UBCO researchers examine how pandemics impact the homeless

UBCO School of Social Work director John Graham says that homeless people under the age of 65 have a mortality rate five to 10 times higher compared to the general population. Photo: courtesy UBCO.

A team of UBC Okanagan researchers is looking at strategies that could help the homeless during a pandemic.

John Graham, director of UBC Okanagan’sSchool of Social Work, said while many populations have been targeted with guidelines to keep them safe, homeless people have been mostly overlooked.

While this research project began a few years before the pandemic, Graham said his team quickly turned their attention to the impact of COVID-19. His team looked at peer-reviewed publications, dating back to 1984 that examined how homeless populations were impacted by other highly contagious or communicable illnesses such as tuberculous, H1NI and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

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