Communicating COVID-19 risks and prevention measures among people experiencing homelessness
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Communicating COVID-19 risks and prevention measures among people experiencing homelessness

Filetype[PDF-1.00 MB]

  • English

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    • Description:
      When Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) began to spread throughout the United States in early 2020, advocates and policymakers recognized that people experiencing homelessness were particularly vulnerable to the negative outcomes associated with the disease. Large-scale communication plans capable of changing attitudes around COVID-19 are needed to support continued efforts to mitigate the negative impacts of this illness in this population. For communication plans to provide the most benefit, they need to be grounded in feedback from a variety of individuals who have experienced homelessness, as well as those who have provided services to people experiencing homelessness, during the pandemic.

      In May 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office of the Associate Director for Communication (OADC) contracted with Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) to address communicating effectively with people experiencing homelessness regarding COVID-19 risks and prevention measures. Working closely with the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH) and four regional partners (see below, Acknowledgements), CDC OADC and ORAU conducted 21 focus groups between June – July 2021, with people experiencing homelessness and service providers who had communicated to people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. In November 2021, ORAU conducted 30 additional in-depth interviews with people experiencing homelessness. Focus groups and interviews explored lessons learned and communication preferences under normal conditions and during the pandemic. ORAU staff coded and analyzed transcripts to identify commonalities and key themes that form the basis for recommendations included in this Communication Plan. Any references throughout this plan to people experiencing homelessness messaging preferences are based on these data collections.

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    • Content Notes:
      Background -- Intended Audience -- Purpose -- Section 1: Guiding Principles. -- Section 2: Message Development, Materials, and Design. -- Section 3: Multi-tier Approach to Distribute Messages to People Experiencing Homelessness -- Section 4: Considerations for Evaluating Communication Impacts among People Experiencing Homelessness -- Section 5: Checklists and Implementation Guides -- Bibliography.
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