“They forgot about us”: Experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic among people deprived of housing in an urban centre in Ontario, Canada
Dr. Robin Lennox and the research team conducted a qualitative study examining the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people deprived of housing using one-on-one semi-structured interviews. People deprived of housing were involved in study development, recruitment, and data analysis. Twenty-one participants were recruited during street outreach from June-July 2020.
The core theme of participants’ experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and public health response was regarding access to services, both in terms of changes in service availability and the reality of how accessible (or inaccessible) existing services were to the community. Related themes included unheard, dignity, survival, and community care. People deprived of housing were uniquely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the public health measures implemented in response. Many participants felt excluded or overlooked in the decision-making processes impacting their day-to-day lives during the initial pandemic response, which affected their ability to survive, seek connection, and live with dignity.
The study manuscript has been submitted to the Canadian Journal of Public Health, and is awaiting final approval post-revision.Care of PDOH, Research Project Update