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Homelessness During the COVID-19 Pandemic: What to Know

 Jo Yurcaba is a freelance writer specializing in mental health.

 Gerard Ferry / EyeEm/Getty

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was another epidemic in the United States: In January 2019, an estimated 567,715 people experienced homelessness.

Experts believe that number has risen during the pandemic, in part because 22.2 million people were laid off or furloughed in March and April, though there isn't yet any official data on the pandemic's impact on homelessness or the people experiencing it.

"The pandemic really just shows the importance of housing for health and that you really can't have a healthy society when you have half a million people or more who are homeless," says Dr. Kelly Doran, MD, an emergency physician and

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