Permanent supportive housing (PSH) targets highly vulnerable homeless adults who exhibit early onset of geriatric conditions and require in-home supports. This suggests potentially high risk for COVID-19 within PSH and the need for tenants to take protective measures. This study reports on survey results collected from 532 PSH tenants in Los Angeles, California during the 4th week of March in 2020. Results show that nearly all tenants were aware of COVID-19 and 65% considered it to be a very serious health threat, which was a strong predictor of taking protective measures (i.e. handwashing and social distancing). Tenants in units with shared bathroom facilities had lower odds of social distancing than those in studio apartments. Tenants with mental health diagnoses had lower odds of consistent handwashing. Lack of access to food, hygiene items, and medication delivery were common barriers to sheltering in place.
Surveying Tenants of Permanent Supportive Housing in Skid Row about COVID-19
USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work