When Disaster Strikes

Disaster preparedness in the form of close inter-agency coordination and communication helped Cuyahoga County, Ohio, protect its unhoused population from COVID-19 to a greater extent than Lane County, Oregon. Although Cuyahoga (Cleveland) is larger, with more resources, its effective responses still offer a model to Lane County (Eugene), where a scattered approach and homeless-camp sweeps proved counterproductive. In Cleveland, hotels were quickly enlisted to house people, reducing crowding in shelters by half and street homelessness by 30%. Its largest men's shelter ended up with a low infection rate.

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