Father Joe’s Villages will begin rolling out the coronavirus vaccine to San Diego’s homeless population Thursday using part of its East Village campus as a vaccination site for those who are eligible to receive the vaccine.
In partnership with Champions for Health, the San Diego Housing Commission and County of San Diego, the COVID-19 vaccination site aims to make sure homeless San Diegans have equal access to the coronavirus vaccine.
Father Joe’s Villages said vaccinations will be administered based on the county and state guidelines for prioritization through the phases and tiers system.
To start, the organization said it will focus on vaccinating members of San Diego’s homeless population who fall under Phase 1B within California vaccine prioritization plan, specifically those age 65 and older. Those who work in homeless shelters or in outreach services who are 65+ will also be given priority to receive the vaccine at the Father Joe’s Villages site.
The site is at the organization’s campus in the East Village at 1501 Imperial Ave., at the Franklin Antonio Public Lunch program and the Paul Mirabile Center.
According to data from San Diego County public health officials, nearly 900 homeless San Diegans have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic reached the region nearly a year ago. About 17 percent of those who tested positive have required hospitalization.
Father Joe’s Villages said the harsh conditions of living on the streets, coupled with high levels of chronic illness, puts homeless San Diegans at high risk of contracting COVD-19.
“They’re both more likely to get very sick with COVID-19 but, also, it makes it more difficult for them, given medical and psychiatric and social issues – it makes it harder for them to access services,” said Jeffrey Norris, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Father Joe’s Villages.
Father Joe’s Villages said earlier this month that its approach will be multi-level and not only include access to coronavirus vaccinations, but also education on the vaccine to people living in its housing programs and those living on the streets.
To learn more about the county’s vaccination prioritization plan, click here.
We also have a guide on where and how to get your coronavirus vaccine in San Diego County here.