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CSDE Affiliates Colburn and Fyall Issue New Report About COVID-19 And Hotels as Non-Congregate Emergency Shelters

Posted: 12/7/2020 (CSDE Research)

CSDE Affiliates Greg Colburn and Rachel Fyall, along with UW graduate students Samantha Thompson and Taquesha Dean and colleagues at King County, have just released a new report on hotels as emergency shelter in King County during the COVID-19 pandemic. The full report can be downloaded here. The research team used interviews and administrative data to understand the effects of moving individuals from high-density congregate emergency shelters to hotel rooms on COVID-19 spread as well as on individuals’ housing, health, and economic outcomes. Critical findings include:

  • The shelter deintensification strategy limited the spread of COVID-19 among individuals moved to hotel locations as compared to those who stayed in congregate settings.
  • The intervention also produced other benefits to the people who were relocated. Individuals who moved to area hotels — an arrangement managed by the County and social service providers — reported improved physical and mental health, and the ability to focus on long-term goals such as obtaining housing, employment and education, rather than simply focusing on day-to-day survival.