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Self-isolation and the homeless population

09 April 2020
Volume 29 · Issue 7

Globally, nationally and locally we are at a decisive point as the world makes its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all required get involved in this enormous effort as we aim to keep the world safe.

Ironically, homeless people, the ‘undesirables,’ have often been isolated by society. Now the nation and all nations are being mandated to self-isolate and people are experiencing the challenges that this can bring with it. These are unprecedented times.

Social-distancing and self-isolation measures will be difficult to implement for rough sleepers and for those in hostel/temporary accommodation. Those who sleep rough are the most visible form of homelessness. However, people in a wide range of other situations are also described as homeless. All of them need to be identified and offered self-isolation support. Understanding each type of homelessness will lead to better support. Homeless people deserve to receive health care of a high standard and, in some instances, this care maybe lifesaving.

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