Housing Crisis Worsens as COVID, Variants Continue to Spread

By Laetitia Clayton

Laetitia Clayton

As COVID-19 and its different strains rage on, we’re seeing more hospitalizations and deaths from the virus. We’re being urged to get vaccinated, practice social distancing and keep our masks on in public places. These are measures that aim to protect the overall public health and stem COVID’s spread.

But the fallout from the coronavirus also is affecting our welfare in other ways: mental health issues are on the rise, as are homelessness, food insecurity, substance use, social isolation and suicides, to name a few. COVID-19 has affected nearly every aspect of our lives in some way, and has brought racial, economic and other inequalities to the forefront.

In this issue’s cover story, we look at the current housing crisis. Social workers have long been involved in helping those who are homeless, but efforts have been ramped up since the pandemic began last year. Learn from experts about some of the programs designed to help those who are homeless and what you can do to help.

In our second feature article, we examine the concept of self-care. Social workers weigh in on the importance not only of taking care of yourself so that you’re better able to help others, but also how work environments, caseloads and pay need to change in many instances. In other words, social workers should support themselves, but leaders at many agencies and nonprofits also need to do more to support their social workers and other employees.

Self-care also was a topic at NASW’s national virtual conference earlier this year, along with social work reinvention, overcoming systemic racism and more. You can read about the conference in the Association News section.

Viewpoints tackles yet another COVID-related topic: the return to in-person work. The authors maintain that developing a trauma-informed workplace can help reduce the stigma around mental health issues—and they offer ideas to help accomplish this. These are just some of the articles and topics you will find in this issue of Social Work Advocates.

In closing, I want to mention that this October marks NASW’s 66th anniversary. Look for related announcements at socialworkers.org and on our social media platforms throughout the month.

We hope you will join us in celebrating NASW and its many accomplishments over the years.

As always, you can write to us with feedback about the magazine at: swadvocates@socialworkers.org

Until next time,

magazine cover: Social Work Advocates - Housing Challenges Grow as COVID Drags On - person in tent surrounded by tall buildings

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