Michigan had over 65,000 individuals experiencing homelessness in 2018, with approximately half of that population being adults and children in families. A recent national study attempting to model the impact of COVID-19 on the homeless population predicts that when compared to the general population, individuals experiencing homelessness are twice as likely to be hospitalized, two to four times as likely to require critical care, and two to three times as likely to die.
On Monday, over 80 Michigan organizations that work with low-income and homeless individuals sent a letter to Governor Whitmer asking that her office:
“This is an unprecedented state emergency that is taxing our homeless response system,” stated Eric Hufnagel, executive director of the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness (MCAH). “Individuals and families experiencing homelessness are already extremely vulnerable during a public health crisis. Our response system is working overtime with very little resources to protect their clients and their staff. Just like our healthcare workers, shelter and outreach staff are on the front lines making sure that folks have the information and resources they need to be safe and healthy. We can, and should, do more to protect them and the individuals they serve.”
The Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness (MCAH) is a statewide, non-profit agency is dedicated to creating a sustainable, statewide voice and the infrastructure and systemic change needed to empower communities to end homelessness. For more information about MCAH, please visit www.mihomeless.org. For the full text of the letter and list of signatories, please visit https://mihomeless.org/index.php/2020/03/30/we-must-prioritize-homelessness-in-michigans-covid-19-response/.