Health Care for People Without Housing During COVID-19 | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

People experiencing homelessness are some of the most vulnerable here in Austin and all over the country. During the current coronavirus pandemic, social service and public health organizations have had to adjust quickly to safely provide health care and resources like PPE and sanitation to an already hard-to-reach population. Audrey Kuang, M.D., associate director of community engagement and health equality for CommUnityCare Health Centers and an assistant professor at the Dell Medical School, joined LBJ In the Arena to talk about CommUnityCare's work on the ground to improve and sustain health outcomes for our most vulnerable people and keep them safe from the coronavirus. James Snow, assistant director of the Public Works Department of the City of Austin, also joined us to talk about the city's efforts to provide safe, temporary shelter and sanitation to those currently experiencing homelessness. The panel will be moderated by LBJ School Professor of Practice Sherri Greenberg, who also serves as the chairperson of the Board of Managers of Central Health.


Additional Resources

Presentation: Health Care for People without Housing During COVID 19 (PowerPoint download)
The presentation by Dr. Audrey Kuang exploring health care for homeless individuals before and after the COVID-19 pandemic — and the work and response to COVID-19 of the CommUnityCare homeless health team.

Investing for Results Report Release and P3 Homelessness Task Force Update
A memo summarizing the Investing for Results: Priorities and Recommendations for a Systems Approach to End Homelessness report (Report) which was developed by Barbara Poppe and associates under a contract with the City of Austin. This Report represents the culmination of a great deal of effort and analysis – by the consulting team, City staff, the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) and people across Austin's network of homelessness and housing-focused organizations. 

Updates on Austin Resource Center for the Homeless
Austin Public Health (APH) contracted with the National Alliance to End Homeless (NAEH) in collaboration with OrgCode to evaluate and provide recommendations for Austin's emergency shelter system — including examining the Austin Resource Center for Homelessness (ARCH) operations. As part of this process, NAEH and OrgCode analyzed existing shelter services and available homelessness data. They convened stakeholder meetings with the following goals:

  • Develop a process for redesigning the ARCH, clarifying its role in the homeless response system
  • Developing and aligning best practices for the entire emergency shelter system
  • Developing coordinated entry into emergency shelters
  • Shift to housing-focused shelter model

Smart Cities Should Be Good Cities: AI, Equity, and Homelessness
The goal of this project is to study how to better provide wrap-around services to individuals on the homelessness continuum in the City of Austin, as well as how to assist local governments and nonprofits seeking to serve those individuals. Part of the solution lies in consolidating all of the existing data stored in various databases, formats, etc., while another part lies in making sure that all stakeholders' voices are heard. Addressing current gaps in policy and services relevant to homelessness requires an interdisciplinary approach that is both predictive and summative, qualitative and quantitative. These improvements can help the City of Austin achieve its strategic outcome of Government that Works for All.