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November 15, 2021

All across the world, humankind has been focused on one task: Ending the COVID-19 pandemic.

HELP USA, being one of the largest providers of homeless services in New York City, is in the unique position of collecting data on the demand and adoption of the COVID-19 vaccine among a large portion of the city’s unhoused residents.

As early as January 2021, HELP USA began administering the COVID-19 vaccines in our shelters. A report, based on research conducted from April – June 2021 assesses the adoption of the vaccines by HELP USA’s shelter residents.

The report, submitted to NYC’s Department of Homeless Services earlier this year, found that 45% of HELP USA’s shelter residents had been at least partially vaccinated. Approximately one-fourth of the surveyed population (24%) was fully vaccinated—nearly double the percent of total NYC shelter residents who were fully vaccinated.

This research allows HELP USA and our partners in homeless services to make agile decisions around COVID-19 safety policies, the allocation of funds for PPE and vaccination efforts, and develop programs and procedures that ensure shelter residents continue to receive social services during the pandemic.

As the year has progressed, efforts to have clients vaccinated have increased, including hosting convenient on-site vaccination events and requiring vaccination for all HELP USA staff.

Efforts are underway to provide an update on current vaccination rates for residents, particularly in our family shelters, where children ages 5 and up are now able to receive the vaccine.

Download the full report here.


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