while the CDC ’ s moratorium on evictions till the end of the year may temporarily help those at risk of homelessness , this may not be sufficient to avert current and impending crises . 8 The Arkansas Department of Human Services received an Emergency Solutions Grant , as part of the CARES Act , to be utilized for homelessness prevention , rapid rehousing , street outreach , and emergency shelter such as hotel and motel vouchers or sub-shelters to communities for housing individuals who do not have a place to self-isolate or quarantine . 9 , 10 Homelessness prevention , through residential rental-assistance programs , is as critical at this juncture than in any time in our recent past , as physicians and public health professionals work diligently to contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect their patients . 9
Operation Compassion team member before COVID-19 testing .
ADH , through its Operation Compassion program , is working with its partners to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic among the Arkansas homeless population . It is also a moral obligation of physicians to be social champions of the communities in which they reside and serve , not just to their patients but also in protecting and promoting the health and welfare of the homeless population in their communities .
1 . Homelessness & Health : What ’ s the Connection ? February 2019 . National Health Care for the Homeless Council . Accessed at , 2020 .
2 . Fazel S , Geddes JR , Kushel M . The health of homeless people in high-income countries : descriptive epidemiology , health consequences , and clinical and policy recommendations . Lancet 2014 ; 384:1529 – 40 . https :// doi . org / 10.1016 / S0140-6736 ( 14 ) 61132-6 .
3 . CDC COVID-19 Response Team . Preliminary estimates of the prevalence of selected underlying health conditions among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 — United States , February 12 – March 28 , 2020 . MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020 ; 69:382 – 6 . https :// doi . org / 10.15585 / mmwr . mm6913e2
4 . Mosites E , Parker EM , Clarke KE , et al . Assessment of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Prevalence in Homeless Shelters — Four U . S . Cities , March 27 – April 15 , 2020 . MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep . ePub : 22 April 2020
5 . Baggett T , Keyes H , Sporn , N , et al . Prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Residents of a Large Homeless Shelter in Boston . JAMA , published online April 27 , 2020 .
6 . Kimball A , Hatfield KM , Arons M , et al .; Public Health – Seattle & King County ; CDC COVID-19 Investigation Team . Asymptomatic and presymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections in residents of a long-term care skilled nursing facility — King County , Washington , March 2020 . MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020 ; 69:377 – 81 . https :// doi . org / 10.15585 / mmwr . mm6913e1
7 . Arkansas Department of Health . COVID-19 guidance for homeless shelters and services . Accessed at https :// www . healthy . arkansas . gov / programs-services / topics / covid-19-guidance-for-homeless-sheltersand-services on October 30 , 2020 .
8 . Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Federal Register Notice : Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19 . Accessed at https :// www . cdc . gov / coronavirus / 2019-ncov / downloads / declaration-form . pdf on October 30 , 2020 .
9 . Arkansas State Government . CARES Act steering committee . Accessed at https :// govstatus . egov . com / cares-act-committee on October 30 , 2020 .
10 . Arkansas Department of Human Services . Emergency Solutions Grant . Accessed at https :// humanservices . arkansas . gov / newsroom / details / dhs-accepting-more-applications-for-covid-19-emergency-solutions-grant #:~: text =% 2D % 2D % 2D % 20 The % 20Arkansas % 20Department % 20 of , COVID % 2D19 % 20public % 20health % 20 emergency on October 30 , 2020 .
154 • The Journal of the Arkansas Medical Society www . ArkMed . org