Homelessness, Children, and COVID-19: A Looming Crisis
This pandemic has magnified the vulnerability of housing insecure and homeless families. We encourage health care providers to investigate how local and state policies are affecting these children and families. Pediatricians can speak up for children by coalition building with community organizations and government affairs specialists, calling legislators to voice their concerns, volunteering as an expert resource for new policies being drafted, and providing testimony on bills. When pediatricians have a seat at the table, we can highlight the relationship between health, housing, and race and/or ethnicity; share data and anecdotes to shape policies; and ensure that policies are designed to support children facing adversity. Furthermore, we will provide better care to our patients if we are knowledgeable about the latest housing legislation and can help connect them with the resources they need. As our world faces an unprecedented pandemic, our patients need us more than ever. In this time of uncertainty, one thing is for certain: as pediatricians, we have the experience, expertise, and power to advocate for policies that protect children.