Tell your health minister to prioritize vaccinations for people experiencing homelessness.

At a time when the best public health recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 suggest staying at home, limiting all contact with others outside immediate family members, and protecting oneself with masking and sanitizing supplies; not having a home makes it impossible to follow the only known effective strategies for protecting oneself and one’s communities. 

That’s why the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) and the Canadian Network for the Health and Housing of People Experiencing Homelessness (CNH3) are calling on federal and provincial/territorial governments, COVID-19 Vaccination Task Forces and health system vaccination lead organizations to prioritize individuals experiencing homelessness, those staying in shelters, and the homelessness & housing sector staff who support them as a matter of urgent public health protection.

Transmission rates of COVID-19 in the homelessness sector have been high across the country. Some published evidence has suggested the rate of spread is 3 times that of the housed population, often spreading like wildfire once the virus penetrates shelter spaces. The fear of COVID has pushed many individuals who use the shelter system outside into encampments, particularly in Canada’s largest cities. Many would rather sleep on the streets, exposed to the elements, and their attendant risks, than face the risk of COVID.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, people experiencing homelessness have faced vastly disproportionate infection rates with 20 times more hospitalizations, 10 times more admissions to Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and 5 times greater mortality.

WITH YOUR HELP, WE CAN ENSURE VACCINATIONS FOR PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS ARE PRIORITIZED. 
Learn more about the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness and the Canadian Network for the Health and Housing of People Experiencing Homelessness.