EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Officials with the Commission on Homelessness for Evansville and Vanderburgh County announced they will be partnering with the health department and Ascension St. Vincent to conduct COVID-19 vaccination clinics for area homeless shelters and housing agencies. Those clinics were completed on Friday.
“They are part of this community,” Timothy Weir, administrator with the Commission on Homelessness said. “Their lives have value too, and we’re fortunate in Evansville to have agencies and shelters that provide housing and a transition up back to regular life.”
People like Jordan Wilks are sleeping a little easier tonight. He is now fully vaccinated.
“The coronavirus isn’t something I actually want to get sick with,” Wilkes said. “So I’d rather be on the safe side, just get the shot and instead of waking up one day with COVID.”
He received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which means he won’t have to return for a second dose. The same goes for 300 people among Evansville’s homeless population who were vaccinated over the last two weeks.
This effort is something that one administrator with the Commission on Homelessness is proud of.
“It’s wonderful that we’re going to be able to help this population get healthy and not have to worry about COVID-19, and get some of the normalcy back in their lives and move on,” Weir said.
Friday’s clinic at Echo Housing was just one of several that took place this week in Evansville.
“After today, we’ll be about 65 and 70% of our client population vaccinated, which we know that if we can vaccinate over half of the facility, we can significantly reduce the risk for transmission of COVID in the facility,” Echo’s Executive Director Chris Metz said.
“As more people become available and they want the vaccine, we’ll definitely come back anytime and work with echo housing, and Chris Metz has been great, their staff has been great,” Joe Gries with the Vanderburgh County Health Department said.
Weir says there are still more in the homeless population that need to be vaccinated, but he’s happy about the progress made up to this point.
“It’s a good feeling just to see how much collaboration there is in our community to get people healthy,” Weir said.
The next step for the Commission on Homelessness is to request more of the vaccine for the homeless, and track down those who were not vaccinated during this round of clinics.