Homeless families and individuals face unique barriers when confronted with a major disaster. These include challenges in communicating with authorities, confusion over eligibility criteria for aid programs, and improper refusal of entry to disaster shelters, among other things.
Over the past several years, alongside federal and local partners, HUD has been increasing efforts to assist communities with building resilience and helping them to more effectively include homeless populations in the planning, response, and recovery from disasters. As a part of this effort, HUD is announcing the release of a new report, “Send Red Not Blue: The Homeless Resident.” This report contributes to understanding the experiences of homeless individuals and families surviving and recovering from a disaster. It documents unique barriers they face and the efforts of Florida’s Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties to develop inclusive disaster plans that begin to address them. Using information from interviews with emergency response and homeless service providers as well as homeless persons, the report offers practical recommendations from which other communities can learn about including homeless populations during disaster response and recovery.
Over the next several months, HUD will be releasing a variety of additional resources to assist Continuums of Care (CoCs), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) recipients, and non-profit organizations to integrate all available resources – from Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) funds – into efforts supporting a resilient community.
For additional resources, please visit the HUD Exchange for information on homelessness and disasters and CDBG Disaster Recovery.
To submit a request for technical assistance (TA) through the HUD Exchange TA Portal, use the Request Program Assistance page on the HUD Exchange. Please be sure to follow the Steps for Requesting and Receiving In-Depth Program Assistance included on the page. For requests related to homelessness and disaster preparedness, please include “Homeless Persons and Disasters” as the subject on step 4 of the technical assistance request form.