Students from the Howard Center for Investigative Journalism at Arizona State University have analyzed how governments used $4 billion from the Coronavirus Aid Act to combat homelessness in the new series Caring for COVID’s invisible victims.
The project’s website features in-depth stories, portraits, and explainers of how they analyzed the data behind their findings.
When Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act in March, it included $4 billion in homeless aid through the Emergency Solutions Grant program run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Here are some of the stories they published:
Communities struggle to make best use of COVID homeless aid
By Shaena Montanari and Natalie Walters
Funding delays and confusing spending restrictions have hampered communities’ abilities to capitalize on the largest influx of homeless aid in American history.
Calculating the impact of HUD’s homeless formulas
By Andy Blye and Austin Fast
It took a pandemic for the federal government to actually consider homeless people in determining how much homeless aid to give out. Without congressional action, a decadeslong formula problem remains.
Federal aid divides homeless in the Twin Cities
By Helen Wieffering, Agya K. Aning and Helena Wegner
The Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis have faced an alarming rise in homelessness during the pandemic, but there’s nothing similar in how they’ve confronted the crisis.
Two cities tried to fix homelessness, only one succeeded
By Audrey Jensen, Jill Ryan, Chloe Jones and Madeline Ackley
Housing First is considered a best practice for addressing homelessness, but where one city succeeded, another still struggles. A surge in pandemic homeless aid will help, but experts say only with strategic planning.
Puerto Rico’s nonprofits fear history repeating itself in homeless aid
By Lidia Terrazas and Molly Bohannon
Homeless providers in Puerto Rico fear that the history of federal emergency funding problems in the U.S. territory will continue with homeless aid provided by the CARES Act and impede their ability to care for those trying to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
Racial equity is key to helping homeless during the pandemic
By Chloe Jones and Anne Mickey
Racial equity should be at the center of homeless responses during the COVID-19 pandemic, experts say, a recognition that people of color are disproportionately affected by both homelessness and the pandemic.