The impact of COVID-19 on people in the homelessness sector, including those with lived experience of homelessness: An exploration of community level experiences and responses.

Project Details

Description

Background: COVID-19 will have serious consequences for people who are homeless, including high rates of infections and deaths due to overcrowding and inability to social isolate and disruption to support. This will exacerbate existing health conditions, drug use, and health inequalities. Health-system action has been rapid and radical (hotel use, new prescribing practices) and yet we have little understanding of either the daily lives of front-line workers during CONID-19 or of people who have been recently moved to hotels, remain in hostels, or are still rough-sleeping. Public health and social science insights from previous epidemics reveal how risk is experienced and managed at this community level, and that new communities form (and are disrupted). Within these communities, many crucial processes of prevention, support and care occur and are needed.

Aim: To inform policy responses, we will use the theoretical concept of Street Level Bureaucracy (Lipsy, 1980) to explore how people in the homelessness sector, including those with lived experience of homelessness, experience the COVID-19 crisis, and how community-level action and understandings affect prevention, treatment and care.

Methods and Outcomes: We will implement an explorative qualitative study in Edinburgh with two different methodological approaches: 1) Analysis of creative reflections collected by Cyrenians through their ‘Living through COVID project’; and, 2) Qualitative interviews. Theoretical sampling from study 1) will facilitate in-depth narrative interviews exploring community responses by front-line third sector workers and people with lived experience of homelessness.

This study will also inform the development of the methodological approach of a future NIHR Programme Grant (currently in development with an established team from the University of Edinburgh, Manchester University and the London based homelessness charity, Groundworks).

Impact: Findings will be shared through our partners in the Centre for Homelessness and Inclusion Health (CHiH) and with stakeholders across Scotland (briefings/blogs), including Edinburgh City Council, Inclusive Edinburgh partnership and Scottish Government to inform Scottish and UK-wide policy. The Cyrenians are key partners in CHiH and Ewan Aitken, COE, is on our steering group for the Centre. A peer reviewed article will be written for a high impact journal.

Layman's description

Background: COVID-19 will have serious consequences for people who are homeless, including high rates of infections and deaths due to overcrowding and inability to social isolate and disruption to support. This will exacerbate existing health conditions, drug use, and health inequalities. Health-system action has been rapid and radical (hotel use, new prescribing practices) and yet we have little understanding of either the daily lives of front-line workers during CONID-19 or of people who have been recently moved to hotels, remain in hostels, or are still rough-sleeping. Public health and social science insights from previous epidemics reveal how risk is experienced and managed at this community level, and that new communities form (and are disrupted). Within these communities, many crucial processes of prevention, support and care occur and are needed.

Aim: To inform policy responses, we will use the theoretical concept of Street Level Bureaucracy (Lipsy, 1980) to explore how people in the homelessness sector, including those with lived experience of homelessness, experience the COVID-19 crisis, and how community-level action and understandings affect prevention, treatment and care.

Methods and Outcomes: We will implement an explorative qualitative study in Edinburgh with two different methodological approaches: 1) Analysis of creative reflections collected by Cyrenians through their ‘Living through COVID project’; and, 2) Qualitative interviews. Theoretical sampling from study 1) will facilitate in-depth narrative interviews exploring community responses by front-line third sector workers and people with lived experience of homelessness.

This study will also inform the development of the methodological approach of a future NIHR Programme Grant (currently in development with an established team from the University of Edinburgh, Manchester University and the London based homelessness charity, Groundworks).

Impact: Findings will be shared through our partners in the Centre for Homelessness and Inclusion Health (CHiH) and with stakeholders across Scotland (briefings/blogs), including Edinburgh City Council, Inclusive Edinburgh partnership and Scottish Government to inform Scottish and UK-wide policy. The Cyrenians are key partners in CHiH and Ewan Aitken, COE, is on our steering group for the Centre. A peer reviewed article will be written for a high impact journal.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/07/2031/12/20

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