Villa and community partners pilot Mobile Vaccine Clinic for homeless households
For people experiencing homelessness, getting to a COVID-19 vaccine clinic can prove difficult, especially without internet and transportation. When you consider that most local vaccine sites require a form of photo identification in order to receive a vaccination, it can be nearly impossible for many of our clients.
As lead agency of the Crater Area Coalition on Homelessness (CACH), St. Joseph’s Villa participated in video conference brainstorming sessions with local municipal and public health officials to develop plans to address the need to vaccinate people experiencing homelessness. The answer appeared to be simple: take the vaccine to the people who need it. District 19 of the Virginia Department of Health proposed a mobile vaccine unit that could travel and set up vaccine clinics in places where CACH clients and others who had difficulty traveling could receive a vaccine in the parking lot of the motels where they lived, no registration or identification necessary.
On April 8th, the Villa partnered with the Virginia Department of Health, CACH, the National Guard, and Vaccinate Virginia to hold a pilot Mobile Vaccine Clinic for residents of the American Hotel and CACH clients. CACH case managers informed their clients about the availability of the vaccine days before the mobile clinic arrived. A team from Vaccinate Virginia communicated with other hotel residents and people in the surrounding community that they could receive the vaccine at the mobile clinic. The National Guard ran the logistics of the clinic, Villa staff provided breakfast, refreshments, and personal protective equipment to clinic attendees, and District 19 staff administered the vaccines. More than 100 people received a vaccine.
Following the successful polite vaccine clinic, CACH and St. Joseph’s Villa will continue working together to ensure people experiencing homelessness have access to the COVID-19 vaccine, and potentially save lives.