BOISE, Idaho — On Friday, advocates and health groups partnered together to combat misinformation and ensure people experiencing homelessness have access to COVID-19 vaccines.
CATCH, Corpus Christi House, and Interfaith Sanctuary organized the Cooper Court Vaccine Block Party. They partnered with St. Alphonsus Health System to ensure the homeless community has access to all three COVID-19 vaccines — Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer.
“Just understanding that the folks that we work with who are experiencing homelessness have a real tough time getting access to health care,” said Jeanette Curtis, homeless outreach program director at CATCH. “When you are without a house your world can be pretty chaotic, so we wanted to put this together with Saint Alphonsus to give them an opportunity.”
Daniel Sherwin said he’s been homeless for about a week now. He said he got the COVID-19 vaccine earlier this year, and at the vaccination clinic behind the interfaith sanctuary building in Boise, he got a booster shot for an extra layer of protection.
“If we are going to the kitchen or going to a shelter, we are in close proximity of everyone else there’s a lot of homeless people here,” Sherwin said. “You can’t stay away six feet away all the time. Getting the vaccination, helps quite a bit because it will help keep from spreading, it’s very important I think.”
In September, Interfaith Sanctuary staff saw a surge of COVID-19 cases now with cases on the decline the organizations are trying to address the spread of misinformation.
“There’s a lot of stories being spread around that are difficult to combat, so in combination of bringing the vaccine to this population. We also brought trusted information sources. We are partnering with HealthWise and Central District Health as well, and they are answering people’s questions if anyone is hesitant about the vaccine or has heard some misinformation that makes them concerned,” Curtis said.
Curtis calls the event a success and for Sherwin, he’s appreciative of the shelter’s support
“This has been you know the first time I smile in about a week, it’s been good,” he said.