Monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on people experiencing homelessness

Since the pandemic hit in March 2020, Groundswell have been undertaking research to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on the lives of people experiencing homelessness. The project aims to understand how COVID-19 and the response to it is affecting the lives of people who are homeless and include the voices of people experiencing homelessness in the national and local decision-making processes.

Between April and August 2020 370 daily diaries, 93 telephone interviews and a network of 13 digital reporters led to nine briefings (below) highlighting the experiences, challenges, barriers and opportunities people who were homeless were facing during the pandemic. The full research process is led by people with experience of homelessness themselves. From this insight we launched  this report  highlighting what we heard and what actions need to be taken to create change. 

As the pandemic continues to dominate society we are committed to gathering experiences and ensuring people who have the power to create change are listening to the experience of homelessness whilst planning their response to COVID-19. We will continue to launch and share briefings highlighting the key findings.

Report: Monitoring the impact of COVID-19

Graphic portraying the coronavirus
Graphic showing someone in a sleeping bag
Graphic demonstrating someone coughing into a tissue
Graphic showing someone in a bed
Graphic showing handling medication

We are gathering insight through a range of data collection methods. These include:

  • Reports from our existing network of staff and peer volunteers, through daily diaries logging the key issues people are facing.
  • Archiving secondary information which chronologically illustrates local, national and policy responses to COVID-19 and homelessness.
  • Telephone interviews with people experiencing homeleOn Our Radar logossness to gather narratives and find out how COVID-19 is directly impacting people. If you or someone you know would be interested in sharing your experience, find out more here. 
  • Regular text and audio reports from our ‘mobile reporters’ across the country using a citizen journalism approach, in partnership with On Our Radar. These stories are shared on our microsite. 

If you want to find out more or get involved in our project, contact our Research Manager Jo: jo.brown@groundswell.org.uk.

If you want regular updates about this project and other related work, please subscribe to our #HealthNow newsletter here.

We are grateful to NHS England and Improvement and The National Lottery Community Fund for funding this project. The research will directly inform the way the NHS responds to COVID-19 for people who are homeless.

The Health Now logo
The National Lottery Community Fund logo