August 5, 2021
HELP USA is partnering with local pharmacies and health clinics to bring COVID-19 vaccinations directly into shelters and supportive housing sites in an effort to battle the resurgent pandemic.
During the week of July 26, HELP made Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available to clients and staff members at the following NYC sites:
- HELP 107th Street, Manhattan
- HELP Bronx Morris Ave, Bronx
- HELP Crotona, Bronx
- HELP Hamilton Place, Manhattan
- HELP Supportive Employment Center, Manhattan (Ward’s Island)
- HELP Women’s Center, Brooklyn
At HELP Women’s Center clients also had the option to receive hepatitis A vaccinations, keeping in line with HELP’s commitment to health and safety that reaches far beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Clients at every HELP USA shelter have access to a suite of health and social services in addition to basic shelter needs.
This week’s vaccination efforts follow an active push by HELP USA to get clients and staff vaccinated. In June, HELP USA partnered with MedRite, a local urgent care clinic, to provide vaccinations to clients and staff HELP USA Woodycrest Apartments in the Bronx. Woodycrest is a supportive housing site designed for individuals with chronic physical and mental health and substance abuse needs.
For clients experiencing homelessness, or with unstable housing, accessing COVID vaccines may be harder than it is for the community writ large. Unhoused people may be hesitant to enter a retail pharmacy or walk-in clinic due to social stigmas surrounding homelessness. HELP USA is breaking down that barrier by bringing vaccines directly into shelters — into safe spaces clients can trust.
On-site vaccination opportunities also allow HELP USA staff to easily comply with the NYC COVID Safety Requirement Program. Under this program, all NYC contractors must be either fully vaccinated or submit a weekly negative COVID-19 PCR test. This protocol takes effect August 13, 2021, and HELP USA is mandating that all staff, regardless of location, comply.
“Our staff are essential service providers. Whether on the front lines or in an administrative role, they help people experiencing homelessness access the basic services they need. The actions we take to halt the spread of COVID are vital to protecting our clients and ending the pandemic,” said Missy Flower, HELP USA’s Chief Administrative Officer.