Giving Compass' Take:

· A new reports from the University of Pennsylvania, University of California Los Angeles and Boston University shows the increased threat posed by COVID-19 to people experiencing homelessness.

· Why is the homeless population at great risk of this virus? How can donors support this population throughout this pandemic?

· Check out this article about homelessness & COVID-19 to learn more about this topic.

The funding recommendation comes as Congress reaches an agreement on its emergency spending bill to stimulate the economy and protect vulnerable groups like people experiencing homelessness.

"The COVID-19 pandemic is creating a severe and emergent health crisis for the homeless population across the United States, a crisis that our shelter and health systems are simply not adequately prepared to meet," the report reads. The virus is likely to "wreak havoc on this already highly vulnerable group." ​​

Homeless populations are more at-risk than the general population due to underlying health conditions and many individuals who are more than 60-years-old, according to the study.

The report authors recommend an additional 400,000 shelter beds to help mitigate the effects of COVID-19, which include 100,000 beds to enable social distancing within shelters and 300,000 beds to be used for people experiencing homelessness who live unsheltered.

For the 500,000 single adults who experience homeless on a given night, the pandemic is projected to cause up to 21,000 hospitalizations and 3,400 deaths. But by creating adequate shelter, lives can be saved, the report writes.

Read the full article about caring for homeless during COVID-19 by Cailin Crowe at Smart Cities Dive.