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COVID-19, Mental Wellness, and the Homelessness Workforce – Policy Brief: Highlights

COVID-19 is having an overwhelming impact on people experiencing homelessness. The pandemic has highlighted and amplified existing gaps in housing policy and longstanding underfunding across the sector, leading to an increase in the rate of homelessness and precarious housing.

With the pandemic straining the capacity of shelters and community organizations, new research from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health shows that frontline workers are at increased risk of burnout, vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue1 — all of which affects their ability to respond to their clients’ complex health, wellness, and housing needs. These risks are even greater for staff and volunteers who have lived experience with their own mental health and substance use challenges

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