Simon Systems Accelerant – Report on homeless services in first wave Covid-19

Introduction

Single homeless persons are vulnerable to infectious diseases due to inadequate shelter and, in many cases, poor health. Ironically, general public health measures, such as stay-at-home rules, restriction of services, and social distancing requirements which restrict access to accommodation, to health and other supports, to friends and family, and to public spaces, potentially worsens the vulnerability of this already marginal population. Homeless services potentially play a key role in mitigating their heightened vulnerability. The present report is a study of one of the leading Irish homeless NGOs, viz. the Simon Community, which comprises of a network of organisations across eight regions of the country, in its responses to the challenges posed by the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic1 from March through August 2020.

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