CLIMATE CHANGE VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT OF UNHOUSED POPULATIONS – A PROPOSED INDEX METHODOLOGY
The interactions between climate change and homelessness in the United States are not widely documented or uniformly quantified. Individuals who experience homelessness are not commonly accounted for in community, state, or federal climate change adaptation planning or vulnerability assessment mechanisms. Drawing on established vulnerability assessment frameworks, this review presents a standard approach to evaluate the climate vulnerability of an unhoused population, modeled at U.S. census tract granularity. The methodology presents recommended steps to leverage modeling-, survey-, and evaluation-based indicators to measure exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity to determine vulnerability of an unhoused population to climate impact drivers in scope. Standardization of a vulnerability assessment methodology focused on unhoused populations may facilitate new opportunities for data compilation, enabling assessment practitioners to shed light on urgent vulnerability gaps and prioritize targeted resilience interventions within an unhoused population.
Climate change vulnerability; homelessness; unhoused; community vulnerability assessment methodology; vulnerability index