CDC Advises Against Clearing Homeless Encampments if Alternate Housing Is Not Available During Coronavirus Outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance on March 22 advising municipalities not to clear homeless encampments during the coronavirus outbreak unless individual housing units are available. Clearing encampments breaks connections between people experiencing homelessness and service providers and can increase the likelihood of spreading the disease to new communities.

Advocates lauded the guidance as a step in the right direction and a one that brings federal guidance in line with public health best practices. Advocates were quick to emphasize, however, that while the CDC’s advice is necessary, Congress must ensure people experiencing homelessness and those serving them have the resources needed to address their urgent housing, healthcare, and nutritional needs. The recently passed COVID-19 response legislation providing $4 billion for Emergency Solutions Grants for homelessness assistance is a good start, but estimates are that $15.5 billion is needed.

Read the CDC guidance at: