Caitlin E Synovec, OTD, OTR/L, BCMH
National Institute for Medical Respite Care & National Health Care for the Homeless Council
St. Petersburg, FL
This CE article was developed in collaboration with AOTA’s Mental Health Special Interest Section.
People experiencing homelessness have sustained significant impacts to safety, health, and well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Occupational therapy has a distinct role in identifying the disruption in safety and routines experienced, as well as the long-term impacts of COVID-19. This CE article presents the ways in which people experiencing homelessness were uniquely affected by COVID-19 and the role of occupational therapy in addressing these factors. Strategies and interventions range from working with individuals to identifying and implementing actions for advocacy in the community.
After reading this article, practitioners will be able to:
1. Identify three ways COVID-19 impacted people experiencing homelessness.
2. Describe the roles of occupational therapy in addressing the barriers to occupation caused by COVID-19 in people experiencing homelessness.
3. Discuss 3 to 5 strategies and/or resources to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness in response to COVID-19.
4. Identify 2 to 3 advocacy actions to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness in the community during and following COVID-19.