Valley nonprofit works to roll out vaccine within homeless population
PHOENIX – Living in congregate settings with limited resources, the homeless population remains at high-risk for COVID-19.
As vaccination distribution increases steadily in Maricopa County, a Valley-based nonprofit is dedicated to vaccinating those who are homeless.
Operating in the fourth largest county in the country, Circle the City works to provide integrated health care to men, women and children facing homelessness in Maricopa County.
Circle the City received a limited supply of the Moderna vaccine last week from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and have followed the recommendations outlined by federal, state and county guidelines for those eligible to get the vaccine.
“Right now, we’re vaccinating our frontline workers at the Human Services Campus, we have vaccinated our patients that fit the criteria of 75 and older,” Linda Ross, Circle the City CEO, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday.
The nonprofit has also worked closely with its community partners who serve the needs of individuals facing homelessness to ensure their employees get the vaccine.
“We’ll move to places outside of Human Services Campus and outside of our patient load,” Ross said.
Homeless people with preexisting medical conditions that are seeking services within Circle the City respite centers on or near the Human Services Campus will also be considered for the vaccine.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Circle the City has continued to provide the services their patients rely on, including primary care, respite care, behavioral health, and mobile medical outreach.
The nonprofit has also added COVID-19 testing, as well as other support services to help patients during the pandemic.
In partnership with Maricopa County, Circle the City continues to provide medical care at the Phoenix Inn. The previously vacant hotel is now designated for patients who are facing homelessness and test positive for COVID- 19 or who are awaiting test results.
The hotel gives patients a secure place to quarantine while receiving meals, and daily medical care.