoms. Lists priority populations for COVID-19 testing by province.

Referral Flow Charts

Assessment Triage and Intake Procedural Flow Chart (Windsor-Essex, 1 page)
Assessment, triage, and intake procedural flow for isolation and recovery centres in Windsor-Essex, ON.

COVID-19 Referral Flow Chart for Homelessness (Alberta Health Services, 1 page)

Transportation

Instructions for Arranging Non-Emergency Transportation for Shelter, 24-Hour Respite and 24-Hour Drop-in Clients to COVID-19 Assessment (SSHA, City of Toronto, 2 pages)
Transportation process in Toronto for sending non-emergency clients to COVID-19 Testing/Assessment Sites.

Safe Transportation Resource Round-up (Community Solutions, US Built for Zero)
Answers to commonly asked questions and resources regarding safe transportation to and from isolation, quarantine and testing spaces.

Shelter/Motels and Isolation Sites: Guidance and Community Examples
GUIDING DOCUMENTS

Shelter Planning Guidelines (BC Interior Health, 25 pages)
Includes screening questions, flow chart, 5 sheltering steams, and a number of helpful checklists in the Appendix for space considerations, set-up and roles.

Guidance for Providers of Services for People Experiencing Homelessness – Updated June 29 (Government of Canada, Public Health)
Drafted March 24 and updated May 29 and June 29 to provide further clarity on co-horting, using a trauma and violence-informed approach when supporting clients, and recommendations based on sex and gender-based, mental health and violence analysis (SGBA+)

Ontario Ministry of Health COVID-19 Guidance for Shelters (Ontario Ministry of Health, 10 pages)
Provides guidance for shelters and other homeless-service settings including screening protocols, what to do if someone tests positive for COVID-19, and transportation.

Shelter Guidance: Preventing, Controlling and Managing COVID-19 (Alberta Health Services, 35 pages)
This report, released April 24, 2020, helps emergency shelters and temporary housing facilities prepare and know what to do during an outbreak.

Infection Prevention & Control Resources for Homelessness Service Settings (Toronto Public Health, 66 pages)
Outlines cleaning and PPE procedures for staff working in homeless service settings, including changing gloves per task and proper cleaning and disinfection protocols. Also provides a fact sheet to post in homelessness service settings.

COVID-19 Guidance: Homelessness Services & Congregate Living Settings (SSHA, City of Toronto, Website)
Guidance documents for homelessness service settings in Toronto on variety of topics including pets in temporary care, protocols for family with children, non-compliance with testing, and more. 

COMMUNITY EXAMPLES

Client Pathways for Isolation (Kelowna, 1 page)
Client Pathways for Isolation broken down by population, plan, and associated actions.

City of Hamilton COVID-19 Sheltering Site Procedure Manual (City of Hamilton, 13 pages)
A procedural manual for the City of Hamilton’s Isolation Hotel Program.

Isolation Site for Individuals Who Are Homeless: High Level Policies and Procedure Overview (Inner City Health Associates, 32 pages)
Details how to set up an isolation site for people experiencing homelessness and procedures to manage admission (Page 9) and transfer (Page 11) to the site. Minimum staffing positions, functions, and staff to unit ratios for different “grades” of clients – can help with identifying appropriate staffing roles based on client needs (Page 7-8).

Unsheltered Homelessness: Guidance and Community Examples
guidelines and guidance

Ending Homelessness for People Living in Encampments in Canada, December 9 (CAEH, OrgCode, webinar, 70 minutes) – Presentation (PDF)
Tim Richter of the CAEH and Iain De Jong of OrgCode Inc. will discuss a new draft toolkit on ending homelessness for people living in encampments which can be found here. “Ending Homelessness for People Living in Encampments in Canada” outlines considerations for responding to encampments in a manner consistent with the Right to Housing, respects the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, acknowledges political and public pressures, and never loses sight that housing, with person-centred supports, will be the solution to homelessness for the people living in encampments. 

The toolkit is designed as a living document and is being released as a draft for discussion. Individuals, organizations and communities are invited to provide comments and feedback.

Homelessness, Parks, and COVID-19: Moving from Displacement to Inclusion (Park People, webinar)
This webinar explores inclusive alternatives to enforcement and displacement-based approaches to encampments.

When Shelter in Place Isn’t an Option – Environmental Health Guidance for Encampments (National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health, webinar, 18 pages) 
Webinar and guidance document synthesize available evidence on environmental health risks associated with encampments and best practices to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

Street Outreach Program Strategies in Light of COVID-19 (National Network for Youth, 3 pages)

Webinar: COVID-19 Response for Unsheltered Homeless People with Iain De Jong of OrgCode, April 1 (OrgCode, CAEH, 90 minutes) & Presentation PDF
Strategies, tools and advice for providing outreach and support to people experiencing unsheltered homelessness.

Interim Guidance for Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) among People Experiencing Unsheltered Homelessness (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Website)
Provides key actions for outreach teams to support unsheltered populations.

Preventing & Managing the Spread of Infectious Disease within Encampments (US HUD, 17 pages)
Outlines considerations for U.S. communities in managing spread in encampments. Sample checklists and signage on Pages 13 – 17.

community examples

Support Letter Template for People Sleeping Rough (Toronto Drop-In Network, 1 page)
A letter of support template for service providers in Ontario to provide to people sleeping rough to mitigate threat of harassment or ticketing by bylaw officers as per the provincial “Stay Home Order”.

Know Your Rights: For Encampment Residents (Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, Brochure)
A resource that can be provided to people sleeping rough and in encampments regarding police interactions including arrest and detention.

Indigenous Homelessness and COVID-19

Impact of COVID-19 on Indigenous Communities and Housing Issues (Webinar recording by the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association)

Supporting Indigenous Wellness during COVID-19 (Thunderbird Partnership Foundation)
A series of fact sheets to promote culturally-grounded and strengths-based supports for First Nations during COVID-19, including stigma, safe cannabis use, and tips for managing safe alcohol use.

Maintaining the Health and Well-Being of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Children and Teens during COVID-19 (National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health, 1 page)
Fact sheet provides information for parents and caregivers to support the health and well-being of children during the pandemic.

Indigenous Homelessness and COVID-19 Resources (Homelessness Learning Hub)
A curated collection of tools and resources to support the efforts of Indigenous front line workers as they support their clients during this global pandemic.

Youth and Family Homelessness and COVID-19

Responding to Homeless Families’ Needs During COVID-19 (NAEH, 20 pages)
A brief intended to help communities tailor their response to meet the unique needs of children and families who experience homelessness during the pandemic, including strategies for shelters, outreach, housing programs, diversion and prevention.  

Youth Homelessness COVID-19 Resources (Homelessness Learning Hub)
A curated collection of tools and resources (including Community of Practice Calls) assembled to support organizations and workers to continue to deliver vital services to young people, in spite of the current pandemic. 

Conversation with National Council of Youth in Care Advocates on Moratoriums (Panel Recording, Child Welfare League of Canada)
Members of the National Council of Youth in Care Advocates discuss the current situation related to COVID-19 Moratoriums on “aging out” of care, and thoughts on the requirements for a just and ethical pandemic recovery for youth in and from care.

Criminal Justice Involvement amongst Youth experiencing Homelessness in Canada (Blog, Women’s National Housing and Homelessness Network)
Women’s National Housing and Homelessness Network reflects on this topic during the pandemic.

Responding to Youth Homelessness during COVID-19 and Beyond: Perspectives from the Youth Serving Sector in Canada  (Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and A Way Home, 60 pages)  (Summary Video
Report summarizes what service providers had to say about the impact of COVID-19 on young people, highlights ways that the youth-serving sector has been impacted and has coped, identifies essential action areas for better responding to crises like COVID-19, and charts a way forward for recovery and rebuilding.

Equity in COVID-19 Response and Recovery

Critical Lessons for Equitable Responses from Efforts in Boston (IHI, Article, April 23 2021) 
Efforts at Bingham and Women’s Hospital in Boston to address higher death rates among Latino COVID-19 patients offers critical lessons for current and future care.

A Systems Approach to Addressing COVID-19 Health Inequities (NEJM Catalyst Innovations in Care Delivery)
An article detailing the importance of using dashboards to track racial, ethnic, and language metrics as they are related to patients with COVID-19 as a first and key step to implementing a systems approach to COVID-19 health equity.

Racial Equity Toolkit (NAEH, Excel Sheet)
A tool to help homeless-serving systems better gather data to identify and address racial inequities in testing, treatment, and vaccinations.

The Framework for an Equitable COVID-19 Homelessness Response (NAEH, CPP, National Low Income Housing Coalition and National Health Care for the Homeless Council, 16 pages, updated June 5, 2020)
Helps to ensure that as homelessness service systems respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, system processes and policies proactively eliminate racial inequalities and advance equity. Key principles to guide the use of the framework are outlined here.

COVID-19 Racial Equity & Social Justice Resources (Racial Equity Tools) 
Includes information and resources that will help communities and activities as they work to understand and respond to the moment and for the long haul.

Queerantine 101 (Egale Canada, website)
COVID-19 LGBTQI2S resources in one place. Being in quarantine is already difficult and there are a number of additional issues that LGBTQI2S people may face. Resources organized by youth, educators, parents, seniors, and everyone else.  Will be updated regularly. 

An Equitable Systems Transformation Framework for COVID-19 (US National Innovation Service, Blog)
A six-point preliminary framework to prepare for COVID-19 investment int he homelessness response system while centering lived experience and racial equity.

Ensuring Racial Equity in COVID-19 Response  and PowerPoint PDF and Takeaway Notes (NAEH, Webinar Series)
Topics covered include: racial disparities and health inequity, centering racial equity as a response to COVID-19 in the homelessness system, organizational inequity, and systems change. 

Harm Reduction & Drug Supply
Webinars

Urgent Public Health Need Community of Practice (Dr. Peter Centre)
A hub for front-line providers, healthcare professionals, and policymakers to learn from each other about establishing and operating services in shelters where people may need to use drugs and/or where overdose prevention approaches are necessary.

Q&A and Webinar Series: Harm Reduction in Shelters During COVID-19 (COH, Bernie Pauly, University of Victoria, webinar)
A series of webinars starting on April 28 on harm reduction policies and interventions during COVID-19 and a webinar on creating effective organizational harm reduction policies and culture in the context of COVID-19. Q&As stemming from the webinars are also provided.

Webinar: Supporting Harm Reduction in COVID-19 Shelter and Self-Isolation, April 2 (BC Centre for Substance Use, CAEH, 61 minutes) & PDF Presentation
Dr. Christy Sutherland, Medical Director of the Portland Hotel Society, presents strategies for supporting people who use drugs when they are in self-isolation or social distancing, discusses prescribing practices and how to help people stay away from the illicit drug market. The webinar includes a question and answer period.

Overdose Safety and Support During COVID-19 (Homeless Services Association of BC, webinar, 1.5 hours)

Posters and Info sheets

Naloxone & COVID-19 (Homelessness Services Association of B.C., 2 pages)
Steps to respond to an overdose incident while minimizing the risk of transmission. 

Safer Drug Use During the COVID-19 Outbreak (Harm Reduction Coalition, webpage)

Canadian Drug Policy Coalition Resources List (CDPC, webpage)
This resource list (scroll to the bottom of the page) includes safe drug use, homelessness and shelter, sex work and more.

COVID & Safer Drug Use (Streethealthops, 1 page)
A one-page flyer that quickly outlines four tips to prevent COVID-19 when using drugs.

guiding documents

Health Canada Toolkit: COVID-19 and Substance Use (Health Canada) 
Health Canada has compiled a number of resources in an effort to provide clarity regarding the rules that apply for substance use disorder treatment or providing a pharmaceutical grade alternative to the toxic street supply in Canada, in the context of COVID-19. A link to the full set of toolkit documents can be found here.

COVID-19 Guidance on Addressing the Urgent Needs of People who Use Substances (Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse (CRISM), webpage)
A series of documents that cover supporting those who use substances in shelter, who use in acute care, telemedicine support for addictions services, and best practices for supporting recovery services in recovery environments.

Public Health Response to Withdrawal Management During a Pandemic Guidelines (Vancouver Coastal Health, 4 pages)
Guidance for substance use risk mitigation as well as withdrawal management during COVID-19.

Risk Mitigation in the Context of Dual Public Health Emergencies (BCCSU, 18 pages)
This protocol is intended to provide clinical guidance to health-care providers to support patients to mitigate these competing priorities and compounded risks and enable social distancing and self-isolation measures, where possible, to reduce and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Domestic Violence and COVID-19

ShelterSafe.ca (Women’s Shelter Canada, webpage)
This is an online resource to help women and their children seeking safety from violence and abuse. The clickable map will serve as a fast resource to connect women with the nearest shelter.

Women’s Shelter Canada COVID-19 Resources (Women’s Shelters Canada, Website)
Includes resources for shelters and transition houses, resources for women fleeing violence and resources for the general public.

National Network to End Domestic Violence: Resources on the Response to the Coronavirus (US NNEDV, webpage)
Includes resources for DV shelters and homelessness assistance providers, survivors and their children (including other languages), the series of Global Network of Women’s Shelters webinars, and information on identity theft.

Pandemics and Violence Against Women and Children (Center for Global Development, 45 pages)
Based on existing published and grey literature, this document outlines nine main (direct and indirect) pathways linking pandemics and VAW/C, and offers a number of links to resources.

Supporting Survivors’ Access to Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services During the COVID-19 Emergency (National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health, 3 pages)

HIFIS, Data Collection & Management

A series of HIFIS “How to Resources” has been developed by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to support communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources showcase ways that you can use HIFIS to track COVID-19 related activities or more broadly. You can access the resources through the COH Homelessness Learning Hub under the ‘’How to Use HIFIS and Its Functionalities’’ course.

Data Collection & Management

Data Collection & COVID-19: Learning from the Field (U.S. NAEH, 2 pages)
Key take-aways from this webinar and slide deck

Leadership, Strategic Investments & Funding Opportunities
Leadership

Leadership in the Time of Doubt (CHRA, Blog, May 5)

Leadership structures to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic (Community Solutions, webpage)
Examples from six communities in the US on leadership and decision-making structures, coordination, and priorities in responding to COVID-19.

Pandemic Response Next Steps: Using a Framework for COVID-19 Homelessness Response (OrgCode Blog, May 13, 2020)
Highlights the Framework and identifying it has to be used on concert with strong leadership at all levels in order to be maximized.

Webinars for leaders by OrgCode in 2020: Leading in the Homelessness Services Sector in Turbulent TimesPDF of Presentation (March 25); Determination (April 3); Not All Heroes Wear Capes (April 17); and Where Are We At? In Between Initial Response and Long-Term Recovery (May 15)

Strategic housing-focused investments

COVID-19 Homeless System Response: Coordinated Investment Planning Case Studies (US HUD)
Three case studies from the U.S. outlining how communities have coordinated funding from various sources to develop and deliver integrated response plans.

CAEH ONE-PAGER: Making Strategic Investment Decisions (CAEH, OrgCode, May 15, 2020)
Beginning with overall investment decision-making considerations, this two-part guidance document was created to assist community leaders in their decision making and system planning activities as they lead COVID-19 responses and recovery from the initial wave.

Frequently Asked Questions For Canadian Registered Charities and Non-Profit Organizations In the Time of the COVID-19 Crisis (Blumbergs, 9 pages)

previous and current funding opportunities

CMHC Rapid Housing Initiative Website and Info Sheet (CMHC)
Aims to create new affordable housing for people and populations who are vulnerable.

Reaching Home Directives Updated for COVID-19 (Government of Canada)
All COVID-19-related Reaching Home updates have moved from the ESDC COVID-19 notices page to a dedicated and separate page for Reaching Home.

COVID-19 Community Response Fund for Vulnerable Populations (FCM and CMAF)
$10 million with funding provided to Reaching Home Designated Communities and Indigenous CE’s.

COVID-19 Emergency Community Response Fund (Government of Canada)
$350 million with applications for local community organizations available May 19.

Staffing & Self-Care

Caring for Homeless Services Staff during COVID-19 (NAEH, Blog)
Blog featuring what 3 U.S. communities have done to care for frontline staff during the pandemic and associated resources.

Safe Passage Letter Template for Frontline Workers (Toronto Drop-In Network, 1 page)
A letter template for service providers in Ontario to provide authorization to by-law officers that they may travel between home and work locations during provincial “Stay Home Order”.

Psychological Personal Protective Equipment (Institute for Healthcare Improvement, webinar)
Webinar discusses psychological PPE to promote health and well-being, including steps both individuals and team leaders can take to protect themselves and their staff.

The following CAEH COVID-19 Resources speak to Staffing, Self-Care & Grief. See “Full List of CAEH One-Pagers” for more details.

PEACH Resource for Frontline Workers Caring for Clients Experiencing Homelessness in COVID-19 (Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless (PEACH), Inner City Health Associates, 4 pages)
This guide is for frontline social service and healthcare workers (shelter workers, case workers, RNs, PSWs), focusing on unique palliative care needs of people experiencing homelessness during the COVID19 pandemic.

Staff and Team Care During COVID-19 (Webinar, CAEH, 1 hour 15 min) – PowerPoint PDF 
This Community of Practice webinar covered topics such as self-awareness in a time of crisis, forgiveness of self and others, and engaging in self-care practices that don’t feel like work.

7 Sincere Self-Care Strategies (Webinar, OrgCode and ChangeWorks, 45 min, posted on Facebook)
Heather Pierucki of ChangeWorks and Iain De Jong of OrgCode discuss 7 Self Care Strategies for staff in the homelessness serving sector during COVID-19. 

Civil Society & Volunteers

COVID Social Recovery and Tech (HelpSeeker, Webinar) & PowerPoint

Activating Civil Society in the COVID-19 Pandemic Response (HelpSeeker, Webinar) & PowerPoint PDF

Help Next Door Manitoba (Manitoba Government, Website)
Connects people and organizations who need help with others who are available to volunteer their assistance.

Je Benevole (Federation des centres d’action benevole du Quebec)

Alberta Cares Connector (The Government of Alberta, webpage)
This tool connects Albertans with volunteer opportunities.

Additional Resource Lists

B.C. Resources by Interior Health and BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC, webpage)
COVID planning and resource documents for Health and Social Service providers working with vulnerable populations in B.C.

National Health Care for the Homeless Council COVID-19 Resources (webpage)

Homeless Hub COVID-19 Wiki (Community Solutions)
A place where US community providers working with people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic can share their plans, ideas, documents, observations, etc. with one another.

Infectious Diseases Toolkit for CoCs (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Pandemic Planning: COVID-19 (Homelessness Learning Hub, Website)

COVID-19 Resource Guide (Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, Website)

Coronavirus and Homelessness (US, National Alliance to End Homelessness, Website)

Homebase COVID-19 Response (Homebase, Website)

CSH COVID-19 Supportive Housing Community Platform (Corporation for Supportive Housing, Website)

Full List of CAEH COVID-19 One-Pagers

Making Strategic Investment Decisions (CAEH, OrgCode, May 15, 2020)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Shelter Isolation & Quarantine Settings (updated July 6, 2020)
An overview of resources and guidance on the types of PPE required, how to use, where to source, and how to manage and conserve PPE.

Universal and Priority Testing for Staff and People Experiencing Homelessness (updated September 17, 2020)
Stresses the importance of priority testing in early identification and mitigation of spread in homelessness service settings. Summarizes recent studies and CDC’s recommendation for universal testing as opposed to testing based on symptoms. Lists priority populations for COVID-19 testing by province. 

Promoting Healthy Practices (updated July 6, 2020)
Resources to promote healthy practices including hand-washing, social distancing, and disinfecting public spaces.

Requesting Leadership & Support from Local Public Health Authorities (updated July 6, 2020)
Provides rationale as to why local PHAs must play a lead role in protecting people experiencing homelessness from COVID-19, Canadian examples of how local PHAs have provided support, and tips to compel local PHA support and leadership.

Preventing Eviction (updated July 10, 2020)
Provides tips and resources for preventing eviction and an overview of federal and provincial rental and financial aid.

Finding & Securing Housing in a Pandemic (updated June 11, 2020)
Tips for continuing to support people to find and move into permanent housing with several community examples. Provides considerations for system’s managers and service providers.

Home Visits During a Pandemic (updated July 6, 2020)
Tips for continuing home visits or support visits for people in housing first and supportive housing programs while respecting physical distancing measures.

Meaningful Activities that Respect Physical Distancing and Support Isolation (updated July 6, 2020)
Ideas for group activities that help people stay socially connected while respecting physical distancing and activities that people can do on their own to encourage continued isolation. 

Staff Recruitment (updated July 6, 2020)
Considerations and tips for community leaders to maintain coverage of essential roles. 

Maintaining Staff Morale (updated July 6, 2020)
Strategies to help reduce stress, celebrate staff commitment, and maintain staff morale.

Self-Care in a Crisis (updated July 6, 2020)
Considerations and ideas for self-care to support yourself and the people around you.