this article is part of the Village Buildings book / article collection.
See also Homeless encampments article in that collection.
Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition
"The NLIHC-led Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition is pushing for a broad array of resources and protections, including emergency rental assistance and eviction prevention assistance, a national moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, and emergency funds for homelessness service providers, housing authorities, and housing providers, among other recommendations. For more information, download our recommendations on the federal response to the coronavirus below. You can also visit our dedicated webpage outlining our requests to Congress. Click here for NLIHC Recommendations."
The Disaster Housing Recovery Coalition will lead recurring national calls on Coronavirus and Homelessness/Housing every Monday at 2:30pmET until Congress includes housing and homelessness resources in the COVID-19 stimulus package. We're also thoroughly devoted to ensuring members of our community, from across the country, are fully equipped with the information and resources they need to respond to this national outbreak of Coronavirus and its impact on people experiencing homelessness and low-income households.
- March 16: Presentation slides (PDF): https://tinyurl.com/sg52jz6, Recording: https://youtu.be/Un9g4VU9VPM
- March 23: Register at: https://bit.ly/2IUubp5.
NLCHP (National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty) recommendations
NLCHP. "COVID-19 Statement & Recommendations." March 2020.
"People without housing are especially vulnerable to poor health and communicable diseases, including COVID-19 - the coronavirus pandemic threatening the lives and health of people worldwide. Worse yet, unhoused people have limited options for safe, sanitary shelter, making an effective response to the deadly virus extremely difficult. To effectively address this public health crisis, we must implement the human rights to housing and healthcare.
Forcing people experiencing homelessness into close, congregate facilities such as large scale shelters is a recipe for rapid spread of disease.
1) House people experiencing homelessness in hotels, motels, and/or RVs for the duration of
2) Place a moratorium on sweeping encampments and seizing homeless people’s tents and
other temporary structures and stop enforcement of laws prohibiting resting and sheltering
oneself in public space. [..]
While encampments are not a long-term solution, preserving individuals’ ability to safely and legally sleep in private tents instead of mass facilities would ensure people can more safely shelter in place, maintain social distancing, and reduce sleep deprivation.
3) Increase access to hygiene and sanitation services for those living in unsheltered areas.[...]
8) Federal, state, and local surplus governmental property available for safe camping, parking and access to supplies and services."
The San Francisco 1906 earthquake response is considered a turning point in natural-disaster response, for multiple reasons. It was arguably better organized and better documented than any previous major natural disaster, and employed a remarkable, successful program of temporary camps equipped first with tents and then quickly with wooden small homes designed to be movable and offered on rent-to-own terms to occupants.
An emergency shelter is a place for people to live temporarily when they cannot live in their previous residence, similar to homeless shelters. The main difference is that an emergency shelter typically specializes in people fleeing a specific type of situation, such as natural or man-made disasters, domestic violence, or victims of sexual abuse. A more minor difference is that people staying in emergency shelters are more likely to stay all day, except for work, school, or errands, while homeless shelters usually expect people to stay elsewhere during the day, returning only to sleep or eat. Emergency shelters sometimes facilitate support groups, and/or provide meals.
Post-disaster emergency shelter is often provided by organizations or governmental emergency management departments, in response to natural disasters, such as a flood or earthquake. They tend to use tents or other temporary structures, or buildings normally used for another purpose, such as a church or school. These settlements may be inhabited for the entire duration of the reconstruction process and should be thought of more as settlements than shelter, and need to be planned with respect to water / sanitation, livelihoods.
-Wikipedia, "Emergency shelter" accessed 21 March, 2020.
NLCHP (National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty). "Coronavirus." accessed 21 March, 2020. https://nlchp.org/coronavirus/.
NLCHP. "COVID-19 Statement & Recommendations." March 2020. accessed 21 March, 2020. http://nlchp.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID-19-Statement.pdf.
- NLIHC (National Low Income Housing Coalition). "Join the Disaster Recovery Housing Coalition."
- Wikipedia (En). "Emergency shelter." accessed 21 March, 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_shelter