Engaging Persons with Lived Experience of Homelessness

Homeless Service System’s Response to COVID-19 Provides Opportunity in Planning and Response

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic has caused homeless service providers to change how they are working and providing housing and services to individuals experiencing homelessness.

As homeless service providers pivot and change how they work, this is an opportunity to engage persons with the lived experience of homelessness in your future COVID-19 planning and response.  Those with lived experience can provide valuable insight about how homeless services have and have not helped them and what barriers have prevented them from moving into permanent housing.
 
On Thursday, May 14, 2020, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) is holding a webinar –   Engaging Persons with Lived Experience of Homelessness in Your COVID-19 Response.  This webinar will take place at 2:30 p.m.
 
HUD’s Office of SNAPS invites homeless assistance providers and their partners to discuss best practices and strategies for engaging persons with lived experience of homelessness in your COVID-19 planning and response. 
 
The following presenters will be available for a live question and answer session:
 
  • Kelvin Lassiter, National Coalition for the Homeless
  • Donald Whitehead, National Coalition for the Homeless
  • Shawn Jones, Baltimore Lived Experience Advisory Committee
  • Anthony Williams, Baltimore Lived Experience Advisory Committee

Click here to register for the webinar.

Last month, the National Innovation Service (NIS) shared a preliminary framework for equitable systems transformation framework to COVID-19.  The framework discusses how to navigate the COVID-19 response while centering lived experience and racial equity.
 
This framework gives guidance about how to navigate the COVID-19 response while centering lived experience and racial equity. 
 
The recommendations below along with the explanation to each can also be found on the NIS website.  Among the recommendations are the following:
 
1. Equity-based decisions can be fast if the right people are in the room. 
2. Remember that a lot of people have excellent reasons to be distrustful of the government and the medical system. 
3. Focus. On. Housing. 
4. Hold your standards. The Trump administration has already begun to waive standards meant to protect marginalized communities. But you don’t have to. 
5. Racial equity is still our priority. If equity is only your priority in times of ease and surplus, then it was never really your priority. 
6. Rest.